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Guide To Australian Shepherd Training & Care

Australian Shepherd Has Seizures, Rapid Breathing, Collapse

by Suzanne

I need advice. My almost three year old Australian Shepherd began having seizures in May of this year. Two fairly mild seizures May 4. No more activity until June 2... at which time he had 4 in a 24 hour span.

We began taking phenobarbital at that time. After beginning medication he had two mild seizures total during the months of June and July. Vet check in July med levels were optimal. All was well until August 14, at which point he had a total of 6 seizures in a 2.5 hours time span.

Flying trip to the vet. Injection of phenobarbital. Spent the night at the vet. Picked him up on Tuesday. Tuesday night lethargic, difficulty walking/standing, very heavy breathing, no urination, appeared confused and clumsy.

Back to the vet and he has been there ever since. All blood work has come back normal. He is running a temp coordination and mobility are much better. He is eating, drinking and urinating appropriately now. They started IV fluids, steroids and antibiotics after he collapsed at the vet on Wednesday.

I am at a loss. I don't know what questions to ask and to be perfectly honest I am afraid for my sweet boy. I work with special needs children and he is in training to be a therapy dog. We need help. I think the two vets working on our case are wonderful but Max's symptoms just don't seem to make sense to any of us.

We talked today about going to see a specialist, but again, I have no clue what to ask. I would appreciate any advice that you guys might have to offer. I am including a picture. Max is the one on the right. His sister Mara is lost without him here.

Comments for Australian Shepherd Has Seizures, Rapid Breathing, Collapse

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by: Neil Coy

One question. Do the seizures occur during excitement? A number of years ago, I had an Aussie that would have a seizure when I would come home from work and he would run to meet me. The problem was eventually determined to be his heart. Once the proper dosage of heart medication was achieved the frequency of the seizure decreased until he had a fairly normal life for many years.

My Take
by: Anonymous

my take number 1: parasites - this would most likely showed up in an advance blood work
my take number 2: poisoned - bad food or has eaten something bad for him - this would most likely showed up in liver test
Advice number 1 - consult another vet.
Good luck!

by: Anonymous

I had an Aussie who had epilepsy starting at age 2-3. Had to try many different meds to find the correct one to keep them under control. At that point, after research, I learned epilepsy was not uncommon in Aussies. There is a foundation out there that has done a lot of research. My dog that I discovered had epilepsy lived to age 15 but was always on medication. I've had 2 other Aussies since with no problems.

Find the correct med and dose. I had better luck with Dylantin.

Good luck

by: Anonymous

My beautiful mini started having them about a year and a half ago. Like other's have said it's no uncommon in the breed, the vet called them ideopathic epileptic seizures. She was having them once in awhile then quite a bit. We have her on phenobarbital at first she was having them less then again more frequent. She had to go in and have bloodwork and the levels were at the lower range, we increased them to get her to mid-levels and she hasn't had one in 3 months. Once they start on the seizure med they have to take them for life, but it's worth it to me to see them not suffering with terrible seizures. Hope this helps you some.

Our experience
by: Anonymous

My dog has seizures for no obvious reason, but only every few no this, that we know of. They used to last well over 10 minutes. I changed his food to a grain free blend, and while he still has the occasional seizure, they last only a few minutes. The most recent lasted maybe 2 minutes. That is all we have changed, so there must be some sort of connection.

Seizures or Not?
by: Wysty

My Tessie we thought was have seizures at the groomers and when she hit her head in the car jumping from seat to seat so we took her to the vet. She was put on phen-a-barbetol, twice a day. Pill in morning and night, she could not motivate. I was furious and told the vet and he knocked the prescription down to half pill in morning and night, for thirty days. She went in after that for a blood draw, we were told she is at the level she should be. In all this time we haven't seen any seizures but she sleeps alot, eats good and plays. Next time into the vet we told him this and wanted to take her OFF the phena-barbitol and were told we could not, then told they could *liquify* the rest of the pills to get her off but she still may suffer seizures or damage her internal organs!.. Please be sure that your Aussie is really having seizures before you start the process, we are now deciding what to do, keep her on meds or take a chance and take her off, any advice?

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