Seizures

Last night my dog Roar had a seizure. It was only for a minute or 2. He last had one about a year and a half ago and it happened after he got an IV at the vet for dehydration. So we thought the IV may be the reason for the seizure. (He was vomiting from the type of food I was giving him is the reason for the IV). We found a food that he has been good on since then. He does not have any family history of seizures. Has anyone else had this experience with their basenji?

@otisandroar - How old? What are you feeding?

4 years old and Royal Canin Veterinary Diet Canine Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP Dry Dog Food

My 15 year old basenji had seizures, she would bat her eyes and fall down, she never did become unconscious. This was over a year ago. I took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and put on phenobarbital. However, she got in such terrible shape and sick to her stomach and I decided to take matters in to my own hands and stopped the medication and stopped giving her any food or treats with red dye or sodium nitrite in them. That was a year ago in Jan and she is still going. Although for the last month or so , she has what I think are mild seizures, she doesn't fall down but her head shakes and she bats her eyes but it just lasts for a few seconds. But until then she was seizure free. She has had food allergies all her life. I feed her Diamond Naturals dry dog food and have also found it canned, but most of the time she eats beef liver and beef heart which I purchase at the butcher shop and cook for her. She was also diagnosed with kidney failure a year ago but the vet told me to feed a lot of protein. She is now 16 years old and in pretty good shape for that age.

otisandroar,
That's not even food. Try some real food,chicken,beef prefer raw but,cook if you want.

otisand roar, I have the same question of the forum. My 11-year-old female, Lula, had a grand mal seizure last month in the middle of the night. There was nothing unusual about her week or anything that we can attribute to possibly triggering it. We have had 3 Basenjis and the two before her also had seizures in their golden years. We are beginning to think we are cursed with seizing Basenjis. They have been fed different diets from homemade to high quality, no preservative kibble or semi-moist, and none have been blood-related. We are heartbroken because we know the trials and tribulations related to medicating and the eventually degradation of their faculties if the seizures continue. I would be interested in knowing if this is a developing health trend with the breed or other potential factors that could contribute to our streak of bad luck. We love the breed, and I can't imagine life without a Basenji in it.

@rocky1 said in Seizures:

otisandroar,
That's not even food. Try some real food,chicken,beef prefer raw but,cook if you want.

It not only is real food, it's a preferred diet for elimination purposes with dogs who have allergy issues. It is very high rated. It isn't meant to be lifelong, but dogs are put on it for a reason. I have heard of many dogs who had so many issues, put on that and were healthy. So when you have a need, it's miraculously "real food." Suggesting a dog who had serious issues before but now tolerated food well is dangerous. You have no idea what proteins this dog can handle.

@marsha

There is a support board for dogs with seizures. Everyone wants a reason, but like humans, at this point the answer, all too often, is 'we don't know.' I have no idea if it is increasing, but it would be worth a talk with a seizure specialist. Older dogs is one thing, especially with aging dogs.

For Otisandroar, your dog is so young, I'd worry about other medical problems. As for the first seizure, dehydration messes up electrolytes, which is far more likely the reason for a seizure than the IV.

I have never had a dog seizure, but friends raise and breed Belgian Tervurans who have a high rate of seizures at relatively young ages. Hopefully breeders on here can address how often this is an issue with Basenjis. Sometimes a popular stud will be used a lot, and a few generations down, boom, you are seeing some serious health issue.

https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/seizures-general-for-dogs

last edited by DebraDownSouth

My Gretchen's seizure story, if there's anything here that might help:

Last year she was 13, and had a seizure every 4 days or so. The third time I took her to the vet.
The choice of meds was

  1. phenobarbitol (sp?) - after doing a little research, it seemed to have some danger and neede periodic bloodwork to test her liver???.
  2. Levetiracetam - for basenjis, because they are under 30 lbs, they have to be given the pill every 8 hours. My life allows me to do that, so that's what she got. It needs no periodic bloodwork like the pheno. She has been on it for 6 mos, and has had 1 seizure, so I'm thinking this is the one.
    I buy it at Costco and it is about $30 per month. (I found out one does not have to be a member of Costco to use their pharmacy)

I have had a few seizure experiences with basenjis. Two basenjis were just middle-aged in a friend's older home. They were in an environment that was musty/moldy. While some folks may have no issues living with a little musty or moldy smell, I am very sensitive and have significant reactions to even just a tiny amount. Over a period of two years, they showed neurological symptoms which increased to seizures that became more frequent during humid days. Each ended their life at a time when humidity was high with a seizure that couldn't even be stopped by the vet, who had suspected a neurological cancer. Their symptoms really seemed to be tied to warm, humid days, early in the season before AC was running to dry out the house. We didn't think of the humidity/mold connection until the second b had already died. The environment has now been corrected (dehumidifier as needed until it's time to run the AC...). No problems with other b's now.
One of my personal dogs had two 'frozen' seizures about a week apart. I couldn't figure out a trigger, though it may have been stress (we have a lot going on here). A year later, he had two grand mal seizures that lasted several minutes, the second longer than the first, just a day apart. I do think that it may have been stress-triggered, though I'm not sure if it was emotional or noise stress. We had a new foster b who had arrived here as a very angry, frustrated b boy, so frustrated when he arrived that the top of one of his paws was raw from where he had chewed it in his previous home. He was very loud and grating while expressing his angry emotions, more than any other foster we've had (and we've had a few really loud basenjis). I changed his space which made him settle more quietly and quickly (he turned into a really lovely, sweet b boy with perfect skin here and now delights his adopter). My guy didn't have another seizure.
I now keep 2mL of frankincense on hand just in case there is another seizure. I know of a few b owners who have used a drop of frankincense put in the ear by using a fingertip to stop a seizure within a few seconds. One of those b owners also used the frankincense to stop seizures that his child was having.

To avoid risks of dehydration, I soak dry kibble with at least an equal amount of hot water so that the hydration level is closer to 'real' meat. I had one foster b boy who would plug up because he didn't drink enough regularly. I was adding water before he plugged, but I wasn't adding that much and I wasn't waiting long enough to have all of the water soaked up into the kibble. Never had another problem with him once I started soaking the kibble more thoroughly.

@marsha Since you mentioned that all three of your B's have had seizures, I'm thinking this might be an environmental issue? All 3 seem to be on different diets... were all three raised in the same home? Could you have something in the house (flooring, paint, heating fumes, etc.) that they were all exposed to which might have contributed to the issue? Think it through... things like carpet padding might affect the dogs but you might not notice it. It's just that they spend more time on the floor and their body mass is so much smaller than ours. so -- it was just something that popped into my mind.

I wanted to say thank you all for your feedback. Roar hasnt had any episodes in the past 3 days so thats positive and we will keep our fingers crossed. One other thing that i remember happening that day that probably has nothing to do with it but I just remembered. I live in the city and it had snowed 8 inches that day and where i live people use a lot of salt on the sidewalks and i remember him licking his paws after returning from our walk. Not sure if all that salt on his paws had something to do with it but maybe.?? I have been really wiping his paws off since 🙂 .....Thanks and Good luck to everyone.

@otisandroar - good observation! The salt can mess with their internal electrolyte levels and lead to neurological symptoms. Some of my adopters have their basenjis wear booties to avoid issues.

Yes! Thank you to all for responding to my post as well. The environmental issues are a good one for me to research. We live in south Texas on a peninsula in the Gulf of Mexico, so humidity and high levels of mold are the norm. We've been gutting our house room-by-room over the last 13 years to repair and update it, so there have been a lot of new materials, construction dust, etc. And then our town took the direct hit from Hurricane Harvey, our home was flooded, and we're still not back in it. We've decided to abandon our coastal life and move inland, so those environmental factors will be changing. If our gal's health has been impacted by the home and location, maybe the move will make a difference. I hope it's not too late if that's the case.

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