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Starting a new thread in hopes for more help and insight after reading similar stories in this forum. Thanks in advance for your support (thanks GoldensGirl)...

Our 6 1/2 year old Jake had his first seizure Dec 6th at 3:30 am, starting with tremors/flopping and then violent shaking, choking sounds plus urination and release from his anal glands (grand mal?) lasting about 3-4 minutes. The post-ictal stage lasted about 4-5 minutes where we thought we lost him - stiff body, eyes rolled back, slow (almost stopped) breathing. I took him to the vet the next day for all of the blood and urine tests-which came back normal. Unfortunately he experienced another seizure Dec. 23rd - same deal. Our vet put him on just Zonisamide (400 mg, 2x/day) which we started immediately. Although it has only been 8 days, there have been no seizures, but he is acting very different: sleepy, depressed, lack of appetite and very clingy (more than usual). I am not sure if that is from the meds or the seizures.
My husband and I are considering an MRI to rule out any tumors ($1500-1800) but didn't feel the push to do so with our vet. He is not/has not been on Frontline or other flea/tick medicine. I spoke to my breeder who has never had any offspring with seizures (7 maternal bloodlines and 3 paternal bloodlines). We are trying to rule out any exposure to toxins or chemicals but to no avail. It seems like they came on so suddenly and wish we could fiigure out why. :confused:
I am so overwhelmed but am grateful to have a forum to read, since this is the first experience ever for me and my family to have a dog with seizures. Any insight is warmly appreciated.
 

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When were his last vaccines?
 

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Am I crazy or has part of this thread vanished? I'd swear that you had posted here about plans to take Jake to a neurologist and that you had responses from several other GRF members. Now those are gone!?


Later....Figured it out. The other information is in your New Member Intro thread that also has details about Jake. Whew. Thought I was losing my marbles. :D
 

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Thanks for checking up on me - I have 2 threads going plus my conversations on this one with you. I tried to PM you but I am too new - need 15 posts to PM!
We feel your hugs and prayers - he has been in the kitchen with me while I am cooking dinner which is likely a sign he is getting his appetite back :)
 

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Thanks for checking up on me - I have 2 threads going plus my conversations on this one with you. I tried to PM you but I am too new - need 15 posts to PM!
We feel your hugs and prayers - he has been in the kitchen with me while I am cooking dinner which is likely a sign he is getting his appetite back :)
The way around the 15-post requirement is just to do a series of short posts in rapid succession. Trust me that you're not the first to get that advice. ;)

Having multiple threads is good for you. You get a lot of different people to "talk" with.

More hugs and prayers coming... By the way, start a "Prayers for Jake" thread when you need them. And/or add Jake to the GRF Prayer List. A lot people here know the power of being in the thoughts/prayers of others and the GRF community manages to have a lot of miracles.

Lucy
 

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Does he take heartguard? If he does you may consider switching him to Interceptor. Also I would start keeping a journal. Put in it what time you feed him, what meds you give him and the time. Cleaning stuff you use and the day you use them. Also anything you might use outside. You may start to see a pattern. I did that with my Beau and saw that within 48 hours of giving him his heartguard he would always have a seizure. So I did some research and found that heartguard can set off a seizure in dogs that have them. It is the ivermectin in it that set off his seizures. So I switched to Interceptor that doesnt have ivermecton in it and that stopped that seizure once a month. He still got a couple but not as many as he did before.

The change in his personality is probably from him starting the meds and should level out in his system within the next couple of days. My Beau wasnt on that but phenobarbital and was like that every time we had to change his meds. But would level out and be back to his good old self afterwards.

I never got a MRI for him because my vet told me that most of the time they never can find a cause for the seizures and it is a big expense. Now if he had some other sypmtoms (sp) it would be different.

I would get a full thyroid panel have it sent to Jean Dodds and also after each seizure give him a couple of teaspoons of haigen daz vanilla ice cream. That will help to get his blood sugar up because the seizure really causes their blood sugar to drop. Also you can put a cool compress on his head during the seizure. His brainwaves are really going haywire during a seizure and that helps. That sounds worse than I mean but I think you may know what I mean.

The biggest thing I will tell you is to keep calm and talk to him. Put a towel under him while he is having the seizure to help with the urine. He doesnt know he is having the seizure and it isnt hurting him. I talked to Beau in a calm voice telling him it would be ok and it seemed to help settle him down. It helped me too.

Good luck. There are alot of us that have been thru this and can help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for the information.
Jake is not on any flea/tick medicine, but I have considered cleaning supplies as being an issue. He does drink from the toilet occassionally, so that crossed my mind.
I bought my Haagen Daaz vanilla ice cream today!
My vet did all of the blood work after his first seizure and I am fairly certain it included a thyroid check. We are looking forward to seeing what the neuro vet has to say tomorrow after reviewing everything.
He is slowly getting back to normal since taking him off the Zonicamide - plus my vet thought it would be best for Jake to be med free for his evaluation. More to follow tomorrow...
This is all such good info - thank you!
 

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So he doesnt take any meds for heartworms?
 

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No, he has never had to take any meds (until now). He has occassionally taken an antibiotic and once he was put on prednisone, but he doesn't respond well.
 

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So he doesnt take any meds for heartworms?
Heartworm is not an issue in that part of the country. I used to live there and they had never seen a case in my county. That may change in time, but not yet.
 

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Chrisriva, I can't offer any more advice but I can offer support. Seizures are so scary and the not knowing why can drive you crazy trying to figure it out. Also, the not knowing when or even if another one is coming on. Our almost 13 year old Casey started having them along with some other things. You came to a wonderful group even though, like me, it was searching for seizure help. Hugs to you.
 

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Great news today

First, thank you so much for the advice, prayers and concern for our Jake. Thank you GoldensGirl for guiding me along. I am so grateful I found GRF! I only wish I had this group when our first Golden was diagnosed at age 5 with the autoimmune disease pemphagus. He passed away 3 years later from cancer and complications from the pemphagus. Probably explains my panic about Jake's condition.

After our consult with the neuro vet yesterday, Jake had an MRI and spinal tap done today. In a nutshell, everything (including bloodwork, heart x-ray, thyroid, etc.) is normal (we get the spinal tap results tomorrow to rule out encephilitis, but he is fairly certain it's negative). The official diagnosis is late onset of primary epilespy. Apparently Jake is a little on the older side to develop this condition but it is possible. Other differentials would include occult or cryptic epilepsy, which would result in symptoms surfacing in the next few months. We are hoping that doesn't happen!

Jake is back on Zonisamide, however we lowered the dosage. He will continue taking it until he (hopefully) has that healthy balance between seizure control and the medicine's side effects. If not, we will keep trying new meds. They did give me 4 vials of the liquid valium to administer at the onset of his next seizure. Thank you so much for that recommendation!!

He is home now, still groggy from the anesthesia. I know we aren't totally out of the woods yet, but it so nice to have our sweet boy here and a support group that understands how we can possibly love our beautiful Goldens so much.

Wishing everyone wet noses and kisses :)
 

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Glad to see you got some good news on Jake. I hope spinal tap results come back fine as well. I also had a golden who had seizures. She started prior to 6mo old. I saw a neuro and we put her on Potasium Bromide. I was afraid of long term side effects of other meds since she was so young. Frontline triggered seizures later in life for her. I hope you are able to get everything under control for Jake. I am sure you have started a seizure journal...very helpful. Thoughts and prayers are with Jake and you!!!
 

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First, thank you so much for the advice, prayers and concern for our Jake. Thank you GoldensGirl for guiding me along. I am so grateful I found GRF! I only wish I had this group when our first Golden was diagnosed at age 5 with the autoimmune disease pemphagus. He passed away 3 years later from cancer and complications from the pemphagus. Probably explains my panic about Jake's condition.
You are most welcome. I am "paying forward" the kindness and guidance received from many others here. I like to think this is what "community" is about.

After our consult with the neuro vet yesterday, Jake had an MRI and spinal tap done today. In a nutshell, everything (including bloodwork, heart x-ray, thyroid, etc.) is normal (we get the spinal tap results tomorrow to rule out encephilitis, but he is fairly certain it's negative). The official diagnosis is late onset of primary epilespy. Apparently Jake is a little on the older side to develop this condition but it is possible. Other differentials would include occult or cryptic epilepsy, which would result in symptoms surfacing in the next few months. We are hoping that doesn't happen!
I am so happy for you that the more dire conditions have been ruled out. Primary epilepsy is not an easy condition to live with, but you can live with it. Jake can live with it.

Jake is back on Zonisamide, however we lowered the dosage. He will continue taking it until he (hopefully) has that healthy balance between seizure control and the medicine's side effects. If not, we will keep trying new meds. They did give me 4 vials of the liquid valium to administer at the onset of his next seizure. Thank you so much for that recommendation!!
This is a familiar balancing act. It takes time and patience. Since "seizure control" still means as much as one grand mal seizure per month, you need to make sure that he is in a safe environment when you can't be with him. That means a place where he is not likely to suffer injury because he is having a seizure - no access to stairs that he might fall down, preferably no furniture to climb on since he might fall off, no heavy or sharp objects likely to fall on him if he bumps a table leg, no access to swimming pools or other water deep enough to drown in, etc.

For Charlie, we put up gates in several places in the house to keep him in safer spaces, and we removed some furniture to give him more room.

He is home now, still groggy from the anesthesia. I know we aren't totally out of the woods yet, but it so nice to have our sweet boy here and a support group that understands how we can possibly love our beautiful Goldens so much.

Wishing everyone wet noses and kisses :)
I hope you will be sharing stories about Jake for a very long time to come! Please do keep us posted. We care.
 

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Thanks for the Jake Up-Date! We're 15 days since Tailer last seizure...I just jumped because Tailer moved...

Relax, Breathe, Live...
 
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Dog food recommendations and seizures?

Since we are breathing better I am re-evaluating everything Jake is/has been exposed to.
Can anyone recommend a certain dog food that might be good for Jake? I know there are likely several opinions and there is nothing that can prevent his seizures - but are there any I should stay away from and/or any that those of you with "seizure experience" recommend?
High protein, low protein? Bad brands, good brands with good nutritional content? I would prefer to not get just the prescription brands (where I can only get from my vet).
He currently eats Avoderm (dry) and 1 can of chicken/rice Pedigree (wet) daily.

Thank you in advance!
 

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Since we are breathing better I am re-evaluating everything Jake is/has been exposed to.
Can anyone recommend a certain dog food that might be good for Jake? I know there are likely several opinions and there is nothing that can prevent his seizures - but are there any I should stay away from and/or any that those of you with "seizure experience" recommend?
High protein, low protein? Bad brands, good brands with good nutritional content? I would prefer to not get just the prescription brands (where I can only get from my vet).
He currently eats Avoderm (dry) and 1 can of chicken/rice Pedigree (wet) daily.

Thank you in advance!
Cris, some dogs have seizures that are triggered by food allergies. The seizures-causing allergens that I have read about include corn gluten and lamb protein. Unfortunately corn is a common ingredient in dog foods.

When we decided to move Charlie to a grain free diet, we opted for the Taste of the Wild (TOTW) Pacific Stream formula. There are several threads about TOTW and people's opinions about it. For us, the decision came down to a balance between good quality and affordability. Since Charlie died last summer, we have kept Joker and Sunny on the TOTW and they are both doing well on it. Some GRF members strongly recommend a raw diet, but we haven't been able to cope with that.

I hope some other people with expertise in this area will chime in.

Hugs and prayers,
Lucy
 

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Tailer is allergic to corn and corn by-products...I did a food sensitivity test through Hemopet. We had been having a horrible time with Hot Spots...got rid of the corn and the Hot Spots are gone too...so simple. Our Vet said it wasn't an allergy...he was wrong!

The food that was causing most of Tailer's problem was prescription t/d from the Vets!

Tailer has always eaten Wellness Super Mix Chicken. I am splitting half n half with Innova
Large Bites. I drizzle about 1/8th teaspoon of olive oil & vinegar and herb garlic mix on each meal. Helps with fleas & ticks too.

One other dog here had problems with dye's in treats...his human got rid of those treats and his seizures are under control. Keep track of every thing! Simple things may be big deals!

I am not an expert at any of this...it's just what we are doing that seams to be working! Good Luck!
 
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Tom started his fits about 2 n half years ago ( 2 days before his 4th birthday ) and straight out of the blue.
to cut a long story story short I had been giving Tom raw-hide treats, and had been since I got him ( 2 per day ) and at some point in time the treats change to a multi-colour pack and at the last time he had his fits I read somewhere that the dye used could be harmful, so I binned them along with all the other sorts of treats he was getting. At the same time his phenobarb was increased by 30mg per day, I also reduced his exercise as I had read that in labradors the fits can be started by exercise. Tom has now gone over 7 months now without having a fit where he was getting them every 2 months.
We do not know as yet what is working for him but can only suggest, look at the food he is eating, environment ( carpet shampoo, air freshener ............ )

Tom is now on origen fish dry food, I also mix in some tinned food from natures menu, his treats are now natures menu, and he only drinks filtered water ( when at home any way )

I also log every thing on an excel spread sheet 12 monthly calendar, I find this good as I can colour code everything and insert comments on dates in question

hope this helps, probably won't but who knows
 
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