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Hello. My now five-month-old Wheaten Terrier had a seizure about a month ago after eating a homemade dog treat from a co-worker. He had two additional seizures within the next 24 hours. Each seizure was less than a minute and he would foam at the mouth and lose control of his bladder. I took him to the vet after the third seizure. They drew blood (all values were normal), gave him a bolus of fluid, tested for Valley Fever, and then started him on an antibiotic and phenobarbital. He had one more seizure after we got back from the vet, but no other seizures since he was started on the phenobarbital. Yesterday, he was almost out of the phenobarbital, so I brought him back to the vet. They drew labs and checked his phenobarbital levels and everything was normal. I asked how long he would need to take the phenobarbital and was told "for life because he has epilepsy." I think I need a second opinion! How did the vet even come to this conclusion? Anyone else have any experiences with seizures or advice on this? Thank you!
 

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I would get a second opinion to be honest.

Is it coincidence that the dog had a seizure after eating a treat? Or is the dog epileptic...

Can you find out what ingredients were in the home made treat?
 

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I would get a second opinion to be honest.

Is it coincidence that the dog had a seizure after eating a treat? Or is the dog epileptic...

Can you find out what ingredients were in the home made treat?


Thank you! That is exactly what my partner and I were wondering and the vet didn't even consider that it was the treat. Just jumped to the conclusion that he was epileptic. We talked to the vet again today to express our concerns and his response was "If you don't want him on the phenobarbital then stop giving it to him." WHAT?!?!? Needless to say, we will be getting a second opinion and not returning to that vet!


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My Shih Tzu x Maltese started having seizures when he was four years old. He did not have them very often so the Vet did not want to put him on anything unless they got closer together. He is now 8 years old and has not had a seizure for the last two years. Never did figure out what caused them even though he was tested for all sorts of things. I would not jump to your dog being epileptic from a couple of seizures but would have him checked out again by a different Vet. I don't think it is a good idea to just stop the medication as I think you have to taper it off gradually but I could be wrong.
 

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My Shih Tzu x Maltese started having seizures when he was four years old. He did not have them very often so the Vet did not want to put him on anything unless they got closer together. He is now 8 years old and has not had a seizure for the last two years. Never did figure out what caused them even though he was tested for all sorts of things. I would not jump to your dog being epileptic from a couple of seizures but would have him checked out again by a different Vet. I don't think it is a good idea to just stop the medication as I think you have to taper it off gradually but I could be wrong.


Thank you! No, you should never just stop giving a medication. That's why I was so shocked that the vet just said to stop giving it! After we argued with him about just stopping the medication, he told us how to taper it off, so we are going to do that and look for another vet in the meantime!


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Find another vet, that one sounds clueless.
While it is possible that your dog has epilepsy, it also may have been a transient illness possibly from something in the treat, I agree the medication needs to be tapered off, and then the dog should be observed closely for a while. He may never have another seizure, or it may be that he will, but you will have a better idea after tapering off the medication.
 

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Find another vet, that one sounds clueless.

While it is possible that your dog has epilepsy, it also may have been a transient illness possibly from something in the treat, I agree the medication needs to be tapered off, and then the dog should be observed closely for a while. He may never have another seizure, or it may be that he will, but you will have a better idea after tapering off the medication.


Thank you!


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I'm surprised your vet put your dog on meds already. That is so confusing as vets around my area won't medicate unless the dog is having more than 1 seizure a month. I see where your dog had 3 in 24 hours - has he had any since then? He might not have epilepsy at all.
 

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That's why I was so shocked that the vet just said to stop giving it!


That vet sounds like a total jerk! :mad:
 

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I'm surprised your vet put your dog on meds already. That is so confusing as vets around my area won't medicate unless the dog is having more than 1 seizure a month. I see where your dog had 3 in 24 hours - has he had any since then? He might not have epilepsy at all.


None since he was started on the medication. We're weaning him off of it and also going to start taking him to another vet!


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Do not be surprised if the seizures start up again. The diagnosis of epilepsy is often made if a young pet has a series of seizures with no apparent cause. Few toxins, treats, diseases, etc. cause intermittent seizures in young dogs with normal blood work, so it is not a stretch to diagnose epilepsy based on what you are saying. Does not mean 100% that is the correct diagnosis, but it is certainly the most likely. Stopping the meds may result in more seizures, or it may not, even if it's epilepsy. That is the problem with epilepsy or any seizure disorder, is unpredictability. No one, not even a neurologist, can predict seizure activity in a new patient. Perhaps after years of similar activity, prediction might be a bit more accurate, but one thing I have learned from treating seizure disorders in dogs for 30 years now, is it is impossible to know what is going to happen next. Some dogs have a seizure once... and never again their whole life. But if a dog has several in close proximity, it is normal to begin preventative treatment... seizure activity promotes further seizure activity so stopping the seizures is important when they cluster like that. Still, hard to know for sure what is causing any particular brain problem... still too much we don't know about the brain.
 

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Do not be surprised if the seizures start up again. The diagnosis of epilepsy is often made if a young pet has a series of seizures with no apparent cause. Few toxins, treats, diseases, etc. cause intermittent seizures in young dogs with normal blood work, so it is not a stretch to diagnose epilepsy based on what you are saying. Does not mean 100% that is the correct diagnosis, but it is certainly the most likely. Stopping the meds may result in more seizures, or it may not, even if it's epilepsy. That is the problem with epilepsy or any seizure disorder, is unpredictability. No one, not even a neurologist, can predict seizure activity in a new patient. Perhaps after years of similar activity, prediction might be a bit more accurate, but one thing I have learned from treating seizure disorders in dogs for 30 years now, is it is impossible to know what is going to happen next. Some dogs have a seizure once... and never again their whole life. But if a dog has several in close proximity, it is normal to begin preventative treatment... seizure activity promotes further seizure activity so stopping the seizures is important when they cluster like that. Still, hard to know for sure what is causing any particular brain problem... still too much we don't know about the brain.


Thank you for the information!


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Just out of curiosity, was it the vet specifically who gave you the attitude and told you to just stop the meds or was it the receptionist? Not that it matters, either way I would be looking for a new vet, but if it wasn't the vet you were directly speaking with I would at least try to talk to them directly and let them know why you're going to be switching vet offices.
 

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Just out of curiosity, was it the vet specifically who gave you the attitude and told you to just stop the meds or was it the receptionist? Not that it matters, either way I would be looking for a new vet, but if it wasn't the vet you were directly speaking with I would at least try to talk to them directly and let them know why you're going to be switching vet offices.


It was the vet And we did talk to him directly. I am not here to "vet bash," but I just think he could have provided more information. He gets great reviews, but his bad reviews all revolve around his bedside manner. He just seems cold, uncaring, and never provides follow-up information or an assessment of what is going on.


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