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Hi, my name's Courtney, and I'm new to this site (actually I signed up a year ago, but I'm just now getting into it). I have an English Springer Spaniel named Max, and he's my best friend. :)

Sometime last year, he started having seizures; one in the middle of the night, and then another one the following morning. We called the vet and she told us to bring him in ASAP. Turns out he had epilepsy, so she put him on Phenobarbital and since then he's only had two seizures (one the night we got back from the vet's, and one about 3 months later). Thankfully, he's been responding really well to PB, and takes one pill every 12 hours.

Tomorrow is Max's 7th birthday (I'm going to bake him cupcakes tonight), but it'll also be the six month mark since his last seizure.

That's was just a little intro about me/my dog. I was just wondering how many other people on here have epileptic dogs, and if they wanted to share their story? Max's was pretty basic as the first treatment was the right one, but I know some dogs are really hard to treat.
 

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Is your dog on potassium as well (I think it's potassium that I am thinking about). I know that the dogs that were on pheno at our old clinic were on that as well.

We had a dane x lab mix when I was younger that ended up developing seizures (vet believed that it may have been due to the horrible abuse he suffered prior to us adopting him from the SPCA). Sadly his got to the point where his quality of life wasn't good. I'm glad to hear that the meds are working
 

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He isn't, no. Do you know what the potassium was for? We just got his first blood tests back today and everything seems to be fine.

Sorry to here about your dog. Lab mixes are such great dogs. :( I know some dogs start to develop some kind of immunity to PB, and they start having seizures again, and have to be put down. Is that what happened to him?
 

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Potassium Bromide is another medication option for treating seizures.

Potassium Bromide (abbreviated as KBr) is often considered the first choice drug for any dogs with idiopathic epilepsy, and because it has no effect on the liver, is often chosen for dogs with liver damage. Unlike Phenobarbital (Pb), which is processed by the liver, bromide works by replacing chloride throughout the body, is stored in body fluids and eliminated unchanged by the kidneys. However, where Phenobarbital is effective almost immediately, Kbr can take up to three or four months to reach its full effect. A loading dose may be necessary for dogs with frequent seizures or when Phenobarbital must be withdrawn rapidly because of liver disease. - More Info Here
 

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Sammy (my dog) ended up having to be pts due to hind end failure. If he had a seizure or laid down weird) he couldn't get up without a lot of help (which even with a sling is hard for a 130lbs dog. He lost the light in his eyes (he was a very active dog who patrolled the area (lived in the country) and had a lab friend he always went to visit. So when he lost his ability to get up we made the choice.
 

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I don't have a dog with epilepsy, but I do have a grown child with it. I'm glad you've found a medication that is currently controlling your dog's seizures! I've also read that a seizure prone dog should not eat a kibble that has rosemary in it, so check your kibble. For some reason, it can trigger seizures in some dogs.
 

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SDRRanger: I've never had to decide to put down a dog, and I'm really hoping I'll never have to (although I know the odds are against me as I plan on having a dog for the rest of my life). It sounds heartbreaking, but it really is the right choice if they're suffering. When they can't do the things that they love anymore, it's best for them. :(

georgiapeach: Wow, I can't imagine having a child with epilepsy. It's scary enough when it's your dog having a seizure. :s I am really glad that the first medication we tried worked. He seems to have a lot more energy than he did before, and is all around happier. Maybe the epilepsy was affecting him even before he started having seizures? I don't know. I checked his food, and the very last ingredient is rosemary extract. Do you think there'd be enough in there to affect him?
 

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This was my dog Ace, he passed away from having seizures, he started having them about 10 months before he passed away,we put him om medication and it seemed to get better, than one night he just would not stop having them, i rushed him to the E-vet and they gave him 3 doses of volume and it did not help, the vet ended up telling me that even if he did stop having seizures he would have a lot of brain damage so i ended up putting him down. I did not expect him to leave me so soon, and it tore me apart when he was gone. He was the biggest lover and goofball i have ever met. He will always have a very special place in my heart...
 

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I checked his food, and the very last ingredient is rosemary extract. Do you think there'd be enough in there to affect him?
Here's an article I found on the topic: http://www.thedogpress.com/DogFood/Rosemary-Neurotoxin-10032_Liquorman.asp.

Here's another: http://www.dogfoodscoop.com/can-dog-seizures-be-tied-to-food.html.

There was a post in another dog forum relating to it: http://spoiledmaltese.com/forum/52-maltese-health-behavior/91131-rosemary-seizures.html.

If you Google it, you'll find quite a bit on it.

Your dog's seizure history may have nothing to do with rosemary, but it does make you think, doesn't it?
 

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I've had two Border Collies with seizures, one a nephew to the other. My first BC had frequent seizures and was on Pheno and PB at the same time. Sadly, they didn't seem to help him much, and only made him dopey and uncoordinated. He was euthanized at age six. My current epi BC, Ty, is now seven, and has been having seizures since he was two. He's on Pheno. His seizures are not nearly as frequent as Jock's were, and are easier to manage. He usually has one about every couple of months. However, in March he mysteriously had six in a period of about thirty minutes, the only time this has ever happened. I took him to the E vet (it was the middle of the night, of course) and they gave him valium. By the next day he was fine, and he has not had another seizure since. I hope I didn't just jinx him!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Adjecyca1: Was Ace a Ptibull (just guessing from the photo)? I know some people find them scary, but I've always thought they're really cute. :) Hearing stories like that always shakes me up a little, because the worst feeling in the world is sitting there watching Max thrash around and not being able to do anything to help him. I've heard quite a few stories of epileptic dogs suddenly having constant seizures and having to be put down. Does it always end like that? I'm sorry you lost such a sweet dog. The look on his face in the picture makes him look so happy.

Shep: I've heard of stories similar to what happened to your first Border Collie, where the PB doesn't stop the seizures and just makes them lethargic. Max's only side effect was that he was thirstier than normal for a week or two after he started taking it. He actually has more energy now than he did before he started having seizures.
It must have been scary when your dog had all those seizures in a row. How did you deal with it?
 

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Shep: I've heard of stories similar to what happened to your first Border Collie, where the PB doesn't stop the seizures and just makes them lethargic. Max's only side effect was that he was thirstier than normal for a week or two after he started taking it. He actually has more energy now than he did before he started having seizures.
It must have been scary when your dog had all those seizures in a row. How did you deal with it?
I was very scared because, as I said, his seizures had always been on the mild side and he'd never had cluster seizures like that. I gave him an extra dose of pheno and expected that to help. When it didn't, I bundled him into the car and raced to the E vet. By the time we got there, he had stopped seizuring and seemed OK, just tired. They kept him overnight, but he had no more seizures and was fine. My regular vet and I did decide to up the dosage of the pheno after that. He went from 150 mg a day to 180 (from 5 pills daily to 6). So far, so good.
 

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We have a 17 week GSD with a history (already) of seizures, he is currently on pheno & keppra. No seizures lately, but sometimes goes into a panic/confused mode shortly after taking his meds. He is always hungry/thirsty and his back legs can get pretty wobbly. Most of the time he is active and getting into something, normal puppy stuff.
 

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I was an Agility trial with Remmy when he was four, and he had a seizure. It was not hot, he had just completed a class but as it was a Snooker class, he only did a couple of obstacles and went off course. I was walking back to my tent when he suddenly went stiff and fell over. I thought he had died, picked him up and luckily there was a Vet right there and we took him where it was quiet and he finally came out of it. The Vets never want to do anything unless they have more seizures and it was six weeks before he had another and I took him into the Vet. After blood tests it showed something wrong with his liver. They did some more tests, then put him on antibiotics and some liquid stuff for a month. I had him checked again in Feb. 2012 and everything was fine.

A couple of weeks ago (this is almost two years later) he had a seizure. I had him checked out at the Vets and everything came back normal. Now I have to sit and wait to see if he has anymore as it could be the start of epilepsy or ??? When he has his seizures, he just goes stiff and falls over, no thrashing around or anything. This one only lasted for a matter of minutes and then he is back to normal so it makes you wonder if he had been having more but as he is with me almost constantly, I don't think so but cannot say for sure.
 

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This sweet pup has epilepsy as well and is also on Phenobarb. He is a great dog and with the meds he has only had a 1/2 dozen seizures over the past year. Thus far his blood work is always coming back alright. When he first started having seizures the doctor put him on some heavy dose of meds and it was horrible. I brought him in to be put to sleep because he was suffering so much. He couldn't stand up on his own, he was so confused and he just couldn't support his own weight. He would lay next to me and cry constantly but finally after almost 2 weeks, he began working into it. Now, he is pretty much back to his old self but for the occasional seizure. Thankfully, his super sweet self comes through even in the seizure. Once he seizes (his are usually pretty major ones) he will literally throw himself onto my lap and lay there for around a 1/2 hour. Then he goes back to his normal self. He needs his mama during the tough times. ha ha

It makes me sad that he has this issue but of all the health issues a dog can have, thankfully, this is one they can live a fairly normal life with.
 
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