Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Toronto area
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanked 196 Times in 39 Posts
First, thank you for creating this forum. I can't express how good it feels to have a place to get information and talk about this topic.
My 12yr old GR, Cody, had a seizure for the first (and hopefully the last) time yesterday (Sun. Dec 16) at 2am. It was about 2 minutes in length, with a minute of extreme disorientation afterwards, where he wondered around and slammed into the fireplace, and then had a bowel movement.
Thankfully, both my partner and I were there through it all and were able to rush him to the emergency animal hospital right away. The vet confirmed it was a gran mal seizure, did some blood tests (normal although his liver is showing normal wear and tear for his age), and said it's likely a brain tumor (we're going to follow up with our regular vet today to try and book a CT scan and a MRI). Luckily, I work from home and can be with my dog 24/7.
As Cody had never had a seizure before, I'm not sure if there were any warning signs. The only change in his behaviour prior to the seizure was that the entire day before he rythmicly gnawned on his stuffed toy. This went on all day in a very rythmic pattern. Normally he rips those toys to shreads in about 5 minutes, but this time just repeatedly bit, released, bit, released, over and over while staring blankly ahead. While the behaviour concerned me, I thought perhaps it was a toothache and he was sort of teething. Any idea if this could be related to the seizure?
Cody's other health issues include myositis (he takes 2.5mg of prenisone every other day), otitis (ear drops twice a day) and an eye problem (eye drops twice a day).
I'm not a fool, I knew when I got Cody 12 years ago that our time together would be limited, but I'm just not ready for this yet. Cody's my best friend, and it's breaking my heart to see him going through this and to think the end may be near. I've been crying for most of the day. After my sister's dog died this summer, I asked several vets, librarians and bookstore employees about books on coping and preparing for canine illness/death, but there doesn't seem to be any. Do any of you know of one?
I'm trying to force myself to stay calm and think positively. Thankfully, my partner is very good at that. Besides following up with our vet and trying to book in the CT and MRI, I've been looking at options to help us if another seizure occurs. One thought I had was inspired by a new product I heard of this year, a dog collar that monitors your dog's temperature and texts your cell phone if he gets to hot. Does anyone know if there's a similar product that would notify the dog's guardian if the dog was having a seizure? I doubt the product exists (yet) but it would be wonderful to have (especially since it could likely track length and intensity of the seizure). If one doesn't exist, but you'd be interested in getting one, message me. Maybe we can start a kickstarter project or something and get one developed.
As a somewhat off topic, but final note, I am lucky enough to have pet insurance which has covered thousands of dollars woth of vet bills over the years (I strongly recommend having pet insurance). The only challenge has been in dealing with the insurance company (PetCare). Currently working with the insurance ombudsman on a complaint regarding PetCare's business practices (ie denying receipt of claims, intentionally double charging deductables and intentionally giving out misleading or out right false information to prevent paying claims). Apparently, PetCare has several similar complaints against them from other policy holders, so I'd recommend going with a different insurer (we can't change insurers because of Cody's pre-existing conditions). As a side note, it's interesting to point out that the pet insurance industry in Canada is neither provincally nor federally regulated. There doesn't seem to be anyone watching what these guys are doing.
Thank you for reading my post. I would love to hear from you.