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Seizures

  • Nemo had a seizure this morning.  His first one since June, at least that we know of.  The type of seizure that he has is not that terrible, on a scale compared to others.  He gets very wobbly in his legs and is obviously disoriented but he never blacks out, loses bowel or bladder control or foams.  Nemo always tries to get up and walk around but he is to stumbly, and I just tell him to lay down and he does right next to me.  His pupils become huge, his entire eyes seem black and his legs just shake for awhile.  I can tell he doesn't understand what is going on, so I just keep him as calm as possible and stay with him for the duration.  This one was about 3 minutes long, maybe less, I had no clock in the bathroom.  Poor little guy.



    Anyone else's Shiba have seizures?

    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-05-29 03:31:47

  • Jeez... that is so sad. Poor little man. Frown



    He is lucky to have someone like you that understands and can help him. Three minutes is a long time to struggle through something like that.



    Sorry to hear about it, hope he is ok.



    Is he on pills for it?

  • Poor baby!  Niko has not had any serious illnesses or problems gratefully.  How long has he had it?  When was the onset?  Thank goodness you know what is going on!
  • My parents miniature dashaund has seisures alot. Its mostly when something changes alot in her daily pattern, such as a family gathering, loud noises, when they go on vacation and board her, and sometimes more often because she is getting old. My parents put her on a daily medication for it and hid it in a liver treat, they would cut the pill up and give her half in the morning and half at night at it seemed to calm them down alot. They also used to give her honey, yes honey, and put it in her gums and she would come out of it within 30 seconds to a minute or so.

  • Nemo is not currently on any pills for his seizures.  His seizures are very mild, relatively, and the anti-seizure meds can be very hard on a dogs liver, even decreasing life span.  I have some friends with dogs who have serious seizures, these are 10-15 minute episodes (imagine sitting through that?) where the dog pretty much "blacks out" (unresponsive to anything), loses bowel and bladder control, foams, shakes violently, and can often be "off" for the rest of the day as they seem to sap energy from the dog, which makes sense.  One friend does have their dog on anti-seizure meds because his shiba was having them pretty often, and for a long time.  The risk of liver damage was a toss up between the risk of brain damage.  He figured a possibly shorter life with high brain function was superior to a possible long life with possible brain damage/dementia.



    Nemo's first seizure (that we know of) was in November 2005, I think, I could check my notes when I get home.  They are all of the mild type like he had today.  When he was on heartgaurd he had them much more often, now that he is on interceptor they seem to be less frequent.  When I took him off of heartworm preventatives all together (over the winter) he had none.



    We don't know the exact cause, poor breeding is my guess as to why he is prone to them.  The person I mentioned above, his Shiba is from a mill rescue, and another friend has that dog's brother and he has seizures also.  In fact the mother and all five of her pups that were rescued from that mill have seizures.  Nemo's brother has the same type of seizures that he does.  I'm not Vet but my feelings are that they are genetically handed down/linked and from poor breeding.



    The only thing that has changed recently for Nemo is that a few days ago I started him on an Immune System supplement, but he is on two other supplements from that company and has had no adverse reactions, only really good results.  I just finished drying off from my shower and putting my clothes on, opened up the bathroom door, he tried to walk out, I spotted he wasn't right, closed the door and sat on the floor with him.  He was fine within 10-15 minutes.  Ate breakfast, and went back to bed with my wife.



    They suck to deal with, I'm just glad that his are not bad.


  • jmaxwell your parents dachshund sounds like my friends shiba.  When there is a change in Snickers' (shiba) routine, she can often have a seizure.  Floor being repaired, dust up at the dog park, suddenly hot day, suddenly cold day, etc, can all trigger one.



    Honey is a wonderful natural product.  It probably helps the seizures because of the sugar content, raising the blood sugar levels.  Whole Dog Journal did a report on honey not long ago.  If some of you don't have Whole Dog Journal subscriptions, you should look into it.


  • Holy crap - 10 - 15 minutes... that is really hard to imaging. I am with your friend tho, I would give the drugs too. What is the point of having a dog be unhappy for a long life rather be really stoked and feel good for a shorter life... especially when you are talking about a couple years.



    I read that Whole Dog Journal as well - that article sparked a lot of interest for me in honey - for humans and dogs.


  • I can't imagine watching Nemo have a 10-15 minute seizure either. I've only been told that's heartbreaking, as most of the time there isn't much you can do except try to comfort them and let them know that you are there.



    Did you know that honey is the only food that never goes bad? If it turns into crystals you can just reheat it and it goes back to being honey. Bacteria can't grow on it for some reason. I've always been a big fan of honey, and was glad to hear that it's also good for me. Watching Nemo it it can be pretty funny.

    Post edited by brandon_w at 2007-09-25 20:35:08
  • For people honey is really great at clearing up pimples and is an awesome face mask. Silly I know but I am a makeup artist. So I kind of have an excuse.

  • I honestly didn't know much about honey till I read that article - once I read that I hit Wikipedia and read all I ever needed to know about Honey. If I recall, it can't go bad because there is very little water - and therefore not much oxygen - in honey. The bees, when creating honey, beat their wings at an incredible rate to heat the honey up and evaporate any of the water. Pretty amazing.



    Having said that, I did just throw some honey away because it turned to crystals - I wish I had know I just needed to heat it up. Undecided


  • Awww, Brandon.  Poor Nemo.  Just remember that, despite the seizures, Nemo can still live a long, happy and healthy life as long as he is loved and cared for properly.  My last Shiba (a puppy-mill rescue) lived until she was fourteen years old.



    My Anakin (also a puppy-mill rescue) has seizures, also.  The only explanation that anyone can provide me is poor breeding, or perhaps in-breeding.  All of his blood tests come back normal, and every other test only proves that my pet is a healthy dog, despite the seizures.  They've gone unexplained for years.  The seizures started out of nowhere when my Shiba was somewhere around two years old; He is six now.  Four years ago, he would have perhaps two seizures each year, but I find that they come more often as he continues to get older.... as many as 6-10 each year now.  In the summer, they become more frequent (one/two a month or so) and then during the winter he seems to be fine.  Sudden changes in his routine, stressful events and too much excitement/play (especially in the summer heat) seem to trigger them, I've found. 



    My Shiba's seizures aren't as awful as they could be... but they're still stressful for both of us.  My poor Anakin starts to pant and become agitated, then his eyes get a vacant look and every muscle in his body seems to tense, and his claws spread as though he's trying to grip the floor.  Usually, he lowers himself to the floor until he looks like a gargoyle and remains there until it passes, while other times he attempts to stagger around, kick or crawl.  I feel awful during the 3-5 minutes it takes for him to return to normal, but the vet assures me that there is nothing that I can do besides comfort him, talk to him, and remind him that I'm nearby.  He never loses control of his bladder or bowels during a seizure (thankfully) and he doesn't foam at all, but he vomits EVERY time.  I always make certain to walk him afterwards, and my veterinarian suggested that I give him plain vanilla ice cream after a seizure to bring his blood sugar back to normal.



    My vet (and the second opinion I received from my mother's vet) says that we won't attempt to medicate my Shiba for his seizures until they become too frequent.  (The medication to prevent the seizures does considerable damage to the dog's liver, sadly, and we're trying to avoid that for as long as possible.)  Until that day comes, we're just doing the best we can.  As I said, my Shiba is a healthy, happy boy.  And the fact that he truly needs me makes me cherish him that much more.



    Just continue to take care of and love your Nemo.  You're doing the best for him that anyone can.



     

  • Mitsu's first observed grand mal seizure by me was ~1.5 years ago. I had just picked her up from a shelter in Joplin, MO so who knows how many she had before or if this was the reason she was given up. She was only 2 so we started her on Potassium Bromide but that was not effective and increased her thirst which gave her polyurea. She peed all over the house and the doggie diapers could not contain all the pee! Next we started Phenobarbital which currently keeps her seizures to one observed episode every 1-2 months. I have sat through over a dozen seizures with her so I hope I don't seem insensitive in this video but I am pretty used to it and just try to sit near to keep her from hurting herself. It is still pretty scary though. I took this video to show my vet who has never observed her seizing. It lasted over 5 minutes, this video is a couple minutes in. She stays disoriented for about 10-15 minutes afterwards. They vary on there severity. This seizure is pretty mild compared to her normal and she does not always, but has defecated on herself during an episode. I hope this is not morbid but I thought it might be useful for some to see.


    Edit: Also adding this photo of how her paw curl into a "clawed hand"
    Photobucket
    Post edited by ShibaLove at 2012-12-17 22:14:48
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Thanks for sharing the video. It's heartbreaking, but its good information.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • First, I'm sorry you're dealing with this. I also have an epileptic Shiba--she's got a thread around here somewhere, so in a bit, I'll try to link several of the seizure threads in this one, so we have a "master" thread.

    And second, I'm glad you did post the video. I think it's very useful, actually. I didn't know what was happening to Bel when she had the first clonic-tonic (grand mal) seizure I saw. It was very similar to the way your dog started out, with the paws curved, and the legs curled but stiff. I had no idea what it was, and had to look and look for videos that showed it. So I think it is very useful for people to be able to see, so they know what is happening with their dog.

    In our case, we realized Bel had been having the smaller "absence" seizures (petit mal) for years. It explained A LOT about her odd behavior, her disorientation, her lack of recognition of people, etc. Because she'd had other smaller seizures, we started her on a very low dose of phenobarbital almost immediately, and she's been on it now for several years. We've had to raise the dose a bit to keep the seizures under control, because I've seen her have small ones, including one just about two weeks ago, though she's never had another major one that I've seen, thankfully.

    The pb is bad for the liver, of course. She does have some compromised liver function. She also now has chronic kidney disease which may or may not be related. But it's a hard place: if we stop the pheno, not only does she have seizures that could cause brain damage, but she is wildly aggressive. We're lucky that the pb had the side effect of calming her (she's not at all drugged, and she's still quite active, but she's also not nearly as anxious/aggressive). The vet has suggested the potassium bromide, but we NEED the very slight sedative quality of the pb, so we stick with it.

    Anyway, thanks for posting this and just.....I don't know. Hang in there I guess. I know it can be really tiring and stressful at times. A lot of times I don't even think of it, but then...when the dog seizes, yeah, I realize that there is a degree of stress living with an epileptic dog.

    Some related threads, for anyone who may be dealing with this:

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/6825/shibas-with-seizures-bel-update/p1

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7709/behavior-change-after-seizures/p1

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/8597/complex-partial-seizures-a-nola-update-/p1

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/9978/yoshimoto-had-her-first-seizure-last-night/p1

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7458/possible-seizure/p1

  • ShibaLove thanks so much for posting about Mitsu. Yep, it is really helpful.... Seizures can be really hard to describe, especially in milder forms, and your video shows the eye tracking and muscle movements well.

    Wishing you all the best in keeping Mitsu's episodes as few as possible.
    Snf


    PS: To add....One thing to be concerned with if individuals have multiple dogs in a home, is making sure the disoriented Shiba has a private recovery area away from other animals. Seizing dogs can stress other canine housemates sometimes, causing aggression toward the convulsing or wondering dog.
  • BootzBootz
    Posts: 3495
    @ShibaLove @shibamistress
    I really do hope both your Shibas get better. While babysitting my sisters rescue min pin he went through a seizure and honestly I didn't know what to do. I just started petting him telling him he's ok while holding back my tears. Luckily my bf was there and caught it on camera...which helped with the vet.

    Is there anything we can do to help with the seizure when it happens?
    Post edited by Bootz at 2012-12-17 23:07:18
  • Not really. It helps to get other dogs away, as Snf notes. It helps to talk soothingly to them, or maybe it doesn't, but Bel likes it, and she's very scared, clingy afterwards, so I think it helps. They need something to get their blood sugar back up, often, so that's why the ice cream is a good thing. If it goes on too long, though, you have to get them to the e-vet right away, because it can cause brain damage. some people who have dogs with a lot of the bigger seizures keep injectable valium on hand to give them if they start having cluster seizures that go on too long.

    Luckily, I've never had to deal with that.
  • Thanks for all the love and support! As @shibamistress said, Phenobarb is not good but it could be worse without. And @StaticNfuzz was good to point out that other dogs can react badly to the seizure itself and the disoriented behavior during the recovery time so be careful everyone!

    As for what helps. Shibamistress probably has more experience with Bel but I just try to get them away from things they can bump into and hold her down so she doesn't thrash too much. Just be careful about getting too close because you might get pee or pooed on. I also usually hold my hands or legs under her paws to giver her something to push against. It looks like she is straining so much but I don't know if this helps. I talk to her and pet her but this is really for my own comforting because humans have no recollection of their seizure. Of course sit with them during recovery and make them feel better. Really time is all that will make it any better and just staying calm and patient.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6678
    Thanks for posting video it must be hard to do, but maybe it will help someone else if they need it.

    I hope Mitsu feels better soon.

    Pearly my first dog at age of 13 she had seizures.. :( Not fun going through it.
    Photobucket
    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • tkfushtkfush
    Posts: 131
    Around what age do epileptic seizures typically begin? Someone had told me around 1.5 to 2 years but I don't know how valid that information was...
    Post edited by tkfush at 2012-12-18 00:36:22
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    I think it largely depends on what the type and cause of the seizure is. Beebe had the first one I witnessed when she was about 2.5, and then we figured out it was her low thyroid and she has only had small events since being treated for the hypothyroid.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    As for helping with the seizures... I am surprised that none of your vets have give you syringes of Valium.

    After Nola's first tonic-clonic seizure (after she had already been diagnosed with complex partial seizures), the vet gave us a few syringes (with needles removed) of Valium to administer rectally during a tonic-clonic seizure. Just like in human's, administering Valium rectally during a tonic-clonic seizure generally decreases the intensity of the seizure very fast. If your Shibas are prone to having intense and long seizures, then I highly suggest that you talk to your vet about the Valium. It has helped Nola on several occasions.

    I have only tried the Valium with the partial complex seizures a couple of times, but it does seem to lessen the intensity of those as well, just not as much as with the tonic-clonic seizures.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Rectally? That's a new one for me. It never occurred to me to do anything other than IV.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    @lindsayt - Rectally is the preferred way to administer it in humans as well. It is absorbed faster than a general IM shot and is easy for non-medical professionals to administer (such as family members, skilled care staff, etc.). In emergency medicine, it is administered nasally (in humans) if rectal administration is not possible. Giving an IV to a seizing individual (human or canine) is almost impossible without multiple medics.
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4786
    Usually my people already had IV access, so I never even thought about it before, but that's a great idea for those at home and with no access. I learned something new!
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    YAY for shared information. :) Another reason why I love this forum!
    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • The valium was never suggested to me for her seizures but I will bring it up to my vet when I show him this video. I second the Yay for shared information! I can imagine how it could be quite dangerous to administer and a shot while she is seizing especially if she suddenly jerks. Thanks everyone.
  • Bel doesn't usually have tonic clonic seizures, so I've never thought about it much. But in addition, Bel doesn't do well with valium. it tends to make her anxious, hyperactive and aggressive, so probably wouldn't be the best solution for her in any case. I don't know if it would be different if she was actually having a seizure right then, but it's probably not worth trying with her unless it was an emergency.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    It's almost 3am and I am reading up on seizures because my foster had one about 1 1/2 hours ago. I wasn't sure it was a seizure since she was walking like she was drunk with her tail down, and Kaji was right next to her side, as if he was trying to support her. He knew something was wrong because he never walks that close to her and she makes him give her space. I rushed over to check on her and tried to get her to lay down. She did for a few seconds but stood up and proceeded to throw up her dinner. She was still disoriented after that but was much better, so I thought maybe it was some poisoning. Taisho and Kaji were fine so I knew it couldn't have been the dinner. We don't use pesticides in the house, so that was out as well. I checked our bathrooms to see if anything was out of the ordinary and nothing was misplaced or opened. Shortly afterwards, Sheba was panting a lot and asked to go out so I took her on a short walk where she acted normal and peed a couple of houses down. Once indoors, she laid down and is breathing normally again. Well, she's actually snoring.

    I was told she has seizures but I expected something a little different. Poor girl, I can't imagine how scary it was for her. I don't believe she ever lost all consciousness or became totally disoriented. She did walk towards me when she felt the seizure coming on, and for that I am grateful that she trusts me enough to want to be near me when she is scared. I wish I knew what triggers it and what else I can do to help her when she has them.

    For those with seizure experience, are your dog's seizures usually very similar or do they have different reactions each time? Will her seizures go away when she gets down to a reasonable Shiba Inu weight? She was 58lbs when my son picked her up yesterday morning.
    Post edited by amti at 2013-07-29 04:06:31
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Probably not. Seizures don't usually have much to do with weight. However, hypothryoid dogs can have seizures. Did you check her thyroid? (I can't remember if you said you'd check that or not).

    But some dogs only have one and that's it. Toby had one, and never had another. Bel, of course, had many, many seizures. You do need to talk to your vet, but there's usually not a lot they can do at this stage, though they may have some tests to suggest.

    Sorry to hear this, too. It can be very difficult.
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Yes, she's on her first prescription of the little blue pills for hypothyroidism. She gets rechecked in about ten days. I was told she got seizures when I got her. I was also told that their vet said the seizures could be related to her weight. That's too bad they probably aren't.
  • StaticNfuzzStaticNfuzz
    Posts: 1814
    amti: Yep we have had a similar experiences. It is great your other dog was supportive and you were able to watch it through. It sounds like a very mild one. It is hard to say if it will go away or just remain as it is. It differs in each case depending on cause.

    I concur, have her thyroid checked.

    Keep us posted.
    Snf




  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thanks SNF. Kaji is a sweetheart and very sensitive, so he knew something was wrong and wanted to make sure Sheba was okay. Shebe usually doesn't let Kaji near her so this was a first, and also a big breakthrough on the trust issue. Good to know her seizure was mild. I was getting scared she was going to fall over and die on me. I can't imagine how scary a big seizure would be for everyone!
  • ShibaLoveShibaLove
    Posts: 554
    *Edited - Horrible phone typos, just couldn't stand not editing it.

    Mitsu's seizures are pretty much as seen above in the video, but they do vary in length of time and severity. Only once did she defecate, but if your foster has reoccurring seizures ask your vet if they recommend a drug to manage it like phenobarbital or potassium bromide. Reoccurring seizures can sometime cause permanent damage and lead to things like incontinence.
    Post edited by ShibaLove at 2013-07-29 21:59:08
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thank you for posting that video- it was very helpful to see a seizure first hand, even though it differed from Sheba's seizure. AFter things settled down, googling seizure types was my first priority bc if Sheba didn't have a seizure, then I had to take her in. I found enough evidence that it was a seizure so I was able to relax a bit. I don't know what Sheba's other seizures were like, or how many she has had. I will email the previous caretaker and ask her. I don't think she was familiar with seizures that well either, and she was only watching Sheba for her previous owner for a couple of months, before he decided he didn't want her. She gets her thyroid levels checked again on the 8th, so I will ask the vet then about meds and other options.

    Today's been a tough day, wish I could just drink some wine and call it a night. But I've got a couple of dogs that need a walk. That's good enough therapy for now. ;)
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    If she's had seizures before, she probably should be treated for it. Phenobarbital is the most commonly used drug, and works well. My Bel took a light dose--it didn't sedate her, but it did stop her seizures, mostly. But yes, they can guess worse, and if they have long seizures it can cause brain damage, so you really need to be on top of it with them. Check out the other seizure threads, too, because there are some good links to how to deal with them. Epi-angels is a good one and will tell you what you need to know (like dogs expend a lot of energy with a seizure, and then need something to get their blood sugar back up, etc).
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    Thanks shibamistress, I'll look into seizure meds. I was under the impression you didn't give meds unless the seizures were severe, but my info may have been outdated. I'll be sure to ask the vet too. I didn't know about needing to raise blood sugar after a seizure but it makes sense.
  • sunyatasunyata
    Posts: 8583
    @amti - Medicating seizures often depends on both the severity and frequency of the seizures. Once Nola was diagnosed with seizures, we immediately put her on phenobarbital because of the frequency of the episodes. Once I realized that her odd behaviours were seizures, it became very apparent that she was having multiple seizures a day. The seizures she started with were the small seizures, or complex partial seizures. She was still semi-aware during the episodes and would often get "stuck" in places or stare off into nothing and shiver. The seizures caused extreme fear and confusion with her as well.

    Since the initial diagnosis, it has been determined that she has a slow growing mass in her brain. She has had multiple strokes and several tonic-clonic (grand mal) seizures. We did increase her phenobarbital dosage for a while, but are now back on a low dose, since she has been doing much better over the past few months. The phenobarbital has definitely helped decrease the amount of seizures that she has, but it has not stopped them all together. I still witness a couple of complex partial seizures a month and she has had a few tonic-clonic seizures over the past six months (maybe 2 or 3).

    It is scary and frustrating to deal with seizures, especially since the dog is not able to tell you what is going on. And it can be even more frustrating to not know WHY the dog is having seizures. Hopefully some of the information you have found has been helpful, but I would really talk to your vet about putting her on some sort of medication, especially if she has these episodes fairly often (more than 1 every 2 months).

    Bella 2Mountains 2Nola 2
    Casey, with Bella and Nola, hanging out in the mountains of Virginia.
    I Wander, I Ride
  • amtiamti
    Posts: 1066
    I'm really sorry to hear about your dog Sunyata. It sounds like there is some correlation among seizures in dogs and seizures in humans because I have heard of people getting seizures when they had a mass in their brain too. I'm glad the meds are helping your pup.

    I heard back from the lady who was watching Sheba. It looks like Sheba has had three seizures since March (includes this last one). The two with the lady were very similar to mine and Sheba did not lose consciousness. She thinks Sheba was coming out of a seizure when I saw her, but I don't know. The lady told me the previous owner, who has owned Sheba for 3-4 years mentioned Sheba having maybe one seizure every 9 months or so, but she thinks that he wasn't being totally honest given the numbers she's witnessed. So it looks like Sheba is a good candidate for meds. I was really hoping she wouldn't be. :(

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