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Abaiya's Seizures: Juvenile Epilepsy

Juvenile epilepsy Chawa/Jay Silver Heels Litter Abaiya seizures convulsions foaming mouth

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#1 NashAsh

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 06:04 PM

Abaiya Boo from Jay Silver Heels and Chawa's litter (born September 9th, 2013) may have juvenile epilepsy. She has had seizures every hour and a half since 7:30 last night. We rushed her to the emergency vet, who suspected epilepsy or a toxin. Apparently this condition occurs in about 5% of puppies. The good news is that they can grow out of it. Abaiya is currently under seizure watch at a local veterinary specialist hospital that has a neurologist on staff tonight. She has been given phenobarbital to control the seizures while they try to narrow down the potential suspects. Tick borne disease, toxins, or neurological causes are also being considered.

What do her seizures look like?

1. Ears convulse/twitch for a few seconds
2. Eye convulsions soon to follow
3. Head jerking up and to the right with gaping mouth and lips pulled back.
4. Mouth convulsions and slimy foaming salivation for about 10 seconds.
5. Body convulsions start, which lasts on average 30 seconds before dissipating.

She loses bladder and occasionally bowel control during the seizures and creates enough slimy saliva from her mouth to be a slipping hazard, so we have towels handy to clean her up right away and clear the area of slime, urine, and feces before she tries to get up and walk.

What happens after the seizure passes?

1. Her eyes are dilated and she appears to be temporarily blind as a result.
2. Panting/rapid breathing for several minutes.
3. Disorientation: Abaiya walks in circles rapidly for about ten minutes, seemingly unable to stop.
4. Exhaustion sets in once the frantic walking stops. She lays down and rests or falls asleep until the cycle starts again.

Looking back, we noticed what may have been focal seizures when she was younger (4 months olds at onset). We would find slime trails on the floor every few days. A couple of times we saw her open her mouth and rhythmically open her mouth producing slimy saliva. Now I feel sure those were localized seizures. At the time we thought she was about to vomit or had eaten something she was trying to get out.

Tim and I are exhausted, and I can only imagine how poor Abaiya is feeling. I cannot tell you how much we adore her. She is the sweetest dog, so friendly and devoted. When I leave the room, she follows me. I take her with me wherever I go. She sleeps in the bed or in the crate beside us at night. Everyone who meets her ends up in her fan club. I cannot imagine our lives without this little angel. She brings so much joy and laughter to the family. Her absence has left a void in our hearts and she has only been at the hospital less than a day. We will keep checking on her to see how she progresses during the night. For now the phenobarbital seems to be working. No seizures since 11:10 am.


#2 Joyous1

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 09:14 PM

Oh, NashAsh! What a trying time for Abaiya and your family. I'm so glad you reached out to the forum...

You are doing a fabulous job...showing her that you love her, and getting her the best care possible. Even though she is uncomfortable, I'm sure she knows this and loves you, too, for all that you are doing for her.

My senior (10 years old) Australian Cattle Dog has epilepsy, and he has many of the symptoms you describe during episodes. He has "cluster seizures," meaning they come in twos. He has a seizure episode usually once a month or every two months. We have had him since 10 months or so of age, and he started having seizures sometime during his second year. We only recently started medicating him (within the last few years) to reduce the severity and frequency of the seizures.

We started on Phenobarbital, too, but that medication wreaked havoc on our dog's digestive system (e.g. foul smelling gas...I mean unbelievably foul) and an upset stomach that I could hear from almost across the room. After a while we switched to Zonisamide. (I have heard that it is within the antibiotic family, strangely enough). It is very pricey, but our dog isn't showing any side effects, and the meds seem reduce the frequency, while definitely reducing the severity of the episodes. I thought this information might be helpful should you consider different medications.

For long term care, we have started natural care options, specifically, Chinese herbs and acupuncture...with little success. He has only had one session however for acupuncture, and I remain hopeful that it can help with the epilepsy (and other ailments associated with old age).

Although my experience with canine epilepsy is very different than the medical situation you face, please consider me a resource should you need a sounding board. Also, please know that my thoughts are with you and little Abaiya tonight.

Edited by Joyous1, 09 May 2014 - 09:15 PM.


#3 oocahtah

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Posted 09 May 2014 - 10:09 PM

hope all works out as they are such amazing pets ,i had a cat that had the same but as it is very rare in cats we did not find out till it was to late

and he had such a bad one that he ended up with fluid on the lungs so i did the best thing for him ,he did not have them as often as your little one but when he did they were very bad sending hugs and prayers from canada



#4 Carolyn

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 06:19 AM

NashAsh, I have never had a similar experience, but wanted to let you know our thoughts and prayers are with you and Abaiya. 


"When Man waked up he said, 'What is Wild Dog doing here?' and the Woman said, 'His name is not Wild Dog any more, but the First Friend, because he will be our friend for always and always and always.' "  Rudyard Kipling (The Jungle Book) 

#5 Sherab

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 06:45 AM

Somehow there are two of these so I moved my comment to this one and maybe the duplicate can be deleted by the moderators?

 

Wow, Dear Lady I am so sorry to hear this. I know you have your hands full with your full house already.

 

I'm glad you have access to specialists. I assume rabies has been ruled out. I'm glad you brought up ticks. We had an epic year - Tara even had one in late November. I personally don't like the topical treatments for prevention of ticks, but consider them necessary since the makers of Interceptor seem to not make the product any more.

 

I have no experience with dog seizures so for general education purposes found a link that gives good basic info for myself and others. Especially the part about don't put your hand in the dog's mouth. http://www.essortmen...dogs-23156.html

 

Best of luck to you and keep us posted on progress. It seems the articles I've read are upbeat about the quality of life of a treated epilepitc dog (and family).

 

Here is another excellent post. - watch out for sources of lead. Cake had a concussion (caaaakussion) from hard play a few months back and that is also the sort of thing that can lead to seizures, even later. http://www.canine-ep...com/Graves.html

 

Also if you haven't you should contact Kim for family history and such.



#6 Chinatola

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Posted 10 May 2014 - 01:02 PM

So sorry to hear that...


Chinatola

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#7 Starghoti

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 05:05 AM

I had juvenile epilepsy myself. I can say it was no fun- but that said- it was also not painful or horrible.

I can imagine, from experience, how confusing must be for a dog to have their world go all out of control.

 

And I can only guess the stress and feelings of helplessness you must be feeling.

My heart goes out to you.  Know we are thinking of you and our whole pack sends their supportive Love.

 

As others have said, it can be treated.

As you said, hopefully she will grow out of it.

 

Thankfully, (unlike us!) dogs live in the NOW and she will not dwell on past seizures or worry when the next one will happen.  

She will live her life with love and joy and make friends everywhere she goes.   :wub:


"There is no such thing as a hyper dog. There are only exercise dependent dogs."
 
"Where I go, Dog follows. Where I stop, Dog settles. When I am lost, Dog finds me. When I am joyful, Dog joins me. Who I am, Dog knows. What I need, Dog becomes. Dog is great. Dog is good. Dog is everything. I am Dog codependent."
 

#8 NashAsh

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 08:40 AM

Sherab, I'm choosing to blame the double posting on my sleep deprivation. That was my fault for sure. Once I realized what I'd done, I couldn't undo it. I need to ask Allison to help delete one of them. Oops. Abaiya has had a great day and a half. No seizures since the vet gave her phenobarbital on Friday. Two doses of Valium didn't stop the seizures, so they resorted to the big guns. She is taking Keppra 3 times a day now. It's also expensive, but has fewer side effects than Zonisamide or Phenobarbital, if I remember correctly. She hasn't had a seizure since Friday at 11:10, but did have a synchronized ear twitch yesterday that got our attention. If she has seizure on the Keppra, her neurologist will put her on Phenobarbital. They said it can damage her liver, among other unpleasant side effects, so we are hoping to avoid that. Today, Abaiya seems more like her bubbly self. She has been making more eye contact and wagging her tail often. She still seems drained of energy, but I can only imagine how tiring a seizure is, much less 8 back to back every hour and a half. She may still have sedatives working their way out of her system. She does seem to start panting earlier than usual when out on our walks. I don't want her to overheat! Sherab, rabies has been ruled out, but tick borne disease is still a possibility. She is taking Doxycycline just in case it comes back to be Erlichia, Rocky Mtn Spotted Fever, or Lyme Disease. Her platelets were 38,000 (way too low) on the first blood test, but the specialist reran that test the following day and it was normal. Toxins cannot be ruled out either. I have left her at my mothers's wooded yard with her Kelpie mix, Allie, several times in the past few weeks since she has been trained on her electric fence. It's too hot to leave her in the car, so I take her to my mother's when I have to run errands. We haven't taken our eyes off of her and have showered her with pets and snuggles, which is her favorite. We even bought her a larger crate, so she will not hurt herself if she ever has a seizure while we are out. Sydney climbed in there with her and said, "Mom, it's big enough for both of us!" I guess if the kids ever cross a line, the crate can double as a kids time out corner!" Nah, they would probably enjoy that too much. Cleaning is my go to consequence..."you just earned the baseboards!" Thank you your support, prayers, and we'll wishes. We appreciate it! The Cantrell Family

#9 Denise E.

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 01:18 PM

NashAsh,

 

So GLAD to hear that you have access to a good vet specialist and that Abaiya is doing better!

I can't imagine what your family has been going through.

 

My prayers of for all your family and that the doctors uncover the source if there is one that can be healed.



#10 Deborah Merchant

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 02:43 PM

Abaiya Boo from Jay Silver Heels and Chawa's litter (born September 9th, 2013) may have juvenile epilepsy. She has had seizures every hour and a half since 7:30 last night. We rushed her to the emergency vet, who suspected epilepsy or a toxin. Apparently this condition occurs in about 5% of puppies. The good news is that they can grow out of it. Abaiya is currently under seizure watch at a local veterinary specialist hospital that has a neurologist on staff tonight. She has been given phenobarbital to control the seizures while they try to narrow down the potential suspects. Tick borne disease, toxins, or neurological causes are also being considered.
What do her seizures look like?
1. Ears convulse/twitch for a few seconds
2. Eye convulsions soon to follow
3. Head jerking up and to the right with gaping mouth and lips pulled back.
4. Mouth convulsions and slimy foaming salivation for about 10 seconds.
5. Body convulsions start, which lasts on average 30 seconds before dissipating.
She loses bladder and occasionally bowel control during the seizures and creates enough slimy saliva from her mouth to be a slipping hazard, so we have towels handy to clean her up right away and clear the area of slime, urine, and feces before she tries to get up and walk.
What happens after the seizure passes?
1. Her eyes are dilated and she appears to be temporarily blind as a result.
2. Panting/rapid breathing for several minutes.
3. Disorientation: Abaiya walks in circles rapidly for about ten minutes, seemingly unable to stop.
4. Exhaustion sets in once the frantic walking stops. She lays down and rests or falls asleep until the cycle starts again.
Looking back, we noticed what may have been focal seizures when she was younger (4 months olds at onset). We would find slime trails on the floor every few days. A couple of times we saw her open her mouth and rhythmically open her mouth producing slimy saliva. Now I feel sure those were localized seizures. At the time we thought she was about to vomit or had eaten something she was trying to get out.
Tim and I are exhausted, and I can only imagine how poor Abaiya is feeling. I cannot tell you how much we adore her. She is the sweetest dog, so friendly and devoted. When I leave the room, she follows me. I take her with me wherever I go. She sleeps in the bed or in the crate beside us at night. Everyone who meets her ends up in her fan club. I cannot imagine our lives without this little angel. She brings so much joy and laughter to the family. Her absence has left a void in our hearts and she has only been at the hospital less than a day. We will keep checking on her to see how she progresses during the night. For now the phenobarbital seems to be working. No seizures since 11:10 am.


Sending love and prayers for her complete recovery, and for you all getting rest so as to be better able to support her

#11 miz molly

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 06:54 AM

NashAsh, so sorry to hear about Abaiya.  This must have been very scary going down this bumpy road with your family.  So glad to hear that things are getting under control.  Our thoughts are with you and your family, and fingers crossed that Abaiya recovers quickly from what ever the cause.


When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~John Muir

#12 Chinatola

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 09:39 AM

So glad to hear that Abaiya is doing better.  Hope that the path is easier moving forward.


Chinatola

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized.

--- Daniel Burnham

#13 Gib

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:35 PM

.... Thank you your support, prayers, and we'll wishes. We appreciate it! The Cantrell Family

 

Having been through a few all night vigils, I profoundly empathize and commiserate.  

 

Enervating and exhausting all in a moment and a moment seems to last forever -- and not in a good way.

 

You and your loved ones are in our deepest healing, caring, enfolding thoughts and feelings.



For Now,

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"Things work out best for those who make the best out of the way things work out."

#14 NashAsh

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Posted 12 May 2014 - 07:40 PM

Abaiya has played briefly today. Her energy level is still low overall, but she did have a short burst of "the zoomies" earlier today. It's slow but steady progress. I'll take it. I spoke with Kim LaFlamme today about Abaiya's seizures. Apparently, only three or four AI dogs have had seizures and they were attributable to tick borne diseases. That makes sense, as Abaiya has recently spent some time in heavily wooden areas. We should have the test results back in a few days. She's on a 2 month course of Doxycycline in case that possibility becomes reality. We'll see. All I know is...I love this dog!!! We will do whatever it takes to keep her strong. I believe that she will get her strength back with more time and healing. If not, we will have a special needs dog to go along with our special needs son (who was awarded his Life rank advancement in Boy Scouts tonight!). Congrats to Sawyer the Warrior. That was his nickname in the NICU for battling overwhelming odds more than a few times. I'll post some photos of our girl soon.

#15 miz molly

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 06:18 AM

Congratulations to "Sawyer the Warrior" for being awarded his Life Rank Advancement in the Boy Scouts.  That's fantastic.  It seems there are always silver linings in the unpredictable clouds of life, with moments of great achievements.  You must be very proud of him. 

 

As far as Abaiiya is concerned, my nickle is on a tick bite.  Hope his recovery is fast, so these two special beings can romp and play together real soon. 

As far as you are concerned, you sound like an amazing woman with a back bone made of faith and courage, so a congratulations goes to you too.  We send you a tone of well wishes your way.


When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. ~John Muir

#16 Greg

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:44 AM

I completely agree with Miz Molly. Best wishes to you and yours.

#17 Sherab

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 01:39 PM

NashAsh, I teared up over coffee this morning. Excellent post. Congrats to Sawyer.



#18 Chinatola

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Posted 13 May 2014 - 04:06 PM

Congrats to Sawyer and you!  


Chinatola

Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized.

--- Daniel Burnham

#19 Denise E.

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 02:29 PM

Hi NashAsh,

 

First, Congrats to Sawyer!  I've liked some of the other posts but hadn't said my congrats yet (or if I did, well it's allergy season or early senility or something .....)

 

Next,  have any of the Vet lab results come back yet?  Have you found a cause for Abaiya's seizures?

I'm so glad the meds are working but sad that Abaiya is so tired.  Maybe it is good for a few weeks that she is calm.  (Huggs)

 

 



#20 Allison

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 06:56 PM

I did know a gal who had been on Pheno-b for years for the treatment of epilepsy, and finally found out it was Lymes disease.  She got a new lease on life.  Hope you get to tell a similar story.


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