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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there :) I've been a lurker for quite some time, but never got around to making a thread about my boy, Rocky. I took him in from a family last March who thought they couldn't give him all the attention he deserved because they had three young kids and really didn't know much about dogs. They just saw a cute little puppy at PetLand and didn't realize he'd soon become a big rambunctious fluff of gold :p: I took him in because once I met him I just fell in love, and knew I had to take him, despite the fact he was from PetLand and could have many health problems. Of course, I asked the parents as many questions as they'd answer, but they really didn't seem to know a lot about him :no:

He wasn't neutered when he came to me, and according to them, he didn't have any health problems. After living with me for a month or so, he started to have seizures. It turned out that the vet I took him to just happened to be the same vet the last family took him to, and apparently he had been there for a seizure before, but they never put him on medication. Right now he's on 45 mg of phenobarbital twice a day, and although his seizures are less in frequency, they still last about 5-6 minutes. He bounces back from them after 5 minutes and he's completely fine (out of 20 or so seizures, he's only vomited and defecated once). The reason I'm giving you all his life story is because he's getting neutered this Wednesday and I've heard such horror stories about seizure dogs going under anesthesia. I've switched vets because I wasn't comfortable with the old one and I think the veterinarian I work with at the hospital would be a good fit. She looked over his medical history and said he's an okay candidate for surgery, so we're meeting with her Wednesday morning and I'll be with him through the whole process; the pre-med, going under anesthesia, the surgery, and recovery. He's super anxious just going in the car or going to PetSmart, so I hope my presence will help keep him calm so he doesn't seize before the surgery.

I have a few questions about what to expect after the neuter. I've heard it could stop the seizures, calm him down, stop him from humping people when he's super excited, etc. I'm hoping once he's neutered he'll be able to calm down a bit and focus more, so he can begin to socialize with other dogs (the old family didn't know how important socialization is) and begin traning again. The last trainer I took him to said he was a hopeless case and he'll never learn if he's always so stressed out. She told me to try bringing him back after the neuter. The poor guy is hyped up all the time, even with the phenobarbital and 2 long walks and lots of play with my other dog. I don't want his personality to change, but I wouldn't mind if he calmed down a tad ;)

Any advice or stories about your dogs in this situation are appreciated.

 

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I had a dog Beau that had seizures. His started happening to him when he was 11 so I didnt go thru it with neutering him. If you feel comfortable with this new vet and you will be with him, that should help with the anxiety. The neuter may help to calm him some and stop the humping but it would take a couple of months for the testosterone to leave his system.

Truly I dont believe any dog is hopeless on the training, but if his anxiety is so bad then maybe the vet could suggest some anti-anxiety meds that will work with the pheno. Until then maybe you can do baby steps on taking him places and being around people and dogs to help socialize him. Take along some of his favorite treats.

I dont know if anyone has given you this website but it was a lifesaver to me with Beau.
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/CanineEpil.htm
 

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Just wanted to wish you and Rocky good luck on his neuter surgery, don't know much about seizures, but I'm sure he can learn a few things, no dog is a hopeless case. Good luck to you and Rocky!
 

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I knew Carol would be able to have suggestions, as her Beau had seizures. I am sorry I can't offer anything more about them in Golden's. Rocky is a very handsome guy, and looks like such a love! His smile is so cute! My little Doxie had three or four seizures, and then they stopped, as suddenly as they started. Just when the Vet made the decision to put her on meds, she stopped having them, and never took medication. I hope all goes well with his nuetering, I am sure it will. Much less involved, than a spay for a female. I am sure he will do well with his surgery.
Good luck with Rocky's training, I as well, think any dog can be trained, some are just more difficult than others. ;) My two year old can be a handful at times. He just gets so excited, and is not nuetered either. He was in classes when he was just a puppy, and did well. Right now, he is still such a "kid" sometimes! LOL
 

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I have a seizure dog too and she has been under 3 times without any problem. Actually she was spayed after she started having seizures, (before I got her)and she had no problems then either. I would definately have his thyroid checked using a 6 panel test. Low thyroid can cause seizures. I am now seeing many dogs through my rescue under a year old with thyroid problems.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the feedback, everyone. Rocky had a seizure Monday and his vet isn't sure if she wants to do the neuter tomorrow without additional testing. Like I said, this is a new vet, so she may want to do more blood tests, exams, etc. If she does additional blood work, what specific tests should I ask her to run? I would like everything to be very thorough, because he is a very anxious dog and I wouldn't be too surprised if he does have a thyroid problem.
 

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I would have a full thyroid panel done and she can have it sent to Dr Jean Dodds. She is a leading authority on thyroid especially in goldens. This site has all the info that she needs to send it.
http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/HEMOPET.HTM

If she doesnt want to send it off (some vets dont) then make sure a full panel is done. If it comes back low normal that is low for a golden and he needs to be put on meds. Maybe you can wait on the neutering until the bloodwork comes back and you know for sure whether he is low.
 

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From my understanding and I could be wrong... it is not the anesthesia that causes a problem for dogs with seizures, it is the ACE many Vets give before anesthesia. I too have an epileptic dog so I understand your concerns. Just be sure to let all of the staff know that your dog is epileptic when you drop him off for the neuter, they need to be watched more closely.

As for the rest of it... only time will tell LOL. I have not noticed altering calming down any of my dogs.
 

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Thanks for the response, guys. She did a full thyroid work up and said he's in the low-normal range. From what I read on here, a golden in the low-normal range still needs to be treated. But the thing is, he has none of the signs of hypothyroidism. This dog is wired 24/7, eats fine, isn't lethargic, etc. She said we could send the test results to MSU if I'm still unsure. For now, she has Rocky on some Chinese herbal pills to see if that calms him down and stops the seizures, and if it doesn't work, she's going to up his pheno.

I'm not quite sure how to read these results, as they are two pages long, but here's what it says under the T3, T3 and Free T4.

T3 (RIA)
Absolute: 79
Reference Range: 45-150
Units: ng/dL

T4
Absolute: 1.1
Reference Range: 1.0-4.0
Units: ug/dL

Free T4 (RIA)
Absolute: 0.69
Reference Range: 0.45-2.06
Units: ng/dL

What do you guys think? There's another page full of more information I can post if needed. The herbal pills seemed to work at first, but he has had one seizure in the past two weeks. She also told me to feel him "cooling foods" because he's a "hot dog" so I've been feeding him green beans, but now he's decided he doesn't like them :doh:
 

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Just found this. I hope he came through the surgery ok. I had a boy with seizures. He was on a mid-level dosage of Pheno and did very well, only a few seizures a year. Sam lost his bladder, never his bowels or vomiting. He had a surgery while on pheno and did fine. Sam's seizures started at age 6 and he lived a happy full life without complications. I hope your boy does as well.
 

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Not all dogs show alot of signs of being low thyroid. Beau didnt have any signs except for his seizures. So I would get him on the meds.
 

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WOW. That T4 is WAY low...when was the bloodwork relative to his last meal/treats?
He had been fasted for 12 hours, no treats or food, and my silly mother also pulled his water (I was stuck at a friends house the night before his blood draw because of a snow storm). Could not having water affect his levels much?

paula bedard said:
Just found this. I hope he came through the surgery ok. I had a boy with seizures. He was on a mid-level dosage of Pheno and did very well, only a few seizures a year. Sam lost his bladder, never his bowels or vomiting. He had a surgery while on pheno and did fine. Sam's seizures started at age 6 and he lived a happy full life without complications. I hope your boy does as well.
Thanks :) He actually hasn't had surgery yet. The vet wants to wait until his seizures have stopped completely, or at least wait until the point where he only has one every 3 months or so.

BeauShel said:
Not all dogs show alot of signs of being low thyroid. Beau didnt have any signs except for his seizures. So I would get him on the meds.
I did some more research online and read that dogs can have labored or odd sounding breathing as a symptom. Rocky wheezes for about 10 seconds every day when he's completely relaxed. Maybe that could be a small symptom I overlooked. Also, I read some dogs suffer from severe anxiety. Rocky is very anxious outside of our home, especially in the car or pet stores. I thought it was because he wasn't socialized as a pup, but maybe the meds could help that, too.

The vet made it sound like he shouldn't be on meds yet, because it's not really affecting his life. She said it'd be a good idea to medicate him when he's older and starts to slow down, etc. She's the second vet I've seen.. maybe I should get a third opinion or ask her to send the results to MSU.
 

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maybe I should get a third opinion... GREAT idea !!! Keep us posted
 

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If your dog has experienced 20 seizures, he definitely should be on meds. Each seizure lowers the dog's overall seizure threshold, so that it has a snow ball effect with each seizure making the next all the more likely.

My dog Finn has about 2 seizures a year, and he is not on meds. Any increase, and then he will be.

A great safety measure in case of a seizure emergency is Diastat( rectal valium).

Several types of anesthesia are safe for dogs who struggle with seizures, but one common sedative that gets implicated for causing seizure dogs trouble is Acepromazine.
 

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Well, my boy had two seizures within 24 hours, which hasn't happened before. He vomited up his breakfast right before the second one. He was taking 30 mg of phenobarbital in the morning and 45 mg at night. I spoke to his vet and she said we should increase his pheno to 60 mg twice a day, then draw blood in 4 weeks to check his levels.

These seizures seemed weaker and different than his other ones. He was alert and moving his front legs and trying to get up, but had no control of his back legs. I hated seeing him like that.. poor guy. I picked him up and brought him inside and after 5 minutes he was okay.

I'm concerned about putting him on 60 mg of phenobarbital because I've read it can cause liver damage. The pheno he is getting now obviously isn't helping, and I'm wondering if upping it to 60 will help. I don't want to be giving him these meds that can harm his liver, especially if they're not even working for him.

I could ask her about potassium bromide, as I've read that works well for a lot of dogs. Or, I could just ask her if I can put him on medication for his thyroid, stop all the other medications, and wait to see what happens. If he goes months without a seizure, we'll know it was the low thyroid. It's tough because it's a long process of elimination, and I want him to be healthy as soon as possible. He's not a good candidate for anesthesia and I'm starting to think I'll never be able to have him neutered :(
 

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I would try the 60 twice a day. My Beau had to go up on meds several times. In fact the last year of his life, he was on 3 60mg tablets twice a day and didnt have any liver damage. One thing that I did add was milk thistle and Sam-E. It helps to flush the liver. Beau was also on the thyroid meds at the same time.

You can put him on the potassium bromide but from what I have read, it takes longer like 3 months to really get into the system so he might have to be on both meds for a short time. And with some dogs the potassium bromide doesnt work as well.

If your vet does decide to take him off the pheno, it has to be SLOWLY lowered over several months to get out of his system. My vet said he doesnt recommend coming off the pheno even if it was low thyroid because it is hard to determine if that is the only issue. And once the seizures start, it is hard to stop them with just the thyroid getting in line. I always wanted Beau to come off the pheno especially when he went almost a year without one but as soon as we lowered him meds, he would have one again.
 

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He really needs to go on those thyroid meds. Please don't stop the pheno until he has been seizure free for at least 6 months, Then he needs to be weaned off very slowly. Are you feeding him a grain free food? That is supposed to help.
 

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Reading up on neutering and anesthesia- Dash was neutered today at 10 months. He had cluster seizures in the fall 2009 and was on pheno until about 3 weeks ago we weaned him off. I never new the cause but suspect if may have been the lawn fertilizer. Anyway when he went in for the procedure they used a different anestesia for epeliptic animals, the vet said it was a quick down and quick up. He came throught fine but poor thing is home and is wearing a cone. Ate a few treats, drank and had a couple of ice cubes. Seems to be taking short naps and then going to the back door to go out. I have taken him out about 4 times in the last 5 hours but he has yet to pee?? I will most likely sleep on the couch tonight in case he needs me and see how he feels tomorrow. He was sent home with no pain meds.
In my seizure research I learned alot about the dog food and the raw hides. Dash now eats Kirkland brand dry kibble, first ingredient is chicken and I only give him bones that are produced in the US. As far as treats I have been giving all natural salmon and fruit mixture. My plan is to continue with this. Be diligent and check the labels on the bones etc... if they not produced in the US dont by them. Hope this helps.
 
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