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Discussion Starter #1
I am considering taking in a foster dog with epilepsy. Young, 3 year old male chocolate lab. Does having epilepsy and the drugs he will need impact at all on exercise? Would he be able to keep up with lots of exercise? (i.e. could I ramp him up to run with us - thru proper build up of course, and take long walks?)

Does epilepsy have any other impacts on day to day life other than drugs? I have ZERO exeprience with this type of thing

Thanks in advance :)
 

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I've heard on several occasions of dogs who are epileptic being attacked by other dogs while seizing (survival of the fittest), but that isn't my experience at all. But if I were you, I'd be well prepared for that with rocky and make provisions. That is my first worry, and the reason that Owen could never be left out of his run while I wasn't home.

The medications for epilepsy can make dogs 'dopey' or just not themselves. I have a friend with a young girl who is being weaned now off her pheno and she's coming back to a perkier pup. She's been mopey and dopey depressed.

I do know that kidney function needs to be well monitered as well.
 

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If the dog's epilepsy is idiopathic you'll never know when to expect a seizure. Since he has been diagnosed I assume he is on phenobarb. The pheno affects differently dogs in different ways and it also depends upon the dose. It will make some dogs a bit lethargic, others not. Flynn is on a low dose twice a day and it has absolutely NO EFFECT WHATSOEVER on his energy level. He is athletic, agile, alert, energetic at all the times it is appropriate for him to be that way.

GENERALLY SPEAKING, seizures most often occur when a dog is at rest or sleeping. It would be a rare occasion to see a dog playing frisbee or retrieving or bitey-facing or doing anything really active when an event would take place.

Play with this guy as you would your own. Apart from the times his neurons begin firing out of control (seizure) he's just like one of yours.
 

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We see quite a few dogs that have seizures and many of them have a LOT of energy despite being on medications. But like everyone else has said, the medications effect dogs differently and it does depend somewhat on the dosage, too.

I've seen phenobarb and potassium bromide work wonders! :)
 

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We had an epileptic Cockapoo that lived to 16 years old. Once he got on Phenobarb, the seizures ended and there was no sign of any effect on anything. Vet suggested reducing the phenobarb at one point and the seizures returned. Returned to previous doseage and the dog was fine. The only difference between him and a non-epileptic dog was the pill he had to take every morning.
 

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I had a dog that would attack my other dog when he had a seizure. It was very frightening and we had to keep the seizure dog really medicated (probably more so than normal) so my other dog wouldn't attack him. It was a struggle dealing with it for 7 years. He was a very sweet dog, but I did not do what I had hoped to do with him (compete) because of his seizures. He had grand mal seizures and I would have to physically hold him down or he'd run blindly around and hurt himself.

Lots of dogs have seizures. Some are very mild.

From my personal experience, I don't want another seizure dog and would not voluntarily take one on. But kudos to you if you can give this dog a home.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone for your tips/thoughts. This is entirely new to me.

Well he is here! He went to another foster home yesterday but it didn't work out (actually one of my ex-fosters was the issue, he would not leave her alone and she can be aggressive, it just wasn't a good match). He apparently hasn't had a seizure in two months. I was thinking he woudl get one due to the change this weekend, but so far so good.

He is otherwise a very normal lab. Very playful but a good family pet, calm in the house, energetic outside... I will not leave him alone during the day with Rocky (they will be seperated) just in case. our biggest issue is he will not pee on leash (took nearly two hours to get him to pee earlier). but that is workable!

there are apparently a few people seriously interested him already so...fingers crossed he may go to a home soon (they know of his epilepsy!)

Hopeful Hearts - Dog Rescue Ontario
 

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My lab Tucson started having grand mal seizures as she aged. She was put on phenobarb and never had another one. She was pretty active her whole life.
 
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