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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys. I haven't posted in a long while. But I often come by to read and get some info.

My girl, Flea - is 4 years old and has seizures.

When they started last winter - there was a 7 month delay between the first and second. Then, they were pretty sporadic.

As time went on, they got more frequent. To the point where in October, she had 3 of them - between 2-3 minutes in length.

I have been hesitant to put her on meds, for all the obvious reasons. But I think now, we have to start.

November was seizure-free (as far as actually witnessing one...who knows if she had one when we were @ work) - and I was thrilled.

2 days ago, she had one that lasted about 3.5 minutes. And this morning - 6 minutes. 6 MINUTES! Is a lifetime for a little dog to go through that.

I just wanted to hear from other chi owners whose dogs are on meds for epilepsy and how it affects them. I have been consulting the net like mad, but I really want to hear personal experiences...

Thanks! :)
 

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Excellent question. First, let me direct you to a solution that works... I'll explain after the link: http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/icepack.htm

Jack, my black poodle has had about 7 seizures in his lifetime. He started at age 2. It is the most frightening thing I have ever observed in a dog. I gave him karo syrup and comforted him and I have to say the post-ictal stage was worse than the seizure, sometimes lasting 2 days.

I found that link and applied the cold pack and his last seizure was minimized to almost nothing - with NO post-ictal stage. None.

Another thing, an animal can 'train' his brain to have seizures. You can find information on that online. One thing I will do if I see him 'thinking' about seizuring is distract him and get him busy playing or something of that nature to take him away from the oncoming seizure and that works too.

I was advised that most likely his seizures were low metabolism, and not epilepsy. Please read about the cold pack. It does work! And it's so non-invasive. Good Luck to you. I hope this helped.
 

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I don't know anything about the meds, but I know that seizures can be brought on by various things that you might never think of or link them to. If you document each one and everything you did that day leading up to it, you might notice a pattern developing in possible stressors. For instance, even simple things such as certain cleaning products (particularly those containing pine) can sometimes bring them on. I've also heard that food can play a big role, you might consider something different, and maybe even have her tested for allergies. I'm beginning to think a raw diet can solve a lot of problems, or at least raw rotated with the usual food. Also, chemicals such as vaccines and flea medication can be factors, so maybe try to find some natural alternatives for flea products and lessen the frequency of the vaccines. You might look into acupuncture and using herbs, also, I've heard that it can be very helpful. And finally, think about how often she eats, maybe it's simply caused by low blood sugar, in which case nutri-cal would be good to keep on hand (or Karo syrup as mentioned above).

I don't have any personal experience with seizures, so I'm basing all this on hearsay and stuff that I've read, but they do seem to be things that have really made a difference for other people. I wish you and Flea luck, don't give up!

ETA: Have you had a thyroid panel done? That could be another thing to look into.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hey guys ...thanks for your input!

I have read about all the stuff you mentioned in terms of seizures.
Thing is, I truly don't feel any of them apply. She gets vaccinated every 3 years. She doesn't take flea/tick meds (she is mostly an indoor dog and my vet does not recommend extra meds if they are not needed). I use pet-safe cleaners on the floor (including vinegar and water to clean the puppy pad areas).

She has also been tested for liver/blood issues. All clean. She is also not hypoglycemic--as indicated by the blood results.

Today, I asked the vet about her food. Which she has been on for over a year. He said its POSSIBLE but highly unlikely given that her last blood results did not show abnormal levels of sodium or magnesium (lacking in epileptic dogs on a subpar diet).

So..ergh. I did, however come home with some Potassium Bromide. It comes in a liquid form and is caramel flavoured. Less side effects than using phenobarbitol. I still hate the idea of giving her meds...but...I feel I have no other choice. And this 6 minute seizure today was absolutely horrible. :(

I feel a bit like a ...failure? Isn't that weird? I feel like I should be able to control her seizures some other way, but I don't think there IS another way.

Anyhoo - thanks for you input...much appreciated. And the ice pack thing is very interesting! I will keep it in mind!
 

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Oh, don't feel like a failure! But I know how you feel.

My dog Pip has seizures. They haven't gotten to the meds point, and I know why you are leery, because I have read all about them and they can have pretty awful side effects (liver tumors, etc). I think (and have read) that stress is what gets Pip started. By stress, I mean, a sting from a wasp or scorpion, too many new people in the house, us being gone overnight, that sort of thing.

If it is stress-related, I hope that I can try to figure out what really stressed him and then control it. BUT, I know that if he was having the sort of seizures and the length of seizures you are talking about, I would have to consider the meds.

He isn't a chi either. The small size makes EVERYTHING harder (the seizures and the meds!).

Good luck, and remember..it's not your fault at all.
 

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I know what you are feeling and the helplessness that goes with it. My lab started to have seizures at 2 yrs, he was put through all the tests and given phenobarb 2 tabs daily,once that was adjusted he was back to normal. He has had one seizure in 2 yrs after a day of high stress. He now has developed addisons disease and takes 8 pills daily for that, with a salt pill, thats 11 pills a day and he is still the best dog I will ever own,he rarely has a bad day. So keep your chin up everything will be ok
 

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i think meds at this point are a must, even if just temporary...
6 minutes is way too long to be having a seizure and can do som lasting residual effect on the brain.
Ive not delt with an epileptic dog before but i myself am, and the meds along with some natural herbal remidies and keeping a detailed journal of things noticed before and after the seizures to see if you can figure out triggers, light, sond, activity level in the home, everythign and anything that could act as a trigger...
id suggest going with the meds for a short amount of tiem 3-6 months, then slowly lower the does, the idea to use the least dose possible to control the occurance of seizures...
 

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Foxy is really right about the triggers...and probably (too bad) right about the meds. I just didn't want to go down that road with Pip, but we haven't had anything like that (at least not while I was home). My vet told me to keep a journal with him as well. I wondered if it was related to heartworm meds (Aussies are very sensitive to invermectin), so I'm trying to chart the time after getting the meds with when he has a seizure.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, guys! :)

You've made me feel so much better.

I thought I would give you an update on the situation.

Flea has been on the meds since Friday and seems to be doing alright. The side effects are supposed to include lethargy - but I have actually noticed the opposite - she gets kinda hyper shortly after taking the dose. And she's a really mellow dog, so it's easy to notice. Hopefully things will balance out soon.

I have kept a journal of her seizures since they began last winter and I can't really pinpoint a trigger. They happen at all hours in different circumstances (one when we were out for walk, once when she was sleeping...). Sigh. Though, I do wonder if her excitement over food could bring it on..she gets VERY wound up at the prospect of eating. I have tried to make her be calm before she eats (i.e. sitting in front of the bowl and waiting for my command), but I'm not sure it actually makes a difference.
Then again, she had a seizure while fast asleep..so...?

I have been researching epilepsy in dogs on another site and a lot of people are telling me to go for a grain-free diet. Have you ever heard of this? I am so hesitant to make a diet change bc she is on a prescrip. diet for UTI's and when I take her off the diet (I tried to switch her back to Eagle Pack before) she gets the infection again. Catch 22.

Dolly, I hope things work out with your little guy - and Foxy - you are so wonderful to talk about your own situation. Thanks everyone for the support and personal stories. It helps a lot.

It's so crazy how we feel about our dogs, isn't it? I mean, if it was me...I would be on the drugs in a heartbeat. But - this is my DOG! My helpless little girl who depends on me to do the right thing, and I guess you just always second guess yourself. Am I doing the right thing - always goes thru your mind.

The saga continues...
 

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Yes, hang in there. We all commiserate! I am totally afraid of doing something wrong for any of my dogs. It would sure be nice if they could talk and say, "I have this funny feeling after I eat cheese" or whatever, wouldn't it? Sigh.
 

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lol, yeah it would!

im glad the meds seem to be working! i realy do feel for you guys, it can be such a scary experience, especially when its something as small and helpless as a chi!
its amazing how much we get worried about them huh!?
 

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Sorry to hear about your Chi. PLEASE be extra careful as the few days before at and after the full monns, and often a new moon too. Epilepsy used to be called Lunarcy. Did you know that? Its true. I have way more experince then I would ever wish upon anyone with epilpsy. I had a lovely kennel top of my breed ( not chis) years back and was working on my 4 and 5th generation of home bred champions with working titles when my world crashed down.

Almost every single pup born in my last few litters came down with this disorder called epilepsy. My once happy proud clients became angry, sad, fearful and everything inbetween. I closed my kennel tried everything to find an anwser, grieved for years and still do when i think back about it or hear of another of my pups died, is having troubles, started sezuires and so on. I was so sick with stress I started having what is called post traumatic stress disorder which then triggered others proplems from anxiety to fibromyalgia. But enough of that.

I saw your post the day you put it up but was not ready to reply.

You must take the med approach, the brain really does mirror itself and if you dont get a handle on things asap they can become regular and harder to control.

How old is this dog? If its over 1year often things work out if its under it can be real hard to get it under control.

Pheno and PB work best together.

Valium to be used in th rectum is A MUST to save your dogs life if it goes statis epileptic. Read lots online. Food and heart worm meds are big triggers.

ivermectin is a big no no. And in my opinion should never be used in dogs. I only will tell people to use revolution.

No flea products and really look deeper in the effects of over vaccinations in our dogs as they claim that is a big factor is the epidemic rise of epilepsy in dogs and humans. I know more people with this disease in the last few years then I have met all my life. Thats scary.

My experince comes from well over 30 epileptic dogs and clients and picking the brains of anyone who would listen.

I can tell you also that two of my clients dogs were bad in the start and now sezuire free for almost two years both brothers both with out meds now!!!

Keep you head up;) Learn about triggers, if the dogs looks funny get it to a dark quiet area start massage do whatever to quiet and calm the brain IT WORKS.

Best of luck
 
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