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help please, my dog is having fits

(10 Posts)
fluffybutt Fri 24-Jun-11 23:04:02

My little dog is nearly 4, she has had 3 episodes of fitting in the last 6 months. The 1st time it happened I rushed her to the vet and he gave her Diazapan to calm her down, 2nd time 2months later, the fit was less severe and I just kept her calm and cooled her down, and within an hr she was Ok, the 3rd time pretty much the same as the 2nd. I have noticed that recently she has major shaking episodes, its almost as if she is vibrating and she licks and pants aswell, these are happening about 1/2 a week. I think they are almost like a mini fit, but I am not sure. Does anyone have any experience of this, I am trying not to over react, but I really hate seeing her like this. Thanks

Winetimeisfinetime Fri 24-Jun-11 23:12:43

Sorry to hear about your little dog's problem, it must be horrible to see her going through this.

I'm afraid I don't have any specific advice but hopefully someone with relevant knowledge will be along to advise.

I also have a little dog who has to have Diazapan occasionally because of a neurological problem and I know how worrying it is. It sounds like you need to take her back to the vet and mention these new symptoms. I hope that all turns out well for her.

nitnatnaboo Fri 24-Jun-11 23:14:58

My mum's friend had a Yorkie who was prone to fits. Iirc it was linked with pork products - could that be it?

fluffybutt Fri 24-Jun-11 23:19:01

nitnat, thats really weird my dog can't eat any pork as it gives her a really bad stomach. I wonder if the two things are linked. I will have to google it. Thanks

DooinMeCleanin Sat 25-Jun-11 00:13:12

You need to go back to the vet, who will take blood to rule out any other causes of fitting and if there are none will diagnose canine epilepsy.

I had a JRT with epilepsy and it is not as scary as it sounds. It can be medicated and your dog can live a full and healthy life. One thing I did find out when I was researching about is that it can be caused or worsened by cheap foods filled with fillers and artificial colours. Make sure your dog is getting the best diet you can afford. Skinners is a good food and fairly cheap. BARF is meant to be the best for epileptic dogs, but can be a bit daunting at first and you need loads of freezer space.

fluffybutt Sat 25-Jun-11 10:57:29

Thanks for the info. I think I will take her back to the vet. He did Bloods after the 1st episode and they came back clear, so said it was epilepsy, but unless she was having 2 or more episodes a month, not to medicate. I feed her James Wellbeloved kibble and fresh cooked chicken. I will look at Skinners, never heard of BARF, so will look into that too. She was on food prescribed by the vet for sensitive stomach, but I am pretty convinced this is when the fitting started. I'll buy her fillet steak if I have to, I love her soooo much.

Elibean Sat 25-Jun-11 12:40:32

If the shaky/licky episodes are mini-fits, then she is having more than one per month....I would talk to the vet about those, and ask again about medication maybe?

DogsBestFriend Sat 25-Jun-11 21:52:41

Definitely cut out all foods/treats with preservatives, additives or colourings. Eliminate all stress from her life as much as possible, be that when visitors call, when the DC are getting over excited, whatever. Stress is a big trigger. Also remove her from the vicinity of computers or vice versa - I've known dogs to fit as a result of the noise from them. Others have found that the smell of pine, particularly that in some detergents, can be a trigger and I'd recommend that you make sure washed hard floors are completely dry, that you don't use air freshener/Shake n Vac and the like in pooch's vicinity.

And never allow her to go swimming - it was a trigger for my first epi dog but even if it isn't you do NOT want your dog to fit in the water, far too dangerous.

Keep a rough daily diary of food and possible triggers too, see if there is anything you can pinpoint.

I'm not too sure about the vet's decision not to medicate atm - sounds like your girl needs stabilising to me. That said I am NOT a vet, I've owned an epi dog in the past and currently have an epi GSD, a long term foster dog whose "real" owner is the rescue. That rescue has a much-respected reputation for it's care of epi dogs amongst its fellow rescue owners, having at the moment 8 or 9 epi dogs out of a total of about 60 pooches. The rescue owner, Dave, is imho an absolute genius on the condition and I'd really, really recommend that you drop him an email or post on his forum (you'll find the email addy there too) and ask his advice. Forum

You can call them too, speak to Dave on 01353 777399 though unless in emergency they prefer emails as they are a two-person rescue who work their asses off from 7am until at least 2am and so are often unable to speak at length on the phone.

My big GSD is on phenobarbitrate, the standard canine epilepsy drug. He has the very minimum dose, 30mg per 12 hours and hasn't fitted in the tear he's been here. The resciue did wean him off it when he was there and doing well having settled in but the fits returned and it was a bugger to stabilise him again.

Another drug which is used but IME vets are less willing to prescribe, is gabapentin, which wards off the "partials" - the staring into space, being "just not there", pre fit. I'd very much indeed recommend that you return to your vet and push for more help rather than let this get out of control.

Hope this helps, if there's anything else you can think of that I may have experienced and which might assist just shout.

DogsBestFriend Sat 25-Jun-11 21:55:30

* My boy hasn't fitted in the YEAR since he's been here, not tear, of course!

The shaking, by the way, sounds like a "partial" to me - all the more reason to ask Dave at the rescue for advice and see if he agrees with me that Gabapentin might be the way forward.

fluffybutt Sat 25-Jun-11 22:16:13

Thankyou DBF. I was trying to kid myself that the shaky episode were her being nervy and stressy, as they always seem to happen at a friends house, (so lots of children and 2 dogs). Most of the time she is fine when we are there, but it has been happening more frequently. But last night it happened at home. I guess i just have to bite the bullet and speak to the vet again. I was reluctant to do the drugs as I had read that the side effects of phenobarbitrate were really bad. So thankyou so much for the advice re Gabapentin. She really doesn't eat very much, do you know if fits can be caused by low blood sugar, sometimes her tummy growls so loud, but she never has been much of an eater. Oh bless her, she is so lovely, I hate the thought that she might be suffering sad

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