How do you know it's a seizure?
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Thread: How do you know it's a seizure?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    DefaultHow do you know it's a seizure?

    Ozzy, 2 yrs old, neutered male. I came home one day last March and Ozzy looked drunk. His eyes were red/bloodshot, his ears were 'back' and kind of in a weird position, and he was very uncoordinated. He was trying to walk but his paws were crossing over each other as he tried. He actually was walking, he just looked drunk.

    I called the vet and he said it was a seizure (the 'drunken sailor look'). Blood tests have been done, and nothing seems wrong, so the vet said "he's got epilepsy."

    Since March, Ozzy has had 2 more episodes like this (that we've seen). We told the vet this while there last night. He said if he has one more, we'll put him on phenobarbitol (??sp).

    My question is - how do we know these are seizures? From what I've read, the eyes roll back, the dog is twitching, etc.* This isn't the case with Ozzy.

    And, I've heard terrible things about this medication. I'm afraid to put him on it, and I'm afraid not to if it happens again.


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  3. #2
    labby's Avatar
    labby is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    *points to her right palm*

    DefaultRe: How do you know it's a seizure?

    Quote Originally Posted by ozzyabb
    From what I've read, the eyes roll back, the dog is twitching, etc.
    Not necessarily. When Boomer had seizures, she just fell over. No eye rolling, no twitching. As soon as I touched her, she was back up on her feet. There are various types of seizures, and it sounds to me like this is what you are dealing with in regards to Ozzy.

    You should be writing down the dates and times of these episodes, along with how long they last, what he did during them, etc.


  4. #3
    Bob Pr. is offline Senior Member
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    Feb 2009
    Lawrence (ex-Topeka), KS

    DefaultRe: How do you know it's a seizure?

    You have three of the best vet colleges/schools in the world nearby so if you're wanting a state of the art diagnosis and treatment regimen, you might look at Tufts (Walpole, MA), or Cornell (Ithaca, NY), or UPenn (Philadelphia).

    Tufts requires a referral from your vet and I think Cornell also does but possibly UPenn doesn't.

    Puff and* I use K-State's CollVetMed Tchng Hospl and are enormouslysatisfied* with the quality of service as well as the expense.


    Ooops! Forgot to aded this link
    Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]

    Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":

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  6. #4
    Caseys Mom Guest

    DefaultRe: How do you know it's a seizure?

    What a seizure looks like depends on what part of and how much of the brain is affected by irregular electrical activity. If it's the whole (or most of) the brain you will see the eyes rolling back, whole dog twitching or thrashing around, etc. If only part of the brain is experiencing irregular activity, you will only see odd movements in part of the body. From your description of Ozzy's behavior, it does sound like he's having partial or focal seizures.

    Here are a couple of epi/seizure pages you might want to read for more information:

    Also, paddysmom has some experience with an epi dog and phenobarb (I think-but it could be KB) so you might want to PM her.

  7. #5
    mattgusmum is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    DefaultRe: How do you know it's a seizure?

    When Gus first started having seizures he had grand mal.....lots of thrashing about, twitching etc. And petite mal........looks disoriented, very tense, ears tucked back, legs tucked up. He had several episodes over about the same time frame as you have experience with Ozzy and then we started him on Phenobarb. He went really, really well on the phenobarb, in fact didn't have a seizure for a year. He has recently started have seizures again but I have increased his phenobarb dose a bit and the seizures he is having now are only petite mal which I think Gus and I can both live with at one every six weeks.

    There can be side effects with long term use of phenobarb but for Gus it is worth it. He was initially a bit dopey for a couple of weeks when he first started on the meds and you do need to have regular blood tests (annually will do) to check liver function. Also a blood test a few months after starting on phenobarb to check it is at theraputic levels.

    Won't someone please feed me!

  8. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    DefaultRe: How do you know it's a seizure?

    Have you seen this??? My 7 month old labbie woke up and tried to walk.. it was like he was drunk...he could not get his balance. He did not regain full balance/mobility till we were at the vet's office about 2-3 hrs later. Ran full bloodwork and everything is normal.

    Scared the crap out of me....

  9. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    DefaultRe: How do you know it's a seizure?

    i heartily endorse BobPr's recommendation that yoiu get further checking done......''seizures'' can be from ear infections, diabetes, brain tumors, chemical exposure, even eating morning glories, to name just a few.
    if it turns out to be unspecified-cause seizures, phenobarbitol, once the dose is adjusted properly for the individual dog, has quite excellent effects with few problems, and gives the dog & owners a good quality of life.
    best wishes!

  10. #8
    Garth is offline Registered Users
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    DefaultRe: How do you know it's a seizure?

    I had a Pug a few years ago who suffered from epilepsy. He was diagnosed at around 18 months.

    After extensive investigations from within the Pug club I belonged to at the time & collecting pedigrees from 10 generations back from some of the older members of the club,* I took them to my vet for his opinion. He concluded that it was an in breeding problem. He traced it back to 2- 5 generations back & advised NOT to breed from him. I went back to a couple of the people in the club who gave me the pedigrees & they confirmed those dogs had indeed suffered seizures.

    The worst thing was that the breeder who bred him suffered a severe attack of kennel blindness & refused to accept that HER dogs were carrying the gene. If your dogs suffer from this (or any other hereditary complaint) PLEASE DO NOT BREED FROM THEM. It will save further generations of dogs & their owners a lot of heartache.

    As soon as my boy was diagnosed, he was put on Phenobarb & remained on it every day until he died at the ripe old age of 15. This is proof that not all dogs suffer side effects.

    Here's some excellent information on this subject.

    And for more info on Phenobarb:

    Good luck.* *

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  11. #9
    Labs4me is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    DefaultRe: How do you know it's a seizure?

    Came across this article a while ago:

    It has been updated since the last time I looked at it.* Before it mentioned using a product called Concentrace which is trace mineral supplement you can pick up at a health food store.

    Also wanted to add that you may want to have his thyroid levels checked. It they are "off" it can cause seizures also.
    Bonnie ~ Ellsworth Labradors
    Home to Ellsworth's Playing For Keeps CGC, U-CH SHR Ellsorth's Absolut Pleasure, Ellsworth's Good Luck Charm
    Gone but not forgotten: Franklin's Lucy of Ellsworth; Franklin's Rare Treat; U-CD Franklin's Rockin' Robin CDX, WC, CGC; Alpha-Omega's Mustang Salli CDX, CGC


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