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Hey everyone,

Yesterday my beloved 21mth old golden, Rosie had a seizure. It occured when we were making a fuss of her outside of my work place. She was happy and had been perfectly normal before it happened, just excited to see us. She then stretched out her front legs, collapsed and had a grand mal seizure. Thankfully it lasted under 30 seconds, though they were the longest 30 seconds I have experienced! She is fine now, recovered extremely quickly and no sign of any since. I have been on the phone to her breeder who reports last summer she heard of another pup in the litter had a seizure and she was going to phone them tomorrow to find out whether it developed into epilepsy or not. She is the world to me and I am heart broken. I know this may be the only one she ever has but it is much more likely this is going to develop into epilepsy. Thankfully she is fully insured so any tests or meds required she will have but I am looking for some info or reassurance from others who's dogs started so young. I am actually a vet but all that does is make me worry about the worst case scenario! I know about all the meds, tests required but I am worrying about how early she has started all this. She is my first golden retriever and she drives me nuts sometimes but she is one of my best friends. Why do we have them????!! They give us so much worry!!!! :-(

Lucy
 

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No wisdom here... we've been thru hip displasia, lymphoma, bloat, dog attack, and hemangiosarcoma, but no seizures.....

How very lucky is your Rosie to have a Vet for a Mom.....
Sending you thoughts and prayers for this to be an isolated one time event... xo
 

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My golden Finn has mild idiopathic epilepsy. I know how you feel. At first, I was panicked beyond belief. I insisted on everything from a lead level test to blaming puppyhood flagyl doses. However, I did get used to coping with it, and it is manageable. It is the adjustment/diagnosis period that is scary. Deep sleep can lower seizure threshold and then a huge blast of excitement can trigger a seizure. There are lots of reasons for seizures besides epilepsy, but if a littermate has them, then it makes sense. Finn has them in his line, way back. He does not take daily medication, but he has emergency Diastat( rectal valium). If you can get some valium from the vet, it can stop a seizure in its tracks. The problem is seizures can snowball, with each making the next more likely.
 

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Similar to the poster above, our first golden, Hannah, had two seizures in the course of her lifetime. Both were terrifying to watch but were the only two she ever had. She had one at 4.5 years and the next one at 7. We never put her on any meds and it never amounted to much for her. I know how worried we were though and can appreciate how upset you must be :(.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am hoping and praying it will just be the one as well but it's the not knowing that's worrying me :-( I have diazepam with me and Rosie at all times since yesterday so at least I will be prepared if she has a longer one.

A very stressful 24hrs, I feel exhausted!!!! :-(
 

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I have known many dogs thru the years that have a seizure or two and never have other ones. As everyone has mentioned, stress can factor into it... Usually epilepsy shows up in the 3-6 year age range. And of course, it is epilepsy when everything else gets ruled in or out. I have had client's dogs seizure when coming thru the front door at work or when they are on the exam table. A couple years ago, a client of mine, took her dog for a walk one day at 5 PM... He had a seizure(he was about eight or nine years old). The next day, she took him for a walk at 5 PM again, he had another seizure. My solution was to stop the 5 PM walks(just joking). In any case, he is eleven now, and hasn't had any more seizures.
 

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i just wanted to chime in and say that we wishing you and Rosie all the very best. I am glad to hear that she recovered quickly.

The unknown can be very overwhelming and stressful so our thoughts are with you.
 

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...A very stressful 24hrs, I feel exhausted!!!! :-(
This is something that is hard to explain to anyone who hasn't lived with a seizure dog, but all of us who have been through it understand. There is such a feeling of helplessness in watching a beloved dog in the throes of a grand mal seizure. I think that's one of the blessings of ocular compression, in that it gives us something to do that actually stops or at least shortens the seizure. But the sense of waiting for the next one... the listening for the sound of uncontrolled paddling and thrashing... that lasts long after the seizures are gone.

I hope that you are able to relax today and take some time for yourself. Life goes on despite the seizures. It has to.

Hugs and prayers,
Lucy
 

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sure hope the seizure was a one-off, Rosie is a beauty !!
Tom had his first seizure 2 days before his fourth birthday, and just like Rosie, he was fine one second and then bang. He went about another 2 weeks before the next one.
All I can suggest is look at her food / treats, environment etc etc
Tom is on meds, but has not had a fit now in just over 8 months since eliminating some his of treats he was getting, and changing his food ( natures menu from pets at home, and even Tom's vet stocks it ) to as natural as I can.
 

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I know how stressful it can be :( My first golden and heart dog, Trigger, had seizures... Never knew if it was epilepsy but I'm guessing not because they ween't necessarily frequent... I would notice he was having a seizure when he would be just laying there in a slightly odd position... Almost normal, but too tense, and his eyes would be wide open and terrified... I can't imagine how helpless he felt! So every time I noticed I would lay next to him, stroke his face and talk to him or sing to him... I never left his sight because I did not want to increase what was probably already immense anxiety... I always made sure to keep my energy in check because I did not want him to detect any stressors from me... The sooner I could get to him and lay with him, stroke him, sing to him the sooner it seemed he would recover from his seizure... I'm so sorry for your baby girl! It really is scary... I hope it's her one and only!
 

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Well, for me personally, Trigger came from poor breeding... Our next door neighbors were BYB (I was 9 when I got Trigger, so how was I to know) and he had many more problems in addition to the seizures... I believe it to be genetic, but I'll bet there are cases where it's a symptom of some sort of disease.....

Goldens, as a breed, are plagued by seizures :/ (due to so many BYB like my old neighbors)
 

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Each dog is a individual and so is their condition.

Seizures are difficult to control and can be caused by so many things depending on the individual eg unexplained epilepsy, hypothyroidism, brain tumours, etc.

A lack of magnesium and B vitamins may also be a factor in some dogs.

The triggers for seizures are also vast eg hot weather, mould, solar flares, phases of the moon, chemicals in food, cleaning chemicals, pork, etc.

Some dogs show signs that they are about to have a seizure. A game of ball and a few drops of rescue remedy may sometimes be enough to deflect the seizure.

As with all of us it is wise to choose an unprocessed diet low in grains/starch without additives and preservatives (especially in their treats.)

Ice applied to the middle of the back, honey, rescue remedy and occular compressions are all ways that we can try to reduce the length of the seizure.

After the seizure the calmer you are the calmer your dog will be. Rescue remedy is helpful as is researching calming techniques for after the seizure which may be just as helpful for you as the dog. Gently telling the dog (and yourself) that it will be over soon can be beneficial.




 

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Frontline Plus triggered Charlie's seizures, though it was by no means the primary cause. We had evidence that Charlie had a brain tumor or lesion of some kind that was almost certainly the underlying cause, but he was almost 12 when his seizures began. In a younger dog, I would suspect a different cause.

I don't believe that dogs know or understand that they are having seizures, but I think they know that they have lost control of their bodies in some way. Charlie learned to rest in safer places, especially after a fall from his beloved sofa. He also became leery of stairs after having focal seizures that made him fall backwards.

There is a seizures poll on the GRF and about 20-25% of respondents have or have had a dog that had seizures. I have no idea how representative that is the breed. Golden are prone to hypothyroidism, which is one of many causes of seizures, so that is probably a factor.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I come with some bad news :-( since last friday's seizure, Rosie had a really bad one on wednesday night, it didn't last long but it took me well over 2/3hrs to calm her down. Then again last night she had another, those this time she only took an hour to settle. Both in the middle of the night and I hear her doing an odd bark and then a bang when she has fallen over and fitting, this is horrendous to watch :-(

Although I am a vet I am not a specialist and I want the very best for her so we are off to the Royal Vet College in London on monday to investigate it. She will have a full neuro exam and bloods and most likely an MRI scan. I am highly suspicious of idiopathic epilepsy but I want every thing else ruled out. If she has any more before then I will have to start her on Phenobarb but trying to avoid it till monday as I don't want it to interfere with any blood tests. I spent most of yesterday in tears but trying to be practical today, we have to beat this or at least control it to a reasonable level because 3 seizures a week is unacceptable for my wee girl :-(

Any advice on how to calm them down after a seizure?? Now I know what the initial sign is (the strange bark) I should be able to make it down to her in time to sit with her +/or treat her with Diazepam. Afterwards she is very disorientated and a little aggressive, then her brain seems to kick back into action and she recognises me and goes HYPER!!! It is really hard work, wednesday night was a nightmare. Last night she was better, I took her for a walk round our village, sat on the kitchen floor with her trying to calm her down and offered her a drink of water. Any good tips??
 
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