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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So upon moving states my little over 1 year old rescue started having seizures. At first we thought it was various causes or triggers but after ruling everything out we took her to the vet. Blood work and pills later I thought she was getting better.. till today. She had two minor seizures today and I'm just at a loss on what to do now. It breaks my heart having to watch her every week have to go through this and the medicine isn't really helping nearly a month into the treatment.

We've had her all of her life as soon as the shelter would allow us to adopt her as a puppy. She is a year and 4 months old and as far as we know a lab/retriever mix, that's all we know on what type of dog she is.

Advice is welcome and thank you.

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May sound strange, but maybe try changing foods. My parent's dog (years ago) was eating Blue Buffalo and began having seizures. The vet couldn't pinpoint the cause, and after a little research I suggested they try switching foods. Sure enough, he's 9 now and has not had another seizure since. He's eaten Orijen, raw (for most of his life), and now Fromm since then with no issues. It could have been a coincidence, but after digging a little online, I came across other accounts of dogs having seizures while on that particular food. Anyways, it may be worth a shot if you have nothing else to try!
 

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I had recently changed foods (after the seizures had started) do you think it's worth a shot to try changing again? We've had blood work done to where we can rule out toxins being a cause, I thought it was her getting too worked up and excited (all the new smells, people and dogs in the apartment complex) ruled that out.. I'm willing to give anything a shot to be honest. Cause as it stands to get a refill on her meds I have to get the full lab work done every month just to get the refill... so a 45$ pill bottle turns into a nearly 200$ vet trip every month for a pup that is just a little over a year old..
 

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CBD biscuits reduced the frequency and severity of my dog's seizures. In her case it was palliative care, though, as she was 17 years old and in her last few months of life. With a young dog that had a whole life ahead of it I'd want to find a more comprehensive solution.
 

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Cause as it stands to get a refill on her meds I have to get the full lab work done every month just to get the refill... so a 45$ pill bottle turns into a nearly 200$ vet trip every month for a pup that is just a little over a year old..
Once you get her dosage stabilized, your vet will likely give you a 3-month prescription. Still costly, I know. My last dog was epileptic. The meds he took were phenobarbitol, a controlled substance. He needed it twice a day. I think the main reason for the blood work is to monitor the dog's liver enzymes. I wouldn't be surprised if part of the reason for the mandatory blood work is to ensure the dog is actually getting the medication -- as opposed to the owner taking them, trading them or selling them.

I don't recall how old my dog was when he was first diagnosed. I do recall that he also had a reaction to his puppy shots, so he needed a dose of Benadryl with them. If I recall correctly, his seizure started shortly after his first rabies shot. With medication, we were able to keep him seizure free for years.

Like you, I also was looking for a reason for his seizures. I'd made chocolate chip cookies a couple days prior. Maybe I dropped a couple chips on the floor? I used a new air freshener. Maybe it was an allergic reaction? In my dog's case, there was no outside cause. He was epileptic. Period. Changing foods, keeping his calm, and working with him so that he adjusts to his new living spaces might not help with the seizures but it can't hurt either. I'd encourage you to do whatever you can for his health and your peace of mind so you will not have to question whether it was something you did or did not do to cause his seizures.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Once you get her dosage stabilized, your vet will likely give you a 3-month prescription. Still costly, I know. My last dog was epileptic. The meds he took were phenobarbitol, a controlled substance. He needed it twice a day. I think the main reason for the blood work is to monitor the dog's liver enzymes. I wouldn't be surprised if part of the reason for the mandatory blood work is to ensure the dog is actually getting the medication -- as opposed to the owner taking them, trading them or selling them.

I don't recall how old my dog was when he was first diagnosed. I do recall that he also had a reaction to his puppy shots, so he needed a dose of Benadryl with them. If I recall correctly, his seizure started shortly after his first rabies shot. With medication, we were able to keep him seizure free for years.

Like you, I also was looking for a reason for his seizures. I'd made chocolate chip cookies a couple days prior. Maybe I dropped a couple chips on the floor? I used a new air freshener. Maybe it was an allergic reaction? In my dog's case, there was no outside cause. He was epileptic. Period. Changing foods, keeping his calm, and working with him so that he adjusts to his new living spaces might not help with the seizures but it can't hurt either. I'd encourage you to do whatever you can for his health and your peace of mind so you will not have to question whether it was something you did or did not do to cause his seizures.
yeah that makes sense, it is the same meds as what people can take for seizures I think..?

Oh I had a list, i was documenting time of them and everything.. we finally took her to the vet and I was expecting anything from the check up or blood work.. only to get no real answer what is the cause of them. From what I have seen she's just due to have them. Twice a day as well for her. I am due for a check up soon so I guess it will be to test if she's getting the proper dosage. Given they are still a weekly occurrence.. I'l guess not. That or something else is wrong? Also possible..

I was even going to ask the vet if maybe trying the homeopathic medicine may be worth a shot to see if that makes any difference or not. Just kills me having to sit there and let her ride out the few seconds they last when they happen and sometimes the partial sight loss and it takes her half a hour to fully get back to her old self.
 

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I had a dog that started having seizures when he was about four years old. The Vet nor I could ever discover what was causing them. He had them for about three years and just as suddenly as they started, they just quit. He is 12 years old now and has not has another one for the last five years. It is very common to never find out why they are having them.

The Vet said it was very unusual for them to just stop but as Remmy is with me all the time, goes everywhere with me and sleeps on the bed at night, I know he has not had any.
 

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My dog started having tonic-clonic seizures at 14yo (usually in dogs that age it's due to brain lesions, but other things in his past behaviour make me suspect he used to have partial seizures occasionally). Currently, his seizures are fairly well controlled with phenobarb (down from every two weeks to two in the last five months). Something important to know about seizures is that the more they happen, the more the brain "learns" to have more seizures. :(

It can take several months for phenobarb levels to stabilize in the body. That said, if they are going to be effective, there likely would've been a decrease in seizure activity within the first month. There are other medications that you can try as well - Potassium Bromide and Keppra are two (although Keppra is VERY expensive, fwiw, but also apparently very effective with the least side-effects). CBD has some evidence for its effectiveness at preventing seizures. You may also want to talk to your vet about whether or not they are comfortable letting you keep a dose of lorazepam or diazepam at home for emergency situations (if a seizure lasts longer that 10 minutes, or if he has another seizure minutes after coming out of one).

The reason for the monthly blood work at the beginning is to monitor the levels of the drug in the dog's system. Less to see if the dog is actually taking it, and moreso to see how the dog's body is processing it, as it is not processed the same by all dogs, and there is actually a target blood-level of the metabolites that correlates with thereputic effectiveness.

Re: food, there is some evidence that some ingredients in food can trigger seizure activity. The most commonly talked about one in dog epilepsy groups is rosemary, which is often added (in extract or oil form) to dog foods as a natural preservative.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah the current medicine she is on didn't seem to help a whole lot. I think we had one less seizure then we did when we weren't giving her a pill and a half every day, twice a day. I'm unsure of her old food.. I can't remember the name to save my life. Her current food doesn't have rosemarry in it (just checked the bag of it). So maybe a combination of things I can either get her seizures to at the least 1 a month (would be a huge improvement..)

We're going to try a homeopathic med that has shown to help with seizures as well if these pills do not improve any. Past that we have one final attempt to try something to help her that was suggested to us.. so fingers crossed.
 
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