Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Seizures/Epilepsy

by Toni
(Illinois, USA)

My dog had a seizure July 2 and again September 19. In the last two weeks she has had 5 seizures and the vet put her on phenobarbital last Monday. So far she has not had another seizure. However, her behavior has been way out of character since the last seizure. She is constantly jumping on us for attention. She will not stop. She whines when we do not give in and she will not get down, so we have to push her away.

Is this a normal behavior after seizures? Is this because after she had the seizures we held her and rocked her for some time before we finally let her get up and walk? Has anyone else dealt with this problem? This dog has never been a behavior problem. For five years she has been the consummate perfect companion. HELP!

Comments for Seizures/Epilepsy

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Been There
by: Connie

My first Aussie suffered from seizures. I did not experience the jumping, however a seizure is very unsettling. I suspect she probably just needs to be reassured. She knows there's safety in your arms. Plus the phenobarbital disorients dogs so it's gonna take time for her system to adjust and stabilize(by the way get phenobarb prescription filled at drug store, not the vet; much cheaper). My dog spent a week each at a specialty practice hospital in MD and at Virginia Tech Vet hospital and, was examined at Univ. of PA vet hospital. Turns out my dog's seizures were caused by an inability to process protein, not epilepsy. Dogs prone to seizures are especially sensitive to storms so your dog could be sensing some weather condition. Continue to hold her after each episode. It's heartbreaking I know but needed. There was a second medication my dog was prescribed but I can't think of the name right now. It was a liquid, and it really helped. May want to Google epilepsy in dogs. Of course be sure to ask your vet. Speaking of which, make sure your dog is treated by a vet who has had experience with seizures and not one who is just winging it. There is no test to prove or disprove epilepsy; rather it's a process of elimination to get to the diagnosis. So get schooled and make sure you chart episodes and behavior changes. That log will prove useful for treatment. It's going to be a challenge, but worth it.

Seizures
by: Toni

Connie thanks for your comments. I've taken her back to the vet twice now and I have a better grasp on what's going on. I armed myself with a ton of questions before I took her back, after having spent hours on the internet researching. Apparently most dogs get lethargic from phenobarb. Mine gets hyperactive and nervous. But that's also a side effect of the drug. This should all pass within a month and hopefully, the seizures will be controlled as well. Thank you again for your help!

same reaction
by: laurie b

I am so glad that someone knows the same feeling. The seizures do not seem typical. My four year old soon to be five had a seizure and again ten days later. Six days after she had one each day for three days. Constantly pacing panting crying begging to go out has not stopped for the last eight days. I took her back to vet worried there was something else wrong like a uti as she asks to go out five times a night. Nothing else was wrong. She is on potassium bromide and phenol barbital. Her behavior has changed and she will not calm and rest. In doing research I came across mdr1 gene. I have been advised to discontinue her vaccine program and heart worm as well as flea and tick meds. In December she got colitis and treated with antibiotics. I guess it put her over the edge. Apparently her liver is over loaded and cannot filter these meds. Holistic intervention may be how I treat her . Upon this advise I was so surprised. I honestly felt that I was protecting her from all disease and doing as much as I could to keep her safe and healthy. While this is hard to wrap my head around it makes good sense. I was told to get her a calming wrap to help with anxiety. Keep her cool and give her a bully stick to chew on. Milk thistle will be recommended to detox her liver. Thanks for letting me know that the phenolbarbitol will settle into her system. I felt like everyone was describing a lapse in time and sleep. My girl did not act that way. She hardly ever naps or rests. It is so hard to watch. Good to hear from others.

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