Hi everyone~ I'm not sure if anyone remembers me from well over a year ago, but I have Sage and Sammy. Back in September I bought a house across town, which I thought was the best thing I could do for my dogs because it has a very large, fenced in back yard for Sage and Sam to run around and get plenty of exercise. However, a month after I moved Sammy had a seizure. The vet told me to keep my eye on him and document them. Since then, Sammy had 8 more, 4 of which were in January alone. The last seizure I watched him have was when I walked in my door after a day at work and it broke my heart that I wasn't there for him. So, I moved Sammy to live with my parent's where they could be home with him all day. (No seizures since then.) Tonight, I was running around with Sage, playing fetch, tug, etc and he went into having a seizure. Sammy has never been a healthy lab. (Ear infections, digestive issues, etc) Sage on the other hand is a very healthy, strong dog who has never had any health issues until tonight. Again, I called the vet and voiced my concern that something is wrong with my house that what are the chances this can happen to both of my labs all within 3 months of me moving into this house. I hesitated to put Sam on the medication because it was explained to me that the medication is bad for their liver and it is basically a slow death but you choose which is the lesser of two evils. I am hoping that someone can offer some kind of advice to what could be causing this: wax on my hard wood floors, mold, their food? Does anyone else think that it is a strange coincidence that both of my dogs started having seizures since I have moved into my new house? Also, is that medication a slow death for dogs? Once again, in a crisis and running to you guys for answers. Thanks in advance for any help you may offer. My heart is breaking.
First of all, I wanted to thank everyone again for all of their concern and input. I gathered all of the recommended information for the vet appointment, and I think I may have overwhelmed the vet with it. I was pretty frustrated with the overall outcome of the appointment because she kept ruling my thoughts out that this may be a toxin/poison causing these seizures. She said she is still leaning towards epilepsy. She took the blood work and will call me with the results next week. She said that if a toxin/poison was causing these seizures, there would be other side effects such as excessive drinking and urinating indoors. (Which I told her Sage started doing about 3 weeks ago) I brought my father into the appointment with me for him to assess everything, and after the appointment he basically said that we should really wait to see the results of the blood work. At that time I'll consider a second opinion from another vet. In the meantime, I wanted to keep you update on how the appointment went.
....and Sandy....thanks for posting!! I'm trying to catch up everyone's scoop. I think its been almost 2 years since I posted so its awesome to come back here and see everyone. Your furfamily has significantly expanded! How sweet. I hope you are doing great as well!
How scary. It is definitely too much of a coincidence. I would also be thinking that something connected with the house is affecting the dogs. Do you have lead paint on the walls? Do you live near crops that get dusted? I have no suggestions really; I am just very sorry.
I don't believe in coincidences. I would think there is something around that house that is causing the seizures.
♣ Laura ♣
Coincidences do happen but I think I would start by having blood tests done on both dogs to see if anything looks abnormal.
Personally, if I my dog had 8 seizures in four months, with 4 of those being in the last month, I would have him on meds.
Gus has seizures and is on Phenobarb. Although he was a bit lethargic and depressed when he first started on the meds that didn't last for long (first month or so). He has regular blood tests to check his liver and I also get his phenobarb levels checked to make sure they are in the therapeutic range. His seizures have improved markedly on the phenobarb both in severity and rate of occurrence. I would chose the possible side effects of the meds any day over letting him have uncontrolled seizures.
Won't someone please feed me!
Any chance you have poisonous plants or bushes in your yard. I too think it's too weird of a coincidence.
I would get blood tests done immediately on both dogs & see if any toxins show up. While I'm waiting for the results, I'd be going around that house inside & out & making a comparison list of what that house has that the other one didn't. Things I would be looking for are:
* The water supply. (tank water vs town water. Possible contaminants in the tank.)
* Different plants or grass. (possible toxic plants).
* Did the previous tenant or immediate neighbors use any weed killers / insecticides?.
* Any industrial plants nearby?.
* Timber fencing vs steel. (Maybe chewing on timber or fence stain?)
* ANYTHING outside that looks suspect that wasn't in your previous home.
Inside the house:
* As mentioned, MAYBE different floor stain or varnish.
* Lead paint?. (Maybe they're licking it?) This could also apply to the outside.
* Any insecticides being used in the house?. Was it fumigated? (This MIGHT be another cause).
* Worst case scenario: I don't like to bring it up but are any of your neighbors anti dog?. (Possible poisoning)
Without extensive tests & consultation with your vet, It's almost impossible to know for sure what the problem is. By going to your vet armed with answers to the above questions, at least you can start the process of elimination & hopefully come to an accurate diagnosis leading to the right treatment for both of them.
One thing you didn't mention, are they closely related in any way or from the same breeder?. IF they are, this could also be a genetic problem usually as a result of in breeding. If you have their pedigrees, take those to your vet also. He / she might be able to detect any in breeding in the backgrounds.
Finally, IF it turns out they both have epilepsy, don't worry too much about the side effects of Phenobarb. One of my Pugs was diagnosed as epileptic at 10 months & was on phenobarb every day of his life. He lived a happy normal life & lived until 15.
Hope this & the other posts help. GOOD LUCK.
Great advice. I would be inclined to think it could be some sort of toxin or poison, particularly since the other dog is better since moving. I have a friend who moved to a new house and her new neighbors poisoned her dogs because of their barking. He actually sort of admitted it but claimed that the dogs had somehow gotten into his yard and eaten poison he left out - which was not true. I'd be looking out for things like that - particularly if you leave your dogs outside while unattended.
I would suspect there could be something in your area that could be causing the seizures. I have a dog who started seizing always in March when she was 7 yrs. Whenthe seizures started coming more than 3 a week we put her on phenobarb but like you I didn't like what it could do to her liver. we transitioned her to Potassium Bromide which is not filtered by the liver and she is now 11 yrs, seizure free and doing great.
Oh my...thanks everyone! That was great information you provided. I'm glad I'll go into the vet appointment prepared for questions they may ask. It did cross my mind that someone may be slipping them stuff through the fence, but this is a popular neighborhood for dogs. Still you never know, unfortunately. I do know that the previous owners before me had a black lab. I called my realtor last night and asked if I could contact her to see if her lab ever had seizures.
Most importantly....thanks again for your input!!!
Are Sage and Sammy from the same lineage -- with common genes?
If so, that could be a common factor.
If they're from different lineages, then the probability that it's related to environmental causes increases greatly.
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":