Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Banjo, my 5 year old GR baby, has been having seizures about every 3 month for a year. Last week he had 3 in 24 hours and 3 days later 3 mini episodes and one major in 24 hours. Extremely scary! Our vet ran the full battery of tests to rule out low thyroid, low blood sugar and other issues returning normal tests on everything. She recommended phenobarbitol starting at a low dosage and mentioned we can go to a neuro specialist for an MRI or CT Scan. I agreed to the MRI to ensure we're not dealing with a tumor or something other than epilipsy. Has anyone else done this? What were the results and would you recommend it? I'm nervous to go straight to the drugs in the event the seizures are a symptom of a bigger problem.

Thanks for your help! I'd do literally anything (as I'm sure you all would too!) to keep my baby healthy and happy. He owns my heart. :--heart:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,576 Posts
yes, I recently reluctantly had Tom MRI scanned and spinal tapped after 2 years plus, his seizures changed from every 2 months ( clustering ) to 8 months seizure free then bam, they came back with a vengeance and now he is partial seizing too. I had to know what we were dealing with even though I knew in my own mind that after 2 years it couldn't be a tumour. So after a lot money been spent and a lot of stress we are no further forward, if Banjo has a tumour then ...... ??? and if he hasn't you're back to where you are now. Tom results were clear by the way. It's a very difficult decision but the actual procedure is no where near as scary as I thought it would be, at least you'll know one way or another but only you can decide. Whatever you decide you have my best wishes !!!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
16,473 Posts
I had a MRI done on my Liam about 2 years ago but it was for shoulder problems. They are a great test for detecting issues in the body but they can be quite pricey as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,498 Posts
I did not....
My Cuinn has seizures... when he was first diagnosed we did the same as you and the recommendation was the same... I decided not to do the MRI... it was expensive and if he had a brain tumour it would not change the treatment plan. Even if they had found a tumour I was not about to do brain surgery on a dog to remove it. Thus I opted to treat with phenobarb and other meds as necessary... and here we are TEN years later and guess what... he doesn't have a brain tumour and I saved myself several thousands of dollars.

just my two cents
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
I had an MRI done on Bruiser last August... and I personally had an MRI done last Friday.

Pros: 1) They are very good at detecting tumors or other foreign growths in the brain. If your dog (or human) has a tumor, it will very likely find it. 2) A good neurologist can evaluate them reasonably quickly so you'll get answers fast. 3) Generally they are low risk to pets. Make sure you tell them your pet has a micro-chip.

Cons: 1) It's very expensive. I live in the Bay Area and Bruiser's ran about $1600, and that was just for the MRI - not including neurology consults and exams. 2) They have to sedate your dog for it, so this may not work well for older dogs. The test takes 30-45 minutes, you have to lie perfectly still, and the machine makes A LOT of noise. 3) In order to work best, you'll want it done with contrast. Some people and possibly pets could be allergic to that... so make sure you ask first.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks SO much for the quick responses!

Great information, Everyone. I really appreciate it. I decided to take him in for a neuro consult and then I'll decide whether to move forward with the MRI. Seems like he's presenting similarly to what Dave Beech describes with his boy, Tom. So, we'll see and keep fingers crossed. :)

Thanks again and best of luck to you!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,576 Posts
Tom started on pheno a few weeks after his first fit, then over the next 2 years the dose was increased and libromide added, we made changes to his diet/treats and then suddenly no more fits and thought we'd cracked it, then Feb he started again and has not really stopped, he is now taking keppra in addition to current meds to try and stop the cycle of these partial fits. If like me when you visit the neurologist they will suggest MRI scan ( they must make a fortune out of it ) and the spinal tap. Keep us posted !!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
173 Posts
Hello, good luck with Banjo, I really hope they get him under control for you. Cluster seizures are terrifying for all those involved.

I had an MRI done on my Rosie as I had to know that I ruled out all possible causes of the seizures. I can perfectly accept and understand that a lot of people either do not want to put their dog through it, cannot justify the expense, especially given the treatment won't really ulter if a tumour is discovered for most cases anyway. However, for me personally, my life is dedicated to finding out why animals are ill or get poorly so I HAD to be sure for my gorgeous girl. I needed to prepare myself for whatever we found. For dogs, it involves a general anaesthetic in order for them to lie absolutely still. A neurologist will often offer a spinal fluid tap and analysis as well for completion whilst your dog is under GA, in order to confirm there is no infectious cause of the seizures. However in the case of yours it is unlikely given the length of time he has had the seizures. An MRI is very expensive (here in the UK it is £1200-£1500) but it is a highly specialised machine, costing tons of money to buy and keep serviced and involves a great deal of expertise to fully analyse and hence the high cost. In the majority of clients I see, I offer it as an option but most choose not to take it. It is a very personal decision and it is A LOT of money. Thankfully it is a very uninvasive procedure and most dogs recover and cope with a GA very well so if you have the money or the dog is insured it will hopefully put your mind at rest, like it did mine. And remember, we cannot guarantee we are dealing with Idiopathic Epilepsy before ruling out all possible causes of the seizures, we can only assume.

As for the Phenobarbitone, I can totally understand your reservations. I was terrified of shorting Rosie's life with the long term side effects but I decided I'd rather have her for a shorter time, mostly seizure free (I hope!). The initial side effects (ataxia, lethargy, drinking a lot) subside very quickly. I would also note, I was recommended to start at a higher dose than the dosage on the bottle. This also worried me, so I spoke to numerous neurologists who agreed - apparently, a higher initial dose is more likely to be therapeutic (makes sense) and should control the seizures much better initially. Also, every time Phenobarbitone dose is increased - the initial side effects will appear again. So the quicker they are under control the better.

I hope this is of some help to you, and all the very best for Banjo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I have a 14 year old GR. We did CT scan because he cannot get up and walk on his own. He was given an anti biotic for 2000mg a day and he walked again for 11/2 month. Now he is walking with the help of sling. The neurologist suggested an MRI to find out what is wrong with his lower spine. I am concern about the anesthicia please enlighten.

If they will also include the head to see what's going on with brain and ear...that's additional anesthicia..... We already did blood work panel and the neurologist said that's he is okay...
To add the head that additional 3 hours of sleep...please enlighten
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
224 Posts
I did an MRI on our female who was seizing. It was a brain tumor. We used cyberknife to treat it. Unfortunately we lost her in November. Thank goodness we had pet insurance.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,788 Posts
I have a 14 year old GR. We did CT scan because he cannot get up and walk on his own. He was given an anti biotic for 2000mg a day and he walked again for 11/2 month. Now he is walking with the help of sling. The neurologist suggested an MRI to find out what is wrong with his lower spine. I am concern about the anesthicia please enlighten.

If they will also include the head to see what's going on with brain and ear...that's additional anesthicia..... We already did blood work panel and the neurologist said that's he is okay...
To add the head that additional 3 hours of sleep...please enlighten
Welcome to the Forum! I encourage you to start a new thread of your own so that everyone can see your questions and respond, rather than thinking you are replying to this thread.

My Joker just turned 14. In April, he had surgery to remove bladder stones and a mass in his abdomen. I don't know how long he was under anesthesia, but the surgery was not brief. We have seen no ill effects from his being under. My understanding is that the drugs used now for anesthesia are much gentler and risky than those used a few years ago.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Not sure if this will help but here it is anyway.

My opinion is to Confirm that your companion has a Medical condition that is causing the seizures. Montana (my dog) Started having grand mal seizures when she was about 3years old. The vet diagnosed her with Epilepsy after a brief exam.

We moved, our new house dose not have a pool. NO MORE SEIZURES!. Its ben 4+ yaers now.

Good luck
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top