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Old 09-19-2012, 06:55 AM
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Question Pipers Seizures

Sadly, I am afraid that I may need to join the group of dogs with seizures. I believe my 41/2 year old golden is having mild seizures. It all began on July 4. She and my two other goldens had been boarded for 5 days and two days after I was home I noticed Piper was having some type of episode.

She was lying on the sofa, upright (not on her side) and her head began shaking. She was awake and responsive. I asked her to get off the sofa and she immediately got down but went down on her belly. When I called her, she had trouble getting up and sort of hopped, staggered, etc. trying to walk and going back down on her belly. She was totally aware of everything going on around her and this only lasted a minute after which she was totally fine. Got up, walked around..as if nothing happened.

This past Saturday, I put all the dogs downstairs into their "dog room" for the night. She had gone for a 2.5 mile walk that day and had been totally racked out for most of the day. After going out for final call she bounded down the basement steps and into the dog room. I came upstairs and then, for some reason that I do not know, I went back down for something. I looked into the dog room and was greeted by 2 dogs instead of 3. They had only been down there a maximum of 5 minutes. When I walked into the room, Piper was in her crate and I realized she was having another episode. It looked the same to me and after about a minute, she was completely fine again.

I called the vet and had a 5:30 appointment last night. She was with me the entire afternoon, sitting at my feet or on the sofa (I worked from home). At 5:00 I took the other two dogs downstairs and left Piper upstairs. I was in the basement for about 1-2 minutes. When I got back upstairs, Piper was on the sofa and as I walked up to her, I noticed she was lying on her belly, as usual, her head was straight out and trembling. When asked to get off the sofa and come to me, she exibited the same symptoms as the first episode, getting up, back down, walking, limping, hopping like she lost some motor control in her back legs. After a moment of walking like this, about 20-30 seconds she was fine.

I explained all of this to my vet, who immediately said she has epilepsy, and told me she needs phenobarbital. She did not examine her or even take a blood test. I requested a blood test and she said ok, that was a good idea.

From everyones's perspective, does this sound like seizures? Both times she has jumped on the sofa or ran down stairs. My breeder seems to think that it doesn't sound like epilepsy, but maybe a pinched nerve, cramp or something like that. She has been breeding for 30 years, is a personal friend and does not have epilepsy in any of her lines that she knows of at least.

Needless to say, I am a mess right now. I want to get a 2nd opinion and will be investigating another vet today.

Please help.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:28 AM
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Welcome to the Forum. It sounds like you're having a hard time and this group is a good place to find support for the kinds of problems you describe.

What you're describing does not sound like a grand mal seizure. It may be some kind of focal or partial seizure, but that's hard to say without seeing what happens. If you can capture a video, that would be helpful to us but also to any veterinarians you consult. The vet you have now seems very quick to prescribe Pheno without really doing the work-up that might be expected before giving a drug that has a lot of side effects. Most of us in the GRF seizure community have to give Pheno and all of us hate it. But what concerns me the most is that it might make it more difficult for a neurologist to assess what is going on with your gal. She may have epilepsy, but I'm not convinced yet.

It sounds to me like a veterinary neurologist is what you need. If I'm right that you are not too far from Philadelphia, you might make an appointment with a neurologist at the U. Penn School of Veterinary Medicine: Ryan-VHUP. Vet schools have the advantage of providing a wide range of specialists and they usually have the latest in equipment, which can be important.

Please keep us posted on how Piper is doing and how you're coping with this. Seizures and other neurological conditions can be very stressful to the people who care for a stricken dog. Some level of panic and emotional exhaustion are familiar to many of us and sharing the experiences can help.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:38 PM
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a video to show the vet is a must !!! I had to take one to the neurologist as when Tom was there he never had one.
The symptoms you describe are very similar to the ones Tom displays but he goes into a very bizarre state. I would not begin to suggest it's epilepsy but you are doing right by taking piper to the vets.
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Old 09-19-2012, 03:57 PM
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I really feel for you. You must be so worried about your Piper. I do hope knowing that you have support and advice here, will be of some comfort to you. How are you getting on looking for another vet? Trust you are able to find one who truly wants to get to the bottom of Piper's condition.

Best wishes,
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:39 PM
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Pipers Seizure

I took Piper to another vet today that also practices chiropractic and holistic medicine. She felt that Piper was having mild seizures and made a recommendation that she go to a neurologist also. I am scared to death that this means a brain tumor. The vet didn't think so, but that is what has been on my mind. I have an appt for Tuesday, but don't think I can wait that long so will try to get in tomorrow or Friday. The blood test came back and everything is normal. Thank you for all the support. I am totally wiped out and an emotional mess right now. Can't stop crying.

Last edited by JDGoldens; 09-19-2012 at 06:50 PM. Reason: Forgot to include some details
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Old 09-19-2012, 07:04 PM
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Sending positive vibes and prayers your way. I hope it is just something minor. Please try to stay positive and do not think the worst, it does not help.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDGoldens View Post
I took Piper to another vet today that also practices chiropractic and holistic medicine. She felt that Piper was having mild seizures and made a recommendation that she go to a neurologist also. I am scared to death that this means a brain tumor. The vet didn't think so, but that is what has been on my mind. I have an appt for Tuesday, but don't think I can wait that long so will try to get in tomorrow or Friday. The blood test came back and everything is normal. Thank you for all the support. I am totally wiped out and an emotional mess right now. Can't stop crying.
I so understand where you are right now and I just ache for you. It's wonderful that you are moving quickly to get Piper to a neurologist.

But please try not to give in to fear. Piper needs you to be strong and courageous, and you can draw that from your love for her. You really can. Just as humans can have many neurological conditions, so can dogs. Most of them are not fatal, or not quickly so. Piper might need meds or physical therapy or even surgery, but odds are that you have some time with her that I hope you can fill with joy for both of you.

We are here for you, whatever the diagnosis.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:10 AM
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I am so sorry you too have joined this club. Hoping they can control them with meds and sending hugs
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:20 AM
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Unhappy Piper's Seizures

Piper is very subdued and tired today. She did have an accupuncture treatment yesterday afternoon. Would that cause her to be so tired. She also had a lot of activity yesterday...3 hours back and forth to the vet and 3 hours at the vet, so maybe she is just tired from that. Changed the neurologist appointment for Monday...can't get anything sooner. Maybe that is for the best because we can see if she does or does not have another episode.

The vet told me yesterday to relax and think positive thoughts...this is not the worst thing that can happen to her and she will be fine. If I could only convince myself of that I could go on with everything I need to do, like my job.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:48 AM
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Piper's Seizures

Question...Piper was born 5/24/08 so turned 4 a couple of months ago. I first noticed her first seizure July 5, but, who knows, they are so mild she could have had others while I was at work or sleeping. Is this within the time parameter for idiopathic epilepsy. I have heard conflicting things, but mostly between 1-4 years for primary epilipsey to show up.

Last edited by JDGoldens; 09-20-2012 at 12:00 PM.
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epilepsy , muscle cramp , pinched nerve , seizure

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