Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
Maggie, my 3 year old (this past July), had a seizure two nights ago. NO frothing at the mouth, drooling, or anything. She fell off the bed and it was like she was "drunk." She had no equilibrium. Once she finally was still, about 60 seconds but it felt like 10 minutes, she trembled all over then eventually threw up. Carried her to the car where she tried to sit up but kept falling over as though she still had no equilibrium. By the time we got to emergency clinic, about 15 minutes, she seemed to be back to normal. Vitals & neurological tests were normal. All of her blood tests are normal. Like most other posts I have read we are in wait-and-watch mode and keeping a journal. I contacted the breeder and none of Maggie's siblings have contacted her about any problems.
I would like to know if anyone has experienced this type of seizure and if so what was the diagnosis from their vet? Could it perhaps be something she ate? Is this a typical epileptic-type seizure. Are there different kinds of epileptic seizures?
I have called my vet about 20 times with different questions I keep thinking of so decided instead of bothering her to joing a forum and educate myself on how to help Maggie the best I can through diet, exercise, any advice or recommendations I can find. Thank you
It sounds like she had a seizure. There are different causes for seizures -- low blood sugar, low thyroid, heart disease, epilepsy, brain tumor, eating something toxic. Determining whether your dog has epilepsy is a process of eliminating all other potential issues, and the only way to eliminate all other issues is to conduct a variety of tests on Maggie. Some of the tests are simple lab tests, but if you want to conduct a full battery of tests, including an MRI and spinal tap, it can get pretty expensive. So, a vet won't be able to tell you immediately whether Maggie has epilepsy, but in many instances, it turns out to be idiopathic epilepsy esp. if the seizures begin when the dog is 2-4 years old and otherwise healthy.
After Riley's first seizure, the vet recommended that we wait to see if he has another seizure to determine whether to conduct additional tests or start medication. After Riley had his second seizure (about 5 months after the first), we consulted with a neurologist and decided to run the full battery of tests to determine if it epilepsy or something else. All the tests came out with normal results, so the neurologist said that Riley most likely had epilepsy.
Once you start medications, it's a matter of finding the right "cocktail" of meds for your dog. Riley started on zonisamide, and it worked fine for 6 months, but then he began having seizuers more often and in June, he started to have cluster seizures (more than 1 seizure in 24 hour period), so we've changed his medication a couple of times, hoping to find the right combo to further delay the next seizure.
I've heard anecdotes that a change of diet (i.e., veering away from commercial kibble) may help, but Riley was a raw diet a year before his first seizure, so it wasn't a dietary issue for him.
There are different kinds of seizures, and you should educate yourself to determine which ones can be life-threatening. I would definitely keep a journal documenting when the seizure occurred (including time of day because you may see a pattern -- e.g., a majority of Riley's seizures occur early in the morning) and how long the seizure lasted and how long the post-ictal stage (i.e., recovery stage) lasted. Not all seizures are visibly evident; there may be petite mal seizures where a dog doesn't shake but acts a bit zoned out.
There's a lot of info on the Internet. There's also a listserv -- www.canine-epilepsy.com/subscribe.html. Here's a website that provides some basic info about seizures --
Good luck with Maggie.
Hi Ellen - thank you so much for all the great info! We ran all the blood tests and everything came back normal as to thyroid, blood sugar, etc. The good news is that other than the seizure she is healthy as a horse! I really apprecaite you taking the time to respond. Hugs to you and Riley from Maggie!
I hope that all goes well with Maggie. Crossing fingers that she doesn't experience more seizures.
Charlie had a seizure very similar to this a couple of years ago. The vet ran all kinds of tests and nothing abnormal showed up after the fact. He has not had another one since, but we keep doing a full panel of blood work once a year just to check and make sure everything is still ok. One recommendation my vet had is...if there is another seizure, try to keep your cool and grab your cell phone and make a video of the seizure. The vet said that if he could see what Charlie was like during the seizure it may help him figure out what is going on with it. Luckily we haven't had another one and I just keep my fingers crossed that it was a one time event. Good luck.
Diana - thank you for the reply. It definitely giveS me hope!!!! GREAT idea to video! I would never have thought of that in the heat of the moment. Now I will be mentally prepared should it ever happen again.. which I really really hope it doesn't! Best of luck and continued good health to Charlie!!
I know I am late to this discussion but I just wanted to make a few comments:
1 - Many dogs have 1 seizure and then remain seizure free for the rest of their life (without any intervention)
2 - It is very possible the seizure was caused by environmental factors - so check if anythng has changed - cleaning supplies,room deodorants, lawn care products (even neighbors).
3 - The term epilepsy really just means "having seizures and it is caused by xyz, or we don't know why"
4 - As I have sad before rarely have I seen bloodwork or any other testing show the cause which to me indicates that the seizures are either genetic or environmental.
I hope Maggie is doing well- please let us know.
Maggie is doing great! Thank you so much for asking. :) I have been reading more and more posts on the site and it does give me hope that this will be a one-time occurrence.
We did change her diet back in June from Iams to Science Diet based on the recommendation from our vet. She lost 16lbs in about a 3 month period. In her blood work her sugar level was perfectly normal, along with everything else. That said, I am curious to know if making that change could have brought on the seizure. I guess we will never really know.
Thank you again for the inquiry, as well as the additional info. I truly appreciate it! ~ Janet and Maggie
Janet, please join the Food Group and check our recommended brands list and our information. Neither Science Diet nor Iams is a very good food, and both contain ingredients which can cause all kinds of health problems in dogs. I know it may seem sarange that a vet would recommend a food that contains questionable ingredients, but the fact is that there is no required nutrition curriculum in vet school, and most if not all of the information vets have about dog food is provided by Hill's and Purina. Vets also profit from the sale of these brands, which is essentially a conflict of interest and certainly colors their recommendations to clients.This is well documented. I am not at all saying that the food change is what caused the seizure, but there are much better and healthier choices out there.
I hope Maggie continues to be seizure free.