• Hi,

    I was wondering if anyone else has had B’s with seizures or symptoms of a seizure with your Basenji. Bailey is 1 and a half, Friday night he started staring at the ceiling, then furiously licking his paws and wiping his face with his paws. He ran around the house in a panic, and then after a little bit he ended up calming down. He was fine all day Saturday and then showed the same symptoms before bedtime. He did the same thing Sunday for a few minutes. He is an anxious dog and has separation anxiety. We took him to the vet and they did blood work and prescribed phenobarbital to try out, an anti seizure medicine. He’s not even 2, so I’m worried.

    Any input would be appreciated.


  • I don't have personal experience, but on a health forum I visit, I read many good stories about CBD-oil and seizures. May be an option. Good luck!

  • @beth - Have you talked to his breeder?

  • My basenji has had two seizures. The first time, I didn’t know if he was choking on something or now, so I tried to sweep his mouth. Luckily, his jaws didn’t clamp down. He had another episode a month later. This time, he was sleeping right next to me on the couch, so I knew what was happening (he hadn’t been chewing on anything or eating).

    In the end, take your basenji into a general vet, describe what you witnessed, and go from there. In my case, we were referred to a neurologist, who prescribed medication. We haven’t had any episodes since the prescription was given.

    If you witness anything before you can see a vet, the advice given to me was to take video if you can, and cruel as it may sound, stay away from your basenji during the seizure. There is nothing you can do, you just have to wait it out.

    By all means, see a vet and get the process going to get a diagnosis and possibly medication.

  • Were the seizures--tho they don't sound like the siezures I'm familiar with--all at night & was he in the same room each time? You mentioned him staring at the ceiling--light can trigger seizures in some humans, not sure about dogs. My tri boy sneezes, paws his face and runs in circles if the lights in Dan's new house are turned up too high--they're halogen, and we hate turning them on. I'm not sure if they're too bright or if they make a buzzing noise that bothers him. And flickering shadows from ceiling fans totally freaked out my first b.

    Do you crate him at night? If he's anxious, he might realize it's getting late & be dreading that...

    To me, it also sounds a bit like an allergic reaction from a flea bite or perhaps dust or mold in your A.C. if you have it. Get down on the floor and try to get Bailey's perspective: Is there bright sunlight coming in a window? Is his bed near an A.C. vent? Is there dust falling off a ceiling fan? He sounds young for epilepsy--did you do blood work to make sure his liver is ok? And did the vet check his heart?

  • My first basenji had full blown seizures (lying on her side, paddling, pooing) but they were 3-4 months apart. Vet said until they occurred more frequently, it was better not to medicate. Took her about 4h to recover. A year later they were happening about once a month but she was PTS for an unrelated reason (spleen/liver/stomach tumour - she was 16).

  • One of my b boys started having seizures a few years ago. He has them in pairs roughly every nine months. The first pair was just tonic (frozen) separated by a week. The second pair was tonic-clonic (grand mal) separated by a day. The third pair was also tonic-clonic, separated by ~12 hours. The disorientation period after is quite long and significant - he is frantically scrambling to get away from 'it' but can't even stand properly. He will flip himself all over the place. I keep pure frankincense oil (2mL from www.animaleo.info/a-to-f-singles.html) handy now. I put a drop on a finger to stick in his ear to stop the seizure in about 30 seconds (I know of parents who have had to do this for their child - it worked quickly for the child - as well as other b owners who have found it to stop seizures). Unfortunately, the disorientation period is still strong and long, very violent. I do recognize when his seizures are coming and can now get him in a safe, soft spot and safely hold him down (so that I don't get accidentally bitten and he doesn't hurt himself). Even though the disorientation period is quite violent and lengthy, the frequency is so low that I'm not willing to put him on medication at this point. I am working to minimize stress in our home, since that may have been a trigger for each of the pairs (we do a lot of fostering - the energy of some new arrivals can be stressful, so I'm working to make newbies happy faster...). I will repeat bloodwork after more time has passed to see if the values we saw after the last seizure were caused by the seizure or may have led to the seizures.

  • Yes to the seizures but much older and the seizures were much different. Not at all what you're describing. Your description sounds more like an allergic reaction than a seizure. The paw licking and face wiping would be typical. Bee sting? Insect bite? Or my favorite -- sweet Italian sausage. Any puffiness around the face?

    What makes your vet think it was a seizure? Given the side effects, personally I'd need more convincing that it was a seizure before going with the phenobarbital. Just one reason why the suggestion that you talk to the breeder is a good one.

  • My little Baseni started having seizures at the age of 12. I took her to the vet and he put her on Phenobarbital. that I did a ton of reasearch to learn as much as I could. When an older Canine or Lupine seizes it is always Cancer. Your little Boy should stay on the Pheno and you have to watch him because they definitely have an 'Aura' that tells you they are going to seize. You should get on the floor with you boy when he starts to seize and hold him because after they come out of it they are confused and start running all over the place. They will run into walls or fall down the stairs. You must protect him from that. Are they short seizures (Petit Mal) or long Sezures (Grand Mal)? The longer the seizure the temperature in the Brain can reach 105 degrees. You have to have a cold cloth to put on his head to bring the temperature down. He will be thirsty and very tired. My Dog lived to be 16 and that was because her Cancer relapsed. I had known her since she was 3 days old and I took her everywhere with me. Good kuck!

  • My boy started having them at five years old. His symptoms -- trembling/couldn't walk/stumbling/rapid heart beat/and licking, licking, licking his mouth. As one person mentioned, they can tell when it's coming on. My boy tried to get away from it even if sitting, but almost falls over. i would sit with him and hold him very tight; lasted about 10 minutes and could be morning, afternoon or in the night. These happened about every two months for a year and a half. Thankfully, nothing since January of this year but I'm always on the lookout. Strange occurrence for sure!

  • IF it is a seizure:
    I have a then 12 yr old, that started having seizuresabout 6 months ago.
    She had 2 , 2 wks apart, and then when she had another a week later I took her to the vet.
    There were 2 option of meds (he told me)

    1. phenobarbitol - can give once a day, must have blood tests to test, the liver I think. I think he said every 6 months
    2. Levetiracetam (I think it is given to people) - Since she is under 30 lbs, must be given every 8 hours, no blood tests needed. After a couple of months, he gave me a 1 year prescription. He told me it was very safe.

    My life is such, I can give her a pill 3 times a day - she just thinks he's getting the coveted cheese!
    4 weeks after she started on the med, she had one seizure, but none since. It may be me just hoping it's true, but she just seems relieved, like she can now enjoy life.

  • Thanks everyone!

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