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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good afternoon all,

I apologize if this has been discussed, but I wanted the latest and greatest info possible.

Our Red and Rust (Cooper) had his first seizure on April 29,2020 @ around 12:00-12:30 AM.

Took him to our vet, ran a blood work panel and urinalysis test. All came out normal with very slightly high protein level. (He was on Acana-Turkey and Greens. 31% Crude Protein. Due to covid, we couldnt get this consistently so we grabbed Acana-Light and Fit 33% Crude Protein to mix in while we have been short on the Turkey and Greens)

Once we received the results not showing anything, the vet recommended to monitor him and maybe lower his protein. We read on the forum that the fish diets worked well so we went with Acana-Wild Atlantic 33% protein. (It wasn’t lower but thinking the fish diet might help.)

During the slight food switching process, he had another seizure on May 10 @ 00:00 midnight.

Both seizures were from sleeping.

We took him to Red Bank Animal hospital the next day May 11th to see a neurologist.

They suggested an MRI and blood work to check for his thyroids. (I was very reluctant to leave him due to new procedures as a result of Covid) I left him at 5pm, he stayed the night for the procedure and I waited in the parking lot for his release at 10AM.

His MRI came out normal and we are currently waiting on the Thyroid panel to come back.

Because the seizures were about 10 days apart, they suggested to start him on anticonvulsant medication. My fiance and I are hesitant to take this approach as once started it cannot be stopped and side effects like personality changes, liver damage, etc.

He did not have a seizure at the overnight stay in the hospital or one last night. So far, 3 nights no seizures.

My fiance and I are considering changing the diet once more to something around 26% as we read for dobermans that was ideal. We also considered the use of CBD for the seizures in hopes it has great success and he wont be on those anticonvulsant meds with the possibility of harmful side effects. (Not saying CBD wont have any side effects, but we are much more comfortable starting there)

If the seizures progress and get closer together or longer in length, we will consider starting the medication. (His seizures were both around 1min 30 sec)

If anyone can shed light on this please let us know, hopefully this can be helpful to other owners while we try to help him.

Kind thanks,

Joey


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(I have deleted your duplicate thread - it's prohibited to start multiple threads on the same topic.)

I don't have experience personally with seizures although I have a couple of friends that have dogs with them. Different people have made different choices for their dogs. None of them use CBD. Three of them are using medication with good success.

Personally I'd probably be working with a specialist if I could.

Is there any history of seizures in his family?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
(I have deleted your duplicate thread - it's prohibited to start multiple threads on the same topic.)



I don't have experience personally with seizures although I have a couple of friends that have dogs with them. Different people have made different choices for their dogs. None of them use CBD. Three of them are using medication with good success.



Personally I'd probably be working with a specialist if I could.



Is there any history of seizures in his family?


Thanks for the response MeadowCat,

I should have read the forum rules prior to posting but I was trying to see which section in the forum I’d have the greatest visibility. Thanks for the correction.

Ive spoken to a few people around work and friends as well who had success with the anticonvulsants but none were dobermans and we wanted to be 1000% sure or at least have a recommended brand before use.

Im currently waiting for the breeder to respond back to me about any history of seizures. I will update when I find out as well as update the post with bloodwork results from the thyroid tests.


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Good morning D Gang - We had a girl that had seizures years ago , It is a terrifying ordeal to watch your dog go threw - the first one - we thought we had just lost her , then after a minute or so - she lifted her head and looked around - like what just happened - she would get up as nothing had happened .

You did not mention how old your boy is , I have been looking for info on our Kasia girl to reply to you as she has been gone 5 years and my memory may not be as good as it once was : )

There are many causes for dogs to have seizures , some , are tumors ( Your MRI was good so throw that one out ) trauma , infection , then there are the ones outside of the brain like low blood sugar , external poisons and hypothyroidism . Kasia was on Soloxine for her thyroid - She had yearly testing for that - yet AFTER her first seizure , it was found , about 6 months after her testing - so now as our dogs get older - we test them every 6 months .

We live in farm country here in Indiana - matter of fact , we farm , I always felt that Kasia's seizures were triggered from a pesticide sprayed on a neighbor's field late in the day , I could not smell it but the wind laid down and the dew points were very high the next morning and boy could I smell it then , the same day she had her first seizure . The Vet thought I might be grasping for straws with that one - but I know what chemical was used and there was data out that it could cause seizures . The reason I post this is that it is environmental = lawn care ?? They use the same family of chemicals sprayed on our fields , do you use lawn care for weed control ??? I'm not saying that is the problem - but could it be a trigger ???

As far as Kasia - The vet said once they have a seizure - it is ( In my words here ) burnt into there brain = a pattern will be set up in there brain , the more they have , the more the pattern will be set , It needs to be controlled from the start to lessen it down the road .

Kasia was put on Phenobarbital - 60 mg . I can say to the best of my knowledge that I did not see any side affects that can come with them , Like Lethargy , Sedation , Anxiety Thirst and so on . Gabapentin can also be used as a seizure control , most times its used for pain management , but used at a higher dose for seizures ,

Potassium Bromide can be used or added to a combination .

Kasia was 7 when she had her first seizure and she lived --- just short of her 15th birthday .


Matter of fact , today is her birthday , she was born 5/15/ 2000

My best advise , And I not nocking your vet , vets , but I think I would find a good internal medicine Vet at a hospital - they are just more advanced in there fields of area .

Best of luck with your boy , but it can be controlled with success and they can live long productive lives .

Keep us updated !

Doc
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Doc,

He’s 3.5. Dont use any lawn care or pesticides and his brother also 3.5 black and rust is completely fine right now. He is a hood control as he is from the same litter, goes to the same areas, and eats the same food. Today I should be getting his thyroid results which we have a strong feeling might be the cause. Will update. Thank you for sharing your experience


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D Gang - We had never had a dog that had seizures before , so it was a big learning curve for us , I was surprised that low thyroid is at the top of the list of causes , and is so easy to control , If I remember right - she was on ? Only like .05mg of the Soloxine .

Thanks for the update !

Doc
 

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Discussion Starter #7
***UPDATE***

Results of the thyroid panel came back with his TSH levels high, his Free T4 and T4 levels low. He is diagnosed with hypothyroidism.

We are starting medication tonight on .06mg. We will continue to update his progress.

We opted to still wait on giving any anticonvulsants in hope the prescribed levothyroxine for his hypothyroidism fixes the seizures. Time isn’t on our side as it takes a few weeks to take affect, but hopefully the treatment is quicker.

We also asked about CBD to treat the seizures and from this personal neurologist’s opinion, “some people swear by it and some said no affect at all.” She has only been using one specific brand as she said she has the most studies on it personally and trusts it as it is vet only prescribed.

We are keeping the CBD nearby just in case the seizures continue before the levothyroxine has time to treat the hypothyroidism.

We are opting to wait on the CBD just to see if the seizures go away without having to use it to confirm the hypothyroidism and not just idiopathic epilepsy. (There is still a possibility of them being two separate issues) If seizures continue, CBD will be given along with the levothyroxine.

Will update with progress..


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First .06 pill will be given this evening after his meal at 6pm. Will update with results in 3-4 weeks to check levels and/or adjust medication dosage.

FYI- Medication is going to be levothyroxine @ .06mg given twice daily to start. (6am and 6pm is what we opted for.)


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Discussion Starter #9
**Update**

We have gone ten nights, no seizures. No use of CBD, but in hand just in case.

Cooper seems okay right now, his sleeps are a bit off still. Better, but off. The twitches arent normal dream twitches but more shakes of the head, and limbs every so often. I work nights so I’m able to monitor him the whole time. I usually just get up and make some noise while doing it so he naturally wakes up. If not that, I give him a gentle rub which soothes him back to a normal sleep. Its usually when he falls right to sleep where he gets some of those twitches. Thats how I’m also ruling out the “dreaming”.

Will update.


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Discussion Starter #11
Really appreciate the updates. We can all learn from these reports.


Thanks for the feedback, I know its a bit much but my fiance and I have researched as much as we could as both of us arent in the medical field (I’m and aircraft maintenance background and shes a counseling/psych background)

Our goal here, regardless of what happens, is to document our experience as best we can to help as many other dobermans (possibly other breeds) as possible.




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D. Gang,

Glad your Cooper is showing improvement! :2smile:
You mentioned he has head shaking and occasional limb movement when sleeping.
Are you sure he's not having Idiopathic Head Tremors (IHT) + sleep twitching?

Here's a recent DT thread discussing head tremors:
https://www.dobermantalk.com/doberman-health/72889-idiopathic-head-tremors.html

Our 10 y/o Eva Dobergirl has had diminishing head tremors ever since we adopted her in 2012, now only once/week or 2-weeks. She is also being treated for Hypothyroidism for last 3-years. I was not aware these two issues are related. Eva never twitches much during her sleep, just snores!

Here's a video clip during recent rare head tremor episode:

Eva Head Tremor Episode


Treats or a squirrel alert will snap her out of it...

Our 10 y/o boy Spock, twitches a lot while sleeping, which will stop if he his rubbed or petted, much like with your boy Cooper.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Not head tremors like that, we did see this post and video. They are very light. Also just got a call from my fiance while I’m here at work.

Cooper has gotten out of bed tonight and has been pacing, drooling, and acting a bit odd. Hopefully this isnt an oncoming seizure. Heading back home after I tidy up here at work and then I will update. Interesting because it is still the tenth day. Very weird.


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That does sound suspiciously like a seizure getting ready to ramp up. I hope not. I'll be thinking of you guys tonight.

One every 10 days seems really strange. I imagine you've read up on it more than I have, but I did find this bit that I think is very interesting:

"...researchers [UC San Francisco neurologists] have begun to show that seizures are less random than they appear. They have identified patterns of electrical discharges in the brain that they term "brain irritability" that are associated with higher likelihood of having a seizure.

The new study, based on recordings from the brains of 37 patients fitted with NeuroPace implants, confirmed previous clinical and research observations of daily cycles in patients' seizure risk, explaining why many patients tend to experience seizures at the same time of day. But the study also revealed that brain irritability rises and falls in much longer cycles lasting weeks or even months, and that seizures are more likely to occur during the rising phase of these longer cycles, just before the peak. The lengths of these long cycles differ from person to person but are highly stable over many years in individual patients, the researchers found."

From an article in Science Daily, January 2018 "Monthly brain cycles predict seizures in patients with epilepsy
Implanted electrodes reveal long-term patterns of seizure risk"
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That does sound suspiciously like a seizure getting ready to ramp up. I hope not. I'll be thinking of you guys tonight.



One every 10 days seems really strange. I imagine you've read up on it more than I have, but I did find this bit that I think is very interesting:



"...researchers [UC San Francisco neurologists] have begun to show that seizures are less random than they appear. They have identified patterns of electrical discharges in the brain that they term "brain irritability" that are associated with higher likelihood of having a seizure.



The new study, based on recordings from the brains of 37 patients fitted with NeuroPace implants, confirmed previous clinical and research observations of daily cycles in patients' seizure risk, explaining why many patients tend to experience seizures at the same time of day. But the study also revealed that brain irritability rises and falls in much longer cycles lasting weeks or even months, and that seizures are more likely to occur during the rising phase of these longer cycles, just before the peak. The lengths of these long cycles differ from person to person but are highly stable over many years in individual patients, the researchers found."



From an article in Science Daily, January 2018 "Monthly brain cycles predict seizures in patients with epilepsy

Implanted electrodes reveal long-term patterns of seizure risk"


Have not read this but I wouldn’t doubt it at it seems between 11pm-12:30AM Cooper goes through “something”. Obviously we dont know and I hope the levothyroxine for the hypothyroidism is actually doing something and keeping the seizures at bay.

So far, tonight he has gotten over the drooling and lethargy and hes sound asleep. Very light twitches but so far so good right now. Before he was getting up a lot to lay on the floor and his bed. I can tell something was making him uncomfortable like nausea or something. I will continue to update. Thanks for the input.

We did read something about “kindling” and seizures. The jist of it is, once a seizure has happened, the body “remembers/registers” the seizure so it can be repeated again and again. I really hope that doesn”t happen so we can link this to just hypothyroidism and nothing else.

At the rate this is going though, we are thinking it possibly could be neurological and the hypothyroidism is a separate issue. Possibly. Time will tell.


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Discussion Starter #16
Not an update, but I wanted to give everyone a “face” to my two boys Hudson and Cooper. First pic is last christmas (I KNOW...SPOILED) lol and second pic is this past Feb 02/20/2020. Our boys helped me propose to my girlfriend where we used to date under the GWB. (I hid the ring in a tennis ball ) lol Last pics are Cooper and Hudson.










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Not an update, but I wanted to give everyone a “face” to my two boys Hudson and Cooper. First pic is last christmas (I KNOW...SPOILED) lol and second pic is this past Feb 02/20/2020. Our boys helped me propose to my girlfriend where we used to date under the GWB. (I hid the ring in a tennis ball ) lol Last pics are Cooper and Hudson.

DG, Thanks for great family & pack pictures! Are your two boys siblings? I noticed only one birth date in your description panel.

Our two Dobes would be scared to death a large stuffed bear like that! They would probably think it was payback time, for all the stuffies they've destroyed over the years.... :2surprise:


How did you get the remote picture of your proposal?
For those not familiar with Dobermans and how affectionate they are, that picture caption could be:

The DobieGang Proposal - An Offer She'd Better Not Refuse! :grin2:




Cooper & Hudson to be in wedding ceremony, as well?

Hope you find resolution to Cooper's issues. I know how upsetting it is to have a health problem with one of our Dober babies.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Yes they are two brothers from the same litter.

The picture is pure luck! My girl went to the bathroom really quick and I noticed a group of kids hanging out at a picnic table. So i ran over and said, “yo guys! Im gonna try to propose to that girl over there, anyway to film on your phones or a picture?!”

They were all on board and little did I know one had a professional camera lol so I have it on film too. Crazy luck. My boys laid there without me even telling them too. Very lucky day for me.

They will also be at the wedding. The venue we picked allowed dogs. So other friends can bring them if theyd like as well. The wedding itself will be at the Archdiocese of Newark, but the party will be at the Envue in Edgewater NJ overlooking the city. Hopefully that plays out well given the covid issue. I feel really bad for anyone who had a wedding planned this year.

BTW after watching toy story and seeing all the stuffed toys theyve gone through, I sometimes find myself thinking.......imagine if these little stuffed toys could move around and get some payback lol


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***UPDATE***

Last night, Cooper was pacing out of discomfort and on/off drooling. I got home shortly after my fiance called me and the drooling went away but he continued to get on and off the bed a lot. After about an hour of discomfort, he went to sleep for the last time that night. He slept like a baby. No spasms, twitches, tremors, etc.

We are now on the 11th night and tonight he was sound asleep the whole way through again without any odd movements.

I hope he fought off an oncoming seizure and he continues to sleep better while the medication continues to balance out his thyroid levels.

We will check him again at the vet in a few weeks or less to make sure the dosage is okay and his thyroid levels are normal.

Will update.


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DG - I was doing some research yesterday on a problem for a guy out of Wisconsin , I have my Commercial License here in Indiana for Crop spraying , When working on his problem I came across this - it has to do with Pyrethroids , I know you said you don't do any lawn care - yet after looking at your above photos ( btw - congrats ) this morning - It made me think back to what I found yesterday - so here is a copy and paste - just something to think about .

Dogs fed extremely large doses of pyrethrins have experienced drooling, tremors, uncoordinated movement, and difficulty breathing. Increased activity, exhaustion, convulsions, and seizures have also been reported with high doses
 
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