Seizures in our 16 year old

Hello All,

I'm saddened to say that our very loved first Basenji was attacked by a violent seizure today. My parents informed me that it was her second but that this was far more intense and lasted about a minute or so. Understandably my mother who is a practicing nurse - doesn't want to see her suffer but also doesn't know how to make a dog comfortable in this situation. My mother is planning on seeing an emergency vet at the moment, but Cinnamon's last vet check up 6 or so months ago was spectacular - the vet was impressed with her blood panel / organ function / mobility. My parents have noted she is still very active and spritely even at her age. I wanted to bounce this off the forum and ask if anyone had any thoughts, ideas, suggestions - for what this could be, and what if anything can be done. This is my first girl, and being unable to be with her is really, indescribably hard.

Gratefully,
Lauren

Since Cinnamon is here in CA your Mom should have her blood drawn and sent out to Dr Dodds in So CA for thyroid check as siezures are one of the symptoms. See this link.
http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/HEMOPET.HTM

I have had 2 basenjis who had occasional seizures as they got older. The seizures were about once a month and the dog recovered fully, after a few hours, each time. The vet did not want to treat with drugs or expensive tests unless they got more frequent. It is terrifying to see, especially at first. Reasons could be as serious as brain tumor, or just old age. I have had 2 vets recommend keeping an accurate diary, trying to remember everything about the start of the seizure, how long is lasts, how long the recovery takes, etc. You try and look for trends or triggers. If they are often, there are several medications that work inmost dogs. They have sedative side effects till the dosage is corrected and the dog gets used to it. Seizures are frightening, but not necessarily the end of the world, good luck to Cinnamon.

I got the same advice when Blaze had his seizure. He hasn't had one since and lives like he normally does… Well except for the Breyer double churned real vanilla bean ice cream that he gets after a hard play date... You know, to keep his blood sugar up. ...or to spoil him!

My second Basenji had seizures once in a while when she was younger, the vet said the brain's neurons would miss fire. No drugs or anything were prescribed and she stopped having them after a few years. She had one later in life. I think a vet visit and another blood work would be good.

Lauren, i am so sorry to hear about Cinnamon's seizures. It's hopeful that her last vets visit was so good. Our first Basenji developed seizures at the age of 13 1/2, it turned out they where caused by a liver problem.
MacPack's advice about keeping a diary is great, we did this and noticed a pattern, Benji's seizures were initialy very frequent but with medication we managed to reduce them. Benji's fits were triggered by certain noises such as the gate opening.
With treatment he had a good quality of life between seizures. We tried to make the house as safe as possible and as much as we could we tried to have someone with him.
I kept his medication, sponge,towel all together and made sure everyone in the house knew what to do. The vet gave us rectal valium to give as he was coming out of the fit.
In Benji's case the fit involved several days, ie he would be off a couple of days before, then have a fit, then be off for a couple more days. Each case is different.
I wish you all the best with Cinnamon, she's a grand old age.

Thanks for all your thoughts and suggestions. She is due for another appointment today, so I myself am waiting for an up date. Thanks again.

I'm so sorry to hear about Cinnamon. I hope your vet can help with the problem. You have already had good advice with which I agree but I had to reply as it hurts me to see a beloved oldie suffering.

Small update: The vet explained that Cinnamon has a brain tumor. He has given my parents medication but says that over time the condition will over take the medication. Not the diagnosis we wanted for our girl, but at 16 she has had a very full life and I'm told she is receiving obscene amounts of pampering… Just wish I could be there.

Oh dear, too bad it isn't just "old dog seizures". Hopefully she will respond to the medication and have more good time with your parents.

I'm so sorry to hear this 😞 I hope Cinnamon will respond well to the medication!

Thanks for the update Lauren, i'm sorry about the diagnosis.
Is the tumour caused by cushings syndrome, my cousins dog was diagnosed a few years ago and he's still going.
I'm glad to hear Cinnamon is being spoiled, at her age she's earned it 😉

It is never easy…. but when we can keep them comfortable with quality of life and then let them go when there is none, there is no greater gift.

I'm very sorry to hear of this Lauren. Very well said Pat!

I totally agree with the previous comments. What a shame that Cinnamon has a tumour to trouble her in her old age. My old boy had a tumour for two years and had no pain or bad symptoms with it , he died later but for another reason.

Cinnamon is a good age but hopefully she'll have quality for the rest of it. I'm praying for her.

What difficult news to hear. But it sounds like you are all prepared to spoil Cinnamon and make her feel special. She will be very thankful.

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