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Our 6yr old GR Callie had grand mal seizure in the middle of the night. She lost control of her bladder and growled and bit out at us. Lasted about 1/2 hour before she totally came out of it. We took her to the vet first thing in the morning and got her checked out. Vet did a complete blood work up on her and it came back normal.

She was fine for the next 2 days then she had 3 grand mal seizures over the course of 12 hours. The vet put her on Pheno and it stopped the seizing completely. She has been on the pheno 3 weeks now but within the past week we noticed she paces constantly and cannot keep her balance when she stands or sits. We took her back into our vet and he said it sounded like petit mal seizures and prescribed potassium bromide on top of the pheno.

In reading on the internet possible side effects of both medications I have seen ataxia on both, which can cause the symptoms of what the vet thought was petit mal seizures.

Has anyone ever experienced this? Any help would be greatly appreciated we are truly worried about our Callie!!!
 

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I'm sorry that I can't offer any advice. I just wanted to welcome you to the forum and say that I'm glad you found us. Many here have dealt with seizures so I know more will chime in with their experience and success stories.

Sending (((((((hugs))))) and prayers for Callie and your family. I know how distressing this must be.
 

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So sorry that your beloved pupper is going through this. I know nothing about seizures but I do know that there have been a lot of posts on seizures and we have owners who will chime in on their dogs and their dealings with seizures. If you use the search function you will be able to see past posts on seizures and what owners have and are doing to help their beloved pet. You and your puppy will be in my thoughts and prayers.
beth, moose and angel

p.s. welcome to the forum, wish it could have been on a happier note
beth
 

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Welcome to the forum. May I suggest you keep a journal of all the things that are going on and when. If the ataxia is medicine related the dog may just need more adjustment (amount of time on the meds) if there isn't any change over a two week period then I would again discuss this with the vet as the vet may lower the dossage of the pheno. I haven't dealt with this since 1989 and so many things could be different now but there are some on the board that have had a more recent exposure to seizures.

When I was dealing with this issue I never noticed the meds being the problem but my dog did have problems for a few hours after a seizure. He would lose his balance and had loss of strength in his back legs.
 

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Welcome to the Forum! I also offer you a sad welcome to the GRF seizure community. Sadly, there are a number of us who have dealt with this condition. I hope others will weigh in soon.

My own experience with canine seizures is described in this thread, where I recorded the information I found during extensive research: http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...ard/85243-seizures-starting-12-years-old.html. Sadly, my Charlie's seizures were probably caused by a brain tumor and we lost him last July.

One of the most valuable resources for learning about canine seizures is here: Canine Epilepsy and Dog Seizures Table of Contents - Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels. This site is also good: Canine Epilepsy Network. So is this one: Links.

When Callie has a grand mal seizure, she is not in control of her actions. The growling and snapping are part of the condition, not misbehavior or aggression. Losing control of her bladder and bowels is also typical of a grand mal seizure. Since she has already had a cluster of seizures and the situation seems to be evolving rapidly, there may be an underlying brain condition that needs treatment. Your veterinarian should be able to refer you to a veterinary neurologist, who can assess Callie's physical condition and prescribe newer meds if they are needed.

Pheno usually causes ataxia soon after a dog begins taking it and the problem usually lessens as the dog's body adjusts to the medication. It takes a few weeks for potassium bromide to reach therapeutic levels. Once it does, it is common to gradually reduce the Pheno, which may help with ataxia. Note that hypothyroidism can cause seizures in dogs and the thyroid meds interact with Pheno, causing the dog to need increased thyroxine.

A technique called "ocular compression" can help you quickly stop Callie's grand mal seizures when they occur. The technique is described here: Controlling Seizures in Dogs with Ocular Compression - VetInfo.

During a grand mal seizure, Callie burns a tremendous amount of energy. To get her blood sugar up quickly, immediately after a seizure give her a couple of tablespoons of Hagen Daz vanilla ice cream. The brand is important because it contains no additives that are harmful to dogs, which is not true of other brands. After the ice cream, Callie needs a full meal of her normal food. It is normal for her to want a lot of water, to pace a lot, and to be disoriented for up to a couple of hours.

Clusters of seizures cause swelling in the brain and it is important to stop them. That may require giving her liquid valium rectally. That's something a veterinary neurologist can teach you to do. She may also need prednisone to reduce the swelling and prevent brain damage. We raced Charlie to a veterinary emergency clinic whenever he had three or more seizures in one 24 hour period. For his last cluster, they had him intravenous valium and Pheno for more than 24 hours before the seizures stopped.

Keeping a seizure journal is important. It will help you identify triggers that cause seizures, as Frontline Plus did for Charlie. It will also be useful to your veterinarian in determining when medications need to change. Note that our veterinary neurologist considered seizures to be "under control" if a dog only has one per month.

Please keep us posted and ask all the questions you need to. You're at the beginning of a learning curve and it takes time to absorb all that you need to know.
 

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I have remembered a few more important things that you need to know in handling Callie's seizures.

First, she probably has some seizures when you are not around. This used to be our biggest fear about Charlie. When she will be alone, it is important to leave Callie in a place where it is relatively safe for her to have a seizure. That means keeping her off of stairs, which she could fall down during a seizure. She shouldn't be anywhere that there is a pool of water, since a seizing dog could easily drown. It also means keeping her away from tables that have anything on top that might fall on her if she bumps the table during a seizure. We removed some furniture from our family room to make it safer for Charlie. We also installed gates across doorways and at the head and foot of the stairs. If you need pointers to some, let me know.

Other animals - even trusted family pets who seem loving to the seizure dog - sometimes attack a dog that has a seizure. This is an instinctive response based in fear. If it hasn't happened in the past, that doesn't mean it won't happen in the future. If you have other dogs, Callie needs to be away from them when no humans will be around.

Please try to be gentle with yourself, as well as with Callie. It is normal to feel overwhelmed by the demands of caring for a seizure dog. It is exhausting to wake up in the middle of the night because you hear the paddling of a seizure and race to her side to care for her or rush her to the emergency clinic. Seizure control is a rollercoaster ride of adjusting meds, waiting for the dog's body to adjust to the dosage so that ataxia lessens, and then waiting for the effectiveness of the dosage to wane so you start again.

Finally, remember that you have to go on with the rest of your life, despite Callie's seizures. This condition can take over your life and you mustn't let it. Callie wouldn't want that and you can't sustain it for the many years that we hope you have left with Callie. I look back at our last six months with Charlie and realize that our lives were ruled by his medication schedule, which was utterly inflexible. Our social lives were restricted and our participation in many pleasures was reduced because we didn't want to leave our boy alone more than we had to. Given his age (almost 12) when his seizures began, we knew our time with Charlie was limited. Callie is much younger and in some ways that makes the situation even harder to handle.

Remember to breathe...deep, slow breaths to calm yourself.

Holding Callie and you in my thoughts and prayers,
Lucy
 

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Tailer started having seizures, at 4.5...2/1/10. Now 6, he's had 26! Usually they come in threes. The Oculas Compression 5 seconds on, 5 seconds off has done wonders on Tailer...cuts the seizures down from 10 minutes plus 20 minutes of after seizure activities, down to <3 minutes!

Tailer is on seizure and thyroid meds .6mg of Soloxine 2x/day, 130mg of
Pheno 2x/day. When he first started the pheno, he "Walked like a Little Drunk'en Sailor Boy" that I had been told about. I would spot him on the stairs, as I wasn't sure he could make it...this lasted about 2 weeks. He could still run...chase those tennis balls, just couldn't walk well.

Keep a journal. When the seizure starts, how long, what she ate that day, phase of the moon, activity and stress level in her life, new cleaners, coloring in her food or treats, when flea meds or shots were given, etc.

Good Luck, we can get our puppet through this. I have an ongoing thread about Tailer's episodes. http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...tandard/72511-2-seizures-today-what-next.html
 
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Thank you for all the replies. She is now at the emergency animal hospital for she was unresponsive from last night til this morning. We could not get her to stand up or open her eyes. Fortunately she responded to the emergency personnel and her vitals are good. The doctor said her pupils were dilated and they did not respond to light so they decided to keep her to monitor her. Hopefully she will be home tomorrow. Keeping fingers crossed.

She hasn't had any grand mal since being on the pheno so that is a good thing. I don't know if her wobbliness and lethargy are due to the KBR or the pheno but we are keeping a log of all activity. I will keep everyone updated as to her progress and thanks for all the well wishes!!!
 

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The advice is clearly covered so I'm here to offer my support... It's such a scary thing to deal with but your fur baby loves you for helping! My soul mate (childhood golden) Trigger had seizures and I would just do my best to keep my energy in check and sit or lay with him because he always looked absolutely terrified... I would never leave his sight in the effort to alleviate his anxiety during an obviously terrifying experience... When he came out of it he would sit with me in desperate need of comforting... I am sending positive vibes to your and your pup! I hope I hope I hope this works out for you and I'll be checking in to see updates <3
 

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Hi-

My dog also has seizures and they're now "under control" which means a seizure every few months. Not fun at all, but I've found that it gives me just enough time between them that I'm pretty okay with him having occasional seizures. I'd rather he didn't of course and I constantly worry when i've left him and come home, but in the end, he's still himself most days and we're still able to lead our lives as well.

The neurologist has been a great help and support to us. This summer, when he started having seizures, we were at a loss, I never left his side (made all of us pretty difficult to live with) and I constantly worried about him. He started first on Zonisamide and we kept increasing the dose, but the seizures only got shorter, not less frequent. Then we added in phenobarbital in a small dose and upped it a bit with each seizure in order to get to the lowest possible dose to keep the seizures under control (he's less than 2 years old so want him to have a sustainable dose that won't damage any organs too quickly) Now, because he has tended to have clusters of three seizures, we also give rectal valium which basically knocks him out for 24 hours to stop the cluster. Not fun, but it works.

When he was adjusting to the meds, he had a lot of trouble walking-I ended up sleeping on the couch when my husband traveled because he would fall down the stairs and I couldn't help him. So, Lucy recommended a harness which helps a lot for old dogs (i can't remember the name) and it helped me to at least be able to get him around. Even now, post seizure he struggles with walking for a day or two although it's not nearly at the same level as before.

Mostly, he's still Leo and I don't think I thought we'd get to this point this summer. We had every test imaginable done to rule out tumors and all other types of things that might be causing his seizures. It was crazy crazy expensive, but for me, I needed to know. Now, he's just a dog with epilepsy and the only change in our lives is that he goes to doggie day care while I am at work instead of just having a dog walker come in. He's happier and loves doggie day care, so even though I could now leave him without worrying quite as much, I don't because he loves playing there and gets lots of exercise.

Please feel free to ask any questions you'd like. I'm sure I'm forgetting things. We're in the Boston area, so I'm really lucky to have access to great vets and the neurologist. Hope you have the same luck with Callie. Please know that it does get easier.

Ellie
 

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...When he was adjusting to the meds, he had a lot of trouble walking-I ended up sleeping on the couch when my husband traveled because he would fall down the stairs and I couldn't help him. So, Lucy recommended a harness which helps a lot for old dogs (i can't remember the name) and it helped me to at least be able to get him around. Even now, post seizure he struggles with walking for a day or two although it's not nearly at the same level as before...
That's a HelpEmUp harness: Help 'Em Up Harness with Hip Lift | Dog Harness, Hip Dysplasia, Dog Carrier.

Ellie, I'm glad that Leo is doing well.

Another new member has just posted here about six-year-old Jake, who also recently began having seizures:http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...breed-standard/90840-zonisamide-seizures.html. That makes at least three in the last month alone. :(

It's good that we have a community of people who believe in mutual support.
 

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Sorry to see Callie is in the hospital, but that sounds like the best place for her till she is stable. She's so young...fingers crossed for all of you. Keep us posted on her progress.
 

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PELoughlin, was the rectal valium very expensive? We have had problems prescribing it because it was prohibitively expensive. And as a sometime breeder, did you let the breeder know? That is something I would want to know. You sound like a terrific owner, keep up the good care.
 

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Our 6yr old GR Callie had grand mal seizure in the middle of the night. She lost control of her bladder and growled and bit out at us. Lasted about 1/2 hour before she totally came out of it. We took her to the vet first thing in the morning and got her checked out. Vet did a complete blood work up on her and it came back normal.

She was fine for the next 2 days then she had 3 grand mal seizures over the course of 12 hours. The vet put her on Pheno and it stopped the seizing completely. She has been on the pheno 3 weeks now but within the past week we noticed she paces constantly and cannot keep her balance when she stands or sits. We took her back into our vet and he said it sounded like petit mal seizures and prescribed potassium bromide on top of the pheno.

In reading on the internet possible side effects of both medications I have seen ataxia on both, which can cause the symptoms of what the vet thought was petit mal seizures.

Has anyone ever experienced this? Any help would be greatly appreciated we are truly worried about our Callie!!!
Hope you and Callie are doing ok - thinking about you as we are going through a similar situation with our 6 1/2 yr old Jake-starting early December. He had bad side effects from zonisamide so we took him off.

Good luck and please keep posting your updates - thinking of you....
 

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It is with a heavy heart and lots of tears that we had Callie put to sleep last night. The MRI showed what the doctor said was a substantial tumor in the front lobe of her brain. Radiation was an option but she said that it would only prolong her life by 6 months if it helped at all.



Thank you for all the advice and support.

In loving memory of Callie
 

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Bumping

Bumping up this VERY SAD NEWS about Callie.
 
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Im so sorry for your loss....
 
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