I am desperately seeking some advice. I have a chocolate lab. He is 2 1/2 years old. Since about 1 year of age, I have battled ear infections. His ears are CONSTANTLY red, filled with brown stuff, and smelly. I clean them at least once per week, and use antibiotic ointment when I can't get it under control. I feed him a grain free food - Taste of the Wild Buffalo (which is one of many that I've tried). I am wondering if anyone has any other recommendations for food options that might help get this under control.
Also, he started having partial seizures at 1 year of age. Below is a link I found on You Tube that looks just like the type of episodes my guy is having:
Lab canine seizure - YouTube
I've done a lot of research, and some say that these sorts of episodes can also be related to food allergies (just like the ear infections). I have not started him on any seizure meds because his episodes are sporadic - he's had about 7 this year. He's been to a general practice vet and a neurologist, both of whom have recommended holding off on the meds. The seizures are sparked when he is startled or suddenly awakened. We have had to unplug our door bell and make company call before entering our home.
I am desperate to help him get better - for his sake and mine! I would so greatly appreciate any advice anyone has (or even any similar experiences with the seizures). Is a different food the answer to his problems? Should I start him on seizure meds? Or, should I just stop worrying and let him be a dog?
Thank you in advance!
I thought the one comment to the video was interesting about a dog being put on Lipitor. Anyone have any thoughts on that connection? Definitely understand the connection on the thyroid comment-- have you had your pup's thryoid (full panel) checked? How is he after-- any aura like regular epilepsy or is he totally normal? There is another issue called PD (aka chinook seizures), which is actually a movement disorder. Maybe June w/ Monty will chime in here.
WindyCanyon Girls, August 2014
Thank you for the heads-up Anne!
Hi Lablover - sorry to hear about the problems your boy is having.
Looking at the video clip - there do seem to be some similarities to the episodes that my Monty has been having since being 2 yrs old (he's now age 7). This is a link to some video clips of Monty's episodes - there's one in 2008, and another clip showing 2 episodes in 2007.
Monty Collapse 2008.wmv - YouTube
After lots of tests (all of which were normal) Monty was diag as having probable paroxysmal dyskinesia - which is thought to be a movement disorder. I note that Anne mentions the Chinook "seizure" - this is also thought to be a form of PD, as is Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome (common in Border Terriers)
As you will see from Monty's videos he remains fully conscious and responsive throughout. All the early episodes were triggered by excitement/sudden burst of enerey (eg jumping up and running to bark at the mailman) - though over the past year we are now seeing them occur without any obvious trigger. They never happen when he is sleeping.
I note that Anne asks whether there is any post ictal period after the episode - Monty reverts back to normal immediately once it is over. Most of Monty's episodes last around 7-8 mins on average - but he has had a few very severe ones lasting much, much longer - and also some very mild and short ones.
He's had 20 so far this year - the last one being just 10 days ago.
Monty is not on any anti-seizure meds. I have been told by a neurologist here in the UK, and also by a vet at Minnesota, that after trying some labs on the newer anticonvulsants - they now know that these dogs do not respond to those drugs.
The Uni of Minnesota is now (following on from their EIC research) looking at "atypical collapse in labrador retreivers" - you may be interested in contacting them. Labradors diag with PD are included in this research.
Atypical Collapse in Labrador Retrievers - CVM - Veterinary and Biomedical Services, University of Minnesota
Moving on a little - rather interestingly Monty does also have on-going problems with his ears!
More recently he was diag with absorption problems in the small intestine, and he also has chronic pancreatitis (probably immune related). We discovered these problems after changing to an holistic vet. In view of the pancreatitis we now know about, it is as well that we did not put Monty onto the epilepsy drugs - this could have proved fatal for him! Incidentally he has always tended to have digestive disturbances.
I have found that if I can keep him lying down and as calm as possible - the episode tends to pass more quickly than if I allow him to struggle to his feet. I have also found that rubbing a little glucose syrup inside his mouth sometimes seems to shorten the episode a little bit.
I am not saying that what you are seeing in your boy is definitely the same as Monty - just that is is maybe something worth mentioning to your vet.
Please pm me if I can be of any further help. I will be very interested to hear more about your dog.
Our vet had us chose a food with the protein being one our allergic dog had never had before, just in case it was the protein source. He also said to go grain free. We put her on TOTW Pacific Stream because she had never had fish. The difference has been amazing! No more ear infections, her hair grew back, the rashy whelps on her inner thighs are gone. We noticed a difference within the first week. You might try going to the salmon based food and see if it helps. Your poor boy, you must be so scared when he seized! I hope you find some answers.
Sophie DOB 04/13/2011 6 mo
Sophie 15 months, with Skye