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Discussion Starter #41 (Edited)
Good evening all,

Bloodwork came back today. Cooper is in the green with his thyroid levels but still on the low side. The vet and internal medicine doc discussed and recommended not to go higher than 1mg levothyroxine as thats already a strong dosage.

Tonight he just had a seizure about 30min ago (01:47). Lasted about 1min +/- 15sec.

Recovered fairly well but as of right now still pacing and balance is still off. He tried to lay down 3x now but can’t get comfortable to sleep. I’m sure hes tired and will rest his eyes soon.

My fiance and I are contemplating anticonvulsants but we cant help to think since he was diagnosed with “idiopathic epilepsy”, that its a bandaid fix to some other underlying issue. We also dont know if anticonvulsants will help at all while asleep.

We want whats best for our boy. Any suggestions would be helpful.

**second guessing everything, we also might take him for an ultrasound just to positively rule anything abnormal out. We did the MRI and blood panels with nothing conclusive but we want to be 1000% sure. For some reason I keep thinking kidneys because of the random blood spotting and seizures but what do I know I’m not a vet.**

Pic of the poor guy trying to sleep:




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Discussion Starter #42
**UPDATE**

Bad news, seizures happened again last night all lasting about a minute.

10:30pm
02:30am
07:55am

Now it’s getting to the point where it’s creeping into the daytime. He also was not sleeping in the am he was up trying to sleep but went into the seizure.

Anticonvulsants seem to be the next option.

I cant stand any vets, internal medicine vets, and neurologists. I feel everything they’ve done/suggested has been in vain and theres an underlying issue here. Seems to be easier to diagnose your family member with idiopathic epilepsy. (Short for we dont know wtf is wrong)

First it was always while asleep, so we figured yea maybe theres something to that. Now, while he was up another one. I can’t stand bandaid solutions.

If your car was leaking oil but you could never pin point where the leak was from, would you accept the answer...”your car has idiopathic oil leakage. From now on we will have to start topping your car off will oil all the time.”


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I'm really sorry that this is happening and to hear your frustration. It's hard to see your dog go through this.

Unfortunately, sometimes the answer is that this does just happen and there isn't an underlying "cause" that can be identified. I've known several friends (too many) that have dogs with epilepsy (or seizures). All of them have worked with specialists, and none have had dogs where a cause was identified. Like in people, this is a complex neurological disease and we don't yet know why it happens all the time. It *IS* frustrating, but that doesn't mean the vets are doing a bad job.

(Since I suffer from a neurological disease myself, with no known cause and a real lack of treatments...believe me, I really, really understand this frustration!)

The important thing is to continue forward with the best course of treatment for your dog, whatever that may be.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Thanks Meadowcat,

**Update**

2:45 pm another seizure. 4 within 24hrs.

Spoke to the neurologist and they sent over the prescription for phenobarbital (64.8mg 2x every 12 hrs) that I just picked up and gave him at 4pm.

I hope and pray this treatment helps him as the side effects arent the best. Ive heard success from others but I’m doubtful until I see it.

All the best,

DG


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I had a cocker spaniel for 13 years and he had seizures. He was on anti convulsants for years and lived a good long life. There was no known cause, he was just plain epileptic. I do have to agree with ECIN, the longer you wait, the harder it will be to control the seizures. It seems as if you have explored the options, no brain tumor, thyroid, kidney and liver function check out. If it were me, I would stop the seizures with medication and keep an eye out for any side effects.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
**Update**

Sorry I was not able to update but yesterday around 9 he had another. At that point we drove him straight to Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in NJ. (40min from Jersey City)

He was taken in and stayed the night and monitored with IV hookups. He didnt have a seizure lst night but they want to keep him the rest of today and tonight into saturday morning/afternoon before releasing him.

We opted to take him in because since the last seizures yesterday morning hes been restless ever since. Constant pacing, frequent urination, panting, confusion, etc. we wanted to make sure he is well hydrated and already at the hospital to start treating the cluster if it got any worse.

Will update on his arrival.


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I'll be thinking of you guys—keep in touch. It's so hard sitting and waiting for news when they're in the hospital, but at least you know he's getting careful treatment.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Thanks melbrod,

**Update**

Had the “comfort call” twice today. Morning call the hospital stated no seizures throughout the night but still weak and slow to recover. (Dragging feet etc) Tonight had the second call and he has eaten a bit, drank water and okay on his walks. Still no seizures. He will stay another night and I hope by morning his toughness gets him back on track to fight the seizures off on his new medication.

**Side-note**

Ive been trying to contact the breeder we purchased our two boys from to make them aware of whats going on to no avail. This is worrying as they can potentially continue to breed a known issue. They were both purchased from a breeder in PA. I will update with name and location when I dig through my files.

When we first received them we had to deworm as they had worms. I called immediately to let the breeder know all her puppies potentially had worms and the response was “oh, okay.”

Lastly, Cooper used to have a bowed leg/slight knuckling on his left front leg. A local vet explained surgery was required (Secaucus animal hospital, NJ). I called the breeder to make them aware and immediately she offered replacement of the dog.

(I had a very bad attitude toward her as my fiance and I were set on taking care of him as our own the day we left the breeder, and to offer another dog like an item rubbed me the wrong way. I wanted to just make the breeder aware of what was happening.)

With much research we changed his diet to a less protein/ and a bit more calcium diet and within two weeks he was standing straight and strong. (At this point we realized if a vet with a degree and education can falsely recommend surgery even though it was his diet, we will always do our due diligence from that day forward)

Fast forward to now, and the seizures. If I had to guess its probably hereditary. Not sure. Anyway just curious if you folks have any input on what we should be doing to prevent future breeding issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #50
**Update**

Checked cooper out at 11:30am this morning. Very drugged up but broke the seizure cluster. He did well the two nights he was there and was released early to us.

Currently he is home on his daily dose of levothyroxine and phenobarbital.

While he has been home, a lot of urination and drinking which we suspected and hungry. (He prob didnt eat much at the hospital.)

His rear limbs are dragging but I was told its common when the phenobarbitals treatment is started.

He has been very “out there” all day. Pretty much the same sort of pacing and restlessness he had after his seizures except this time hes very slow and mellow about it.

He ate his meal like normal which was good drank lots of water and urinated a lot.

The only odd thing other than him taking a LONG time to “come back” is that he had two instances where he had the similar “signs” prior to an episode...(Teeth chatter, lips peeling back like a smile, and turning his neck to look at his back) but it didnt go into a seizure. He locked up a bit and then forcefully woke himself and started walking it off then went back to bed. I really hope its the meds are actually keeping the seizures at bay because those signs were definitely seizures any other day.

We will be taking him back in about two weeks for blood work and follow ups to make sure his kidney values and the phenobarbital in the system is okay.

Will advise.

All the best,

Dobiegang
 

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Discussion Starter #51
*Update

Okay, so good update here. I havent updated much since the last seizure as I didn’t want to not pick every little thing or jinx anything.

Last seizure was 09/16-09/17 2020. We are on 11/19/2020 seizure free on anticonvulsants and levothyroxine. If the trend continues, it will be great.

I hope this treatment shrinks the number of episodes a year to something more manageable. His urination frequency has subdued a bit and he recovered physically from the initial shock dosages given to him.

Fingers crossed.

Not to divert from the seizures, but since both my boys have turned 4 this past October, would it be prudent to start checking for DCM. We saw on instagram a fellow doberman friend who recently passed out of no where and it was really heart breaking. She was running around playing on the video hours prior. :(

If we do start to check for signs, any suggestions on what tests to perform?

Kind thanks,

Dobiegang


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*Update

Okay, so good update here. I havent updated much since the last seizure as I didn’t want to not pick every little thing or jinx anything.

Last seizure was 09/16-09/17 2020. We are on 11/19/2020 seizure free on anticonvulsants and levothyroxine. If the trend continues, it will be great.

I hope this treatment shrinks the number of episodes a year to something more manageable. His urination frequency has subdued a bit and he recovered physically from the initial shock dosages given to him.

Fingers crossed.

Not to divert from the seizures, but since both my boys have turned 4 this past October, would it be prudent to start checking for DCM. We saw on instagram a fellow doberman friend who recently passed out of no where and it was really heart breaking. She was running around playing on the video hours prior. :(

If we do start to check for signs, any suggestions on what tests to perform?

Kind thanks,

Dobiegang


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Great news on the seizure front.

Yes, I would personally recommend starting to screen for DCM. It's recommended to start annual tests at age 2-3. You want an echocardiogram done by a board-certified cardiologist, and a 24 hour holter monitor reading. You need both - dogs can have a normal reading on one, and show very abnormal readings that will diagnose DCM on the other.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Great news on the seizure front.

Yes, I would personally recommend starting to screen for DCM. It's recommended to start annual tests at age 2-3. You want an echocardiogram done by a board-certified cardiologist, and a 24 hour holter monitor reading. You need both - dogs can have a normal reading on one, and show very abnormal readings that will diagnose DCM on the other.
Thanks meadowcat i will discuss with the wife. We feelcooper has irregular heart beats and breathing issues for a long time but we always thought he just couldnt keep up with his very athletic brother


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