Join Date: May 2011
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Seizures in my 8 year old Golden
Ok, I hope I'm doing this right. I'm taking the advice of other posters and starting a new thread about my experience with my Golden and her seizures. Hoping for advice and to hear similar situations/stories. I'm a newbie, so I apologize if I'm doing something incorrectly!
My 8 year old otherwise healthy Golden unexpectedly had a grand mal seizure Monday morning. We rushed her to the vet where they did extensive blood work, urinalysis, and Xrays, all which came back "within normal ranges". Our vet said that brain tumors were the primary cause of seizures in dogs over 6 years of age. He said if it were epilepsy, it would have presented sooner? He ruled out metabolic diseases and such, and said that it was either a fluke or a tumor. She then had another seizure later that evening, which was somewhat shorter than the first (about 1 minute). I rushed her to the 24 hour emergency vet that night, who put her on a low dose of phenobarbitol and said it was most likely a brain tumor, but we would have to do an MRI to find out for sure. This would mean taking her a few hours away to the nearest vet school, and a couple thousand dollars to possibly find a cause for the seizures. My husband and I just don't know if we could put her through brain surgery, even if it was a possibility. We just don't know what to do. We love our Bailey SOOO much, and would do anything for her, but I want to do what is best for her. I don't want to put her through the torture of surgery and recovery far away from home, with no guarantee of how much time we would gain and if she would be herself afterward. I guess I'm just hoping for support, ideas, advice.... Luckily she has been seizure free now for nearly 4 days, but I cannot eat or sleep I am so worried about her. Just not knowing when/if the next seizure could come is terrifying.
We had a full blood workup done on Bailey on Monday, an hour or so after the first (and biggest) seizure. Everything came back normal, but the thyroid T4 was at the low end of normal- 1.7 where he said 1.2 was the cutoff. I called back today to talk with her vet, and we decided to put her on some soloxine just in case, although he does not think it played a role in her seizures? I am feeling much more optimistic after reading through several posts on here that it may not definitively be a brain tumor. For those of you with Goldens on Phenobarbitol, can I ask you about how they act on the drug (or shortly after they started the drug at least)? I know they have Bailey on a very low dose (exactly what I'm not sure) and said it would take 3 weeks to build up enough in her bloodstream to actually prevent seizures. But she certainly is exhibiting signs of side effects of the medication already. Are these normal medication side effects, or sign of behavior changes: She is VERY tired and sleeping a lot of the time. She is eating and drinking a ton- way more than usual. Most concerning to me is that she is stumbling around a bit- tripping up and down stairs and when jumping on and off the bed. I'm really hoping this isn't a neurological symptom? Also, she is a little grumpy- which she has never been before. She has always been WONDERFUL around our 3 kids- loves them to pieces. Today she growled a tiny bit at my 1 year old for crawling on her and pulling her fur. We've been trying to keep them away, but with a 4 year old and 1 year old twins they sometimes sneak past me, and they love the dog so much. We will have to be better about putting up all the baby gates… but they never bothered her before. COuld the meds be making her sleepy and a little grumpy? I really wish we could get her checked by a doggie neurologist, but the only one anywhere nearby (3 hours away at UW Madison) said in order for her to be seen it would be a 3 day process where we would need to leave her there, and they would need to do the MRI and CSF test to determine anything. I'm unwilling to put her through that stress at this time. She likes to be close to us, and I'm afraid she would not take the separation very well.
I'm just so worried about her- my stomach is in knots waiting for another seizure. I find myself waking her up in the evenings when she starts to doze off, and I won't let her lay in the spot where she had the 2 seizures. It sounds crazy, but I feel like maybe I can prevent it from happening again (both seizures were when she was dozing in a certain spot by our deck door).