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Hi, I'm new to the forum and was looking for some advice/opinions. I have a golden lab (he doesn't look like a cross, but just... golden) and recently he developed seizures. The first case was when we first got him and there was a miscomunication between the people who were dumping him on us and my family and as a result the poor guy got his adult boosters before his puppy shots at 1 year old. He had a seizure that was pretty bad but our vet told us that it was probably a reaction to the shots and if they continued to bring him in. Everything went fine for about a year and then he started having them. They were sporadic enough that our vet said to record them, time them and if they became abnormal for him to bring him in and he'd do what he could (which isn't much). Now however, they're at the point of being the same, but happening almost once a month.

I'm a prevet student and remembered labs being more susceptible to seizures, as well as (also from personal experience) some animals having reactions from flea medicine and the like). When they started to get more frequent I thought it was his flea meds and for a couple of months stopped them completely. He didn't have any seizures that next month, then however he had one without the flea meds present anywhere near him. Ruling that out I gave him a flea bath to clear it up and now he's been acting like he's going to have a seizure....

I'm at my wits end. I've tried looking into all possible things that could be giving him seizures and I've always turned up nothing. So I'm still in limbo as to whether or not it's epilepsy or something external that I'm not seeing.

His seizures aren't generally that bad (he hasn't had a grand mal yet thank god), and usually he just staggers around and I sit down with him and pet him, comfort him, and keep him from hurting himself or others.

So here's my main question: Should I go through the process (that to be quite honest I don't have the money for) of getting him on epilepsy medication or should I just continue to do what I'm doing and think of my options when there's a significant change? I have gotten a second opinion from my vet college and their neurology board and they said the same thing as my regular vet: "Contact us if they change significantly, we really can't do anything other than give him pills and hope they work".

He's otherwise healthy and plays with my other dog, eats, drinks, goes to the bathroom and is happy, just gets these seizures sometimes.

Any advice is welcome and thanks for lending an ear.... or eyes in this case! lol
 

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There are seizures, and their are seizures. The fact that your dog has them in a pattern, of the same nature, suggests epilepsy, as opposed to some nasty neuro thang like a tumor somewhere. But without acurate diagnosis, under test conditions, who knows?

So what's the problem with having the seizures? Each seizure is a huge strain on the dog physically, and dog runs the risk of a cardiac arrest, or respiratory failure due to aspiration during the seizure.

Behaviour can change pre seizure - and aggression or fear can surface for eg. this can become a problem for some families.

First aid during seizure: should your dog not appear to come out of the seizure fully and go into another seizure, this pattern is cald status, and is life threatening. I would ask Vet for some rectally administerable Diazepam for this sort of first aid scenario. It can save your dogs life!

3 mins of every month, id allow my dog to lose control and not see it as a reason to PTS for instance. It is a personal experience, seizures, we all react differently, this is more challenging that it first appears for the owners. Only you can decide which path is right for you and yours.

I am unsure of what country you are in, but in some countries, you can ask your vet to fill out the written prescription, and cash it at a human's pharmacy, those anti convulsants are decades old, and cheap as chips.
Another way to save money on meds, is to ask for the meds in liquid form, double strength. So you halve the amount required, and half the price you pay in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, I'll be sure to ask about the Diazepam and keep it on hand just in case. :) I'm probably going to see what kind of tests the neurology department can run just to check him out and see what they think, when I get the money and they have a slot open up. Until then I suppose I'll just be waiting, prepared and watchful. Thank you again! :)
 

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What do you feed? It is very important that the dog never eat anything with coloring or dye or preservatives like BHA/BHT in it check the food and treats. The coloring does something to the brain to cause them. It happened to my cat , I put him on a natural diet and the seizures stopped. He had had them for 3 months, it all started with a rabies shot.
 

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My husband's brittany when we first got married developed epilepsy. So, I have been down that road! Her's ended up grand mal rather quickly! Though we realized looking back that she had atypical seizures more often--space ace moments, we called them. The grand mals were the tipping point. She had three of those, and one serious one where she shot up from sleeping and dashed across the room into the wall. Her seizures at that point were deemed life threatening as we live in a house with stairs.

They explained to us the reason for monitoring prior to putting on seizure meds. Comes down to what they do to the liver and kidneys. If the dog's seizures are petit mal and infrequent they prefer not putting a strain on the filtration system of the body. However, if they begin to cluster, or approach ten minutes sustained seizure activity, or grand mal occurs enough then the potential for organ damage is acceptable risk to stabilize the dog from neurological risk. Once the anti-seizure meds are given regularly, a blood screen must be done at intervals to assess the status of the dog's liver and kidney function.

If it were me, I would be logging severity, duration, and any factors precluding the seizure to look for patterns and causes. Watch for clustered seizures or really long ones... keep your vet in the loop.
 

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When Remmy had his first seizure, he just went down, stiffened out with his eyes fixed. He took a while to come out of it but then he was fine. Six weeks later he had another and I took him in for a blood test. There was something going on with his liver. He was put on an antibiotic and another fluid (can't remember the name of it) for a month.

He was good for almost two years before he had another one. They are very short duration and two minutes later he is fine. I had his liver checked again as when I had checked a year after his first seizure, it was good and again it was fine so do not know what caused it this time. That was in September and so far he has not had any that I know of. I say that "I know of" as even though he is with me 99% of the time, because they are so short and then he seems fine, he could possibly be having them during the night or when he is not with me.

The last one, he threw up first so even though it was during the night I heard him and turned the light on as he sleeps on the bed. He does not thrash around or anything, just stiffens up and falls over, lies there looking really scared, then gets up and acts normal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks guys I really do appreciate the stories and advice being given! I'm really grateful that his are like they are and not any more severe (knock on wood). The vet in my hometown can't run tests like that (fanciest we have is a microscope :/) so I might just have my vet college run a blood panel and check things out to be sure it's nothing internal. Go figure, now that I just got done paying off seizure medication for a member of my family and have my own medical bills the dog decides to make a habit of seizing. And one of my cats decided to foam at the mouth and scare me half to death, in what I'm assuming to be a cruel joke. Bleh.

I do have another question, maybe just to make sure I'm not doing something tremendously wrong as this is really my first dog that's seized while I have another dog present and loose (so forgive me for being a worry wort and/or bothersome). I have another dog and though I'm usually home (to my knowledge) if and when the lab has his seizures (they've all happened early in the morning or really late at night) I don't have time to lock the other one up AND take care of the seizing one (his seizures have no signs until it's too late to make a move for the other dog). I've always gone for being with the lab and keeping the other one away (which to give him credit he's really good at; he just lays down underneath the table or sits and watches us from a little ways off and a simple 'No' keeps him away). Would you guys do any different?

To all of you that have dogs who have seized I hope they're doing okay now!
 

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My other dogs instinctively kept away and watched from a distance. They showed concern, but seemed to be aware they needed to stay back. So long as that is how your other dog reacts, concentrate on making sure the seizing dog isn't in environmental danger. NEVER reach near the face, the dog may not recognize you in the misfire and try to bite from confusion. Just talk quietly and wait it out, keep tabs on time if you can. Remember: you need to watch for when they start passing 5 minutes and approaching 10.

Mya was euthanized some years back due to complications in a number of areas not related to her epilepsy. It was a mercy, and she was getting on in years as well.
 

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Years ago we had a Greyhound that had epilepsy. The Vet put her on the drugs for epilepsy and they were quite expensive until I talked to my doctor and he wrote out a prescription so we could get the same ones only for people. She was not monitored by the Vet very well and we lost her when she came in season and had a seizure. Nowadays they know so much more about it that I know they have better control over it.

Remmy has not had seizures that warrant him being put on anything yet, but it could be the start of Epilepsy with him. The Greyhounds seizures were quite intense, she really thrashed around and when she was coming out of them, she would growl and be very disoriented.
 

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I am wondering if perhaps the neurological issues are contributing to the training difficulty you are having with this dog. Labs can be sort of dense, but they aren't usually downright dumb. I would get the blood panel done and have a more qualified vet take a look at the dog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've actually been throwing this idea around too. I'm hopeful by next fall I'll have some spare money to get the vet college to do a panel (hopefully I'll also be able to get some hours in then lol). On one hand I think that this could be contributing but on the other hand I think he's somewhat of an inbred moron.... if that makes any sense at all, maybe a combination of the two? lol he can have moments of brilliance I'm startled at. (I'm not discrediting your advice in the slightest! I didn't want that to come out as rude at all. :) ) I've also been thinking about if he had any head trauma as a puppy. From what I've been able to tell, a family got him and when he was a puppy he accidentally knocked down their infant daughter (probably because like all puppies he wanted to be loved on and got excited) and so they tied him up out back with a chain around his neck, no shelter and only fed him when they had the time to do so. I don't know what they would have done beforehand if that makes any sense. But he was smart enough to dig up the chain and get out of dodge a few times..... hmmmm. Thanks for the advice/stories, I really do appreciate it! :)
 

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Poor dog and poor you! ive not had a dog seizure on me however i myself am epileptic so i know how it feels before and after. knock on wood my choc lab charlie has never had a seizure. I hope they get better even if have to go on anti epileptics.
 

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My 2.5 year old lab had one about two weeks ago and two a week ago on Tuesday. I stopped feeding him members mark dog food and his pupperoni treats so far no more seizures in the last week. I don’t have the money for vet at the moment and they won’t see him without $.
 

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This thread is 9 years old so I'm going to close it.

However, @Florida Labrador you might find something helpful here -

 
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