Sudden Seizure in 2yr old male tri
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  • Arizona Basenjis

    Hi guys!

    We're scared and sad..... any advice or experience would be most welcome.
    It's Memorial Day and our vet opens at 7am tomorrow and am trying to get him in.
    He seems to be fine..... BUT.......

    We were camping, high altitude, was cold. We had our B's in jackets, and had blankets etc. along with a propane portable fire for ambient warmth around camp. At night they slept with us in our sleeping bags. Nice and cozy.

    Last night Tiki seemed to have a seizure in the middle of the night - 15 seconds or so, some foamy in mouth - jerking legs. Then calmed down. Hubby was half asleep and bewildered what had happened!

    Fine today....... ate, went to the bathroom and everything fine. Drove down home to our regular elevation in Phoenix. At around 7pm in the middle of our living room had a seizure of same description but now we both saw what was happening and was an obvious seizure. Very SCARY! He finally stopped....... he ran around the house panicked, like he was looking for something, followed him around, let him outside followed him around. He did a normal pee and poop. Nothing runny. Then came back in and started to mellow down again and now he's happily lounging on the sofa.

    Obviously - we're heading to the vet to see what's up !!!!!!

    but in the meantime - has anyone experienced this?! Advice of what to do to care for a seizure? Thoughts of what can cause this in such a young dog. He's from a reputable breeder and was not at risk for falconi .

    Thank you so much!! We're sad, scared..... and love him SOOOOOO much as do our kids. He's the most awesome, loving little sweetie. Thank you!

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  • Seizures can be terribly frightening, but there are medications that can help and some very good support groups. I have not personally had a dog with seizures but I know some here will have advice and more experience.

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  • Arizona Basenjis

    @DebraDownSouth

    Thank you so much for your kind encouragement!!

    I just was on the phone with our breeder and she provided some insight that a thyroid issue could very possibly be something to get a full panel test regarding. Tiki has been gaining weight despite our cutting back on food..... so this too could be a sign.....

    Hoping to get in ASAP tomorrow with the vet. Will update!

    Thank you again! Hugs!

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  • Two yr old having seizures is pretty young, so hopefully its something that can be cured now and not genetic.

    Our 8yr old male started having seizures 4 years ago, from once every 3 months to twice a week at the peak. We have done all kinds of tests with very little telling results as to what was causing them and tried both the western and the natural medicine, raw/home cooked diet and acupuncture until we found a combination that worked. Regular seizure occurrences have stopped since we had him on the latest combo of meds for the past 12 months.

    He had a mild one a few months back triggered by a smoke alarm in the house, which would cause a lot of stress and seizure in a non epileptic dog. Current meds have taken a few months to settle in and do make him a bit wobbly, but not as much as Phenobarbitol typically prescribed by the vets for epileptic dogs. Otherwise he is active, affectionate dog and has great appetite.

    The meds we are giving him now are 100mg Zonisomide + 250mg Keppra + CBD pill twice a day after meals. It does vary from dog to dog, so the dosage is something you have to gradually work out with your vet.

    Below is a great resource I found for connecting with other folks dealing with canine epilepsy. This is where I learned about Zonisomide and Keppra, not even brought up by our vet at the time. We first replaced Phenobarbitol with Zonisomide and that helped reduce the wobbliness and fog he was in while taking it, but not reduce the seizure occurrence. Keppra is what helped stop seizures completely.

    http://forums.cvm.missouri.edu/cenbb/index.php

    Our approach was to first do all the tests (thyroid, diabetes) and try eliminating obvious triggers of seizures, such as food additives (only organic kibble, no corn fillers and home cooked), house chemicals (carpet cleaners, floor cleaners all natural), reduce stress factors and excessive exercise, no essential oils or shampoos. Tea tree and rosemary oil are known to cause seizures and can be found in many dog products.

    When that did not help we went for natural medicine such as acupuncture, chinese herbs and various anti-seizure supplements. That helped slightly, but seizures continued and we then tried Phenobarbitol, it slowed down the seizures, but the dog was like a vegetable and then we finally took him of it and put him on Zonisomide and then added Keppra. To snap him out of a seizure in progress we use a CBD tincture, which we squirt into his mouth while is having one and he usually snaps out of it right away. Then give him a bit of ice cream.

    Now he is a lot better, but there is always a chance that seizures will come back, so we are taking it day by day. He is eating good food, taking meds at the regular time, regular but non excessive exercise, vet checkups every 6 months and lots of attention.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

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  • The other thing that hit me is.. you were camping. Any chance he got some toxic plant or frog?

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  • Arizona Basenjis

    @Alex

    Thank you Alex for writing!!!

    Was a long sleepless night last night!! Tiki had two more seizures!! :( Thankfully our vet called me back before they opened and got us right in. She's running completely blood panel including full thyroid (not just T4) and also checking for Valley Fever too. She felt 'no' to any kind of worms, parasites..... wouldn't cause seizures..... also felt 'no' to tumor due to his very young age......... but will see. Will take 48 hrs to get results back.

    In the meantime, he's put on phenobarbital immediately until we hear more details and will do the next step when we hear more soon. Will take 72 hours to kick in....... so we wait and keep him close by!!

    Thank you for your advice and link. I'll be saving this information!!!!

    Blessings to you and your sweet dog!!

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  • Arizona Basenjis

    @DebraDownSouth

    There are rare frogs here in AZ. We thought about that but we were right beside them 100% of the time and they were cable leashed to their harnesses right at camp. Mostly gravel around there. Had a cot with blankets that (especially) Tiki laid on the entire time. When we walked and pottied in the woods watched them the whole time and didn't let them eat or sniff anything leafy or unknown. Lots of elk poop - but didn't go near that! ;)

    I just wrote an update to @Alex about our vet visit today. One day at a time..... will see what the results bring and reveal !!!

    I had a nice long chat with our breeder and she suspects a low thyroid possibly......... so that's why we're running more than just the plain T4..... will see!!!! Pricey visit today - but worth it. We love our sweet boy so much.

    Thank you so much for listening and being there!!! xo

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  • L

    How are his kidney values-- BUN and Creatinine, as well as Phosphorus and Calcium?

    I had a B with seizures. They're very scary. My boy was a Fanconi dog, but renal insufficiency in general can cause seizures. Addison's Disease is something else to rule out if the seizures continue. It requires a special test. Your boy seems young for these things, though. A good vet can help you through this and find the right treatment plan. I hope he feels better soon!

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  • Arizona Basenjis

    @LifewithAva Thank you for sharing!
    I'm keeping this note on file for our 'next step' to chat about with our vet. If the blood tests don't reveal anything this is a great next lead. Both of his parents are not fanconi carriers thankfully, but as you mentioned there are other related issues to think about as well.

    I appreciate you writing in - thanks again!! :)

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  • L

    I'm happy to share whatever info I have. I remember how I felt when my boy started having seizures. The CBC should give you helpful information and help pinpoint possible problem areas. Elevated liver enzymes is something else to watch. Even if it's within the high normal range, it can indicate a problem processing protein, which causes ammonia build-up and can trigger seizures. If so, a food change and restricted treats could help. That applies to high normal kidney values, as well. Sometimes, vets only look for values outside the normal range, when high normals can indicate issues in Basenjis. If you have a base blood panel from last year, you can compare the two and see where your B's values generally fall.

    Once you've ruled out toxins (or a bad reaction to vaccines, heartworm meds, flea control, etc.), the vet can start narrowing things down to find the root cause. I'm not at all an expert-- and every dog is different-- but these are just things I learned and wanted to pass along. They might not apply to your dog, but I hope you find answers. Seizures are scary, but most are manageable.

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  • Arizona Basenjis

    @Alex - didn't know what CBD was..... so I looked it up. Which kind are you using? I won't be buying a thing of course until I know more from his labs. Just curious! :) Was surprised at all the variations! :0 They did have one labelled pet though, green label. Thanks!

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  • Arizona Basenjis

    @LifewithAva thank you!

    I realized I don't think I had even mentioned that the night I wrote my first post - he had FIVE seizures within a 30 hour period. So scary.

    He's had only two phenobarbital pills so far and I'm shocked that he had zero seizures at all yesterday or last night?! Certainly not from the pills that I know - too early. So very curious what's going on. Thankful for every hour he's fine!!

    I'm curious about your mention of high protein....... like many B parents we feed high protein, no grain foods..... but is that too much protein I wonder.

    Right now we use Taste of the Wild - all flavors to keep life interesting. Tiki loves it. Hana only loves it the first 2 days of a new bag - then is bored. ;) My breeder has been using Victor recently and is loving it tremendously. High protein, no grain again.

    What did you feed your boy?

    His paternal line breeder said if the labs don't reveal anything..... look to Cushings.......

    Day by day right? :D

    Thanks again!!

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  • L

    That sounds like cluster seizures. My boy had both grand mal and cluster seizures. He was on a high protein diet because of the Fanconi and it was fine-- until it wasn't. I tried different brands that were lower in quality protein, fat and phosphorus (Solid Gold and Natural Balance LID were two), and supplemented them with veggies, fish oil and other healthy food. Eventually, I switched him to a homemade diet. The higher protein food didn’t cause his kidney issues, but it did elevate his values, and he only had seizures when his kidney values were higher than his “normal” range.

    Your Tiki may not have kidney or liver issues at all, however, and his food is probably not a contributing factor. But if his kidney, liver and/or electrolyte values are elevated, that gives you a starting point for pinpointing the cause. Cushings, Addison’s, diabetes, thyroid, infections and toxins are all things to rule out. It could turn out to be idiopathic-- and he may never have another seizure. Let us know how he's doing!

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  • Arizona Basenjis

    Results came in - negative for Valley Fever, all blood and thyroid looks perfectly normal. AST and creatine were slightly elevated but still normal but that could have been cause by the muscle activity in all his seizures. Now we just see how he does for 3 weeks - retest his liver blood work and go from there. Could be simply that he has idiopathic epilepsy.... then to figure out the triggers. The temperature fluctuations from cold to hot for all those days camping - and elevation change from valley to mountains, all the packing and such....... could easily be a stress! Camping has always been fine before so is a mystery.

    My vet is open to reducing, changing or stopping the phenobarbital - flexible. Will just take it week to week and see. So far he's very HAPPY, still playful and not at all groggy....... he seems his normal sweet self!

    Here's a photo of Tiki (left) and Hana (right) camping. :) When temps dip, they have a sweater or Ruffwear. jacket on under their Ruffwear. harness. We do what we can to keep them comfy while camping!

    0_1464977180636_camping.jpg

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  • Arizona Basenjis

    Time for an update! Well, Tiki went 3.5 months seizure free. With our vet's blessing we had slowly reduced his phenobarbital by 1/2 pill AM then PM during that time. Mostly just to see if those prior seizures were an anomaly. Last month, his seizures came back. :( Not cluster, but at least 1-2 a week. We immediately put him back up to full dose of phenobarbital and took about a month to settle back in.

    I did a ton of research for natural remedies and for now am doing the following: only using food and treats that don't have any rosemary product in it (even if last ingredient!) and also am adding 500mg 2x a day of a Taurine with B6 powder. (I take the gel cap a part and sprinkle in 1 tsp of plain yogurt.) He loves it. ;D

    So far been 1 week without a seizure. Trying to not get my hopes up....... but can't hurt. The research on Taurine is interesting! Apparently their bodies 'dump out' Taurine during a seizure, and that it's something that can help protect their liver - and their heart. Most dog foods don't add Taurine and it's something they should have. (Found in organ meat - uncooked ....... organ meat. Heat kills it's properties.)

    I wrote to this company - sounds interesting - though not ready to dive into that yet....... our vet says 'it's extremely promising and I hope there are more studies on it but I can't officially condone it as the industry/products aren't monitored well yet."

    [https://cannacompanionusa.com/](link url)

    ! I have friends whose family members have severe epilepsy and CBD has been a blessing to them....

    Thanks for being there on this journey!

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  • @Hana said in Sudden Seizure in 2yr old male tri:

    I did a ton of research for natural remedies and for now am doing the following: only using food and treats that don't have any rosemary product in it (even if last ingredient!) and also am adding 500mg 2x a day of a Taurine with B6 powder. (I take the gel cap a part and sprinkle in 1 tsp of plain yogurt.) He loves it. ;D

    So far been 1 week without a seizure. Trying to not get my hopes up....... but can't hurt. The research on Taurine is interesting! Apparently their bodies 'dump out' Taurine during a seizure, and that it's something that can help protect their liver - and their heart. Most dog foods don't add Taurine and it's something they should have. (Found in organ meat - uncooked ....... organ meat. Heat kills it's properties.)<<

    Okay obviously I am happy your dog is doing better! But I also need to thank you. I have always known about taurine with cats, but never dogs. It's a good day when I learn something new, so thank you! I am going to share with others since cardiomyopathy is common with Rotties. Not that this will fix it, but it sure could help the symptoms, don't you think?

    http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/cardiovascular/c_dg_taurine_deficiency

    Essential, or indispensable amino acids are a group of amino acids that cannot be synthesized in the body and are thus required to be taken in through diet. This is a well known nutritional defect that is known to affect the health of cats when they are lacking taurine in their diet, but does not affect dogs in the same way, as dogs are able to synthesize taurine in their bodies. This is why taurine is usually not added to dog foods but is added to cat foods.

    last edited by DebraDownSouth
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  • Arizona Basenjis

    @DebraDownSouth Thank you for your reply! I'm beyond thrilled that this was an interesting and hopefully helpful bit of information!!!! :D

    Some links to what I was reading include:

    https://www.munch.zone/taurine-for-dogs/
    http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/taurine.htm
    http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/taurine-and-epilepsy/
    http://www.cotonclub.org/How_much_taurine.pdf

    Other advice from the Canine Epilepsy Forum mentioned that while the Taurine didn't 'stop' seizures....... it seemed in their observation increase the threshold of sensitivity to a typical seizure trigger / reduce tremors in their circumstance etc. ....... if that makes sense. When they stopped the Taurine - the seizures and/or tremors came right back at same intensity.

    In the least..... if I can buffer any phenobarbital 'effects' with a supplement to help in any way - it's worth it.

    Also to note - one article it said that Taurine requires B6 to be assimilated (or whatever the word was they used....... ;D can't remember.) I did find a Taurine with B6 at Sprouts and it was only $10 for 100 500 mg capsules.

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  • N

    @DebraDownSouth I had a 4 lb. Yorkie (Bubba) that had seizures, not long ones, maybe 45 sec. to a minute, but long enough to scare the bajeebers out of me! Her Vet (now deceased) asked me if she was ever exposed to "flickering" such as a strobe light or anything close to that, such as some TV shows or commercials! I had to think but the answer was YES ~ she was! I knew that lights flickering could cause seizures in humans but never thought about it affecting my (or any dog/cat) Bubba! The Vet said that the flickering of any form of light for as little as 2 sec., can cause a seizure in dogs/cats. I had a light-bulb go out one night & it flickered several times & before I could shut off the light, my Bubba went into a seizure lasting about 45 sec. She didn't foam at the mouth or have twitching of any body parts. She got a set stare of the eyes, stiffening of her body & when coming out of the seizure, she would try to pull herself forwards using only her front feet! I'd talk softly to her, using her name & rub her from her head down across her back. She would be a bit confused at first but talking to her brought her on out of it. But for Tiki, inside a sleeping bag, I'm 99.999% sure that there were no flickering lights of any kind! I just wanted to share the "flicker effect" with you all because both of my Senji girls watched TV & I worried about seizures with them but I was fortunate with my girls & neither had seizures. I've learned a lot about doggie seizures from this thread that, I'd have never thought of in a million years!! This is a GREAT FORUM!! I wish precious Tiki the very best in getting the seizures under control so there will be no more ~ period!! Both of your Senjis look just gorgeous!! I'll be watching for more posts on Tiki & hopefully, no more seizures! Nancy B.

    last edited by Nancy Berry
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  • Nancy I have Springer Spaniel owner friends who have also reported flickering lights/seizures connection. Glad you brought that up!

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  • Arizona Basenjis

    That is very interesting about the flickering! There are so many triggers I'm sure! :(

    Tiki had another seizure....... at least just he seems to be at one a week. Still horrible for him - and to witness. Gut and heart wrenching.

    A few notes I forgot to mention as 'tips' that I read about if this helps anyone:

    1. IF the pre-phase is noticeable a tiny bit of honey MAY snap them out of a seizure continuing (Tiki's come on FAST..... too fast to react.)
    2. during a seizure to put an ice pack only on their lower back/spine area - take off when the seizure is over. (some have felt the 'after recovery' is quicker with ice.)
    3. After a seizure 1-2 Tbsp. non-preservative natural vanilla ice cream OR a 50/50 combo of honey and butter!
    4. A few kibbles at a time as a post-seizure snack. (Someone said a seizure is like running a marathon..... they are often famished after.) But not so many so they don't choke.
    5. One thing my vet said is that pets have 'styles' typically of seizures..... ie. the aftermath recovery - some are confused, run around the house, spin in circles, are disoriented..... while others get aggressive! That the tend to react the same way for each seizure, like a pattern.
    6. The one curious observation we had - was that Tiki's always seem to happen late at night and during a heavy rest or sleeping period. He's usually on the sofa - in the zone - relaxing for hours, before one comes on. Or he'll be sleeping on our bed - and at 3am starts a seizure. I wonder if there's a REM component or something going on with 'rest'. Curious if anyone else has noticed that. Storms trigger some dogs....... thunder and lightning don't phase ours....

    Thanks for being there - you guys are fantastic and appreciated.

    :)

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