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Seizures in a senior dog? #344972
08/21/17 06:02 PM
08/21/17 06:02 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
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Karin  Offline OP
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San Jose, California
We think Heidi might be having seizures. Long ago, we had a dog that had grand mal seizures, which are pretty unmistakable, and who had to be on phenobarbital the rest of her life. Heidi's symptoms are different: repeatedly tilting her nose up in the air, getting panicked for no reason and trying to squeeze into corners/climb up on things, shaking intermittently throughout her whole body, and extreme thirst after these episodes. Valium seems to help but we don't want to have her on this all the time.

We've assumed that she has had canine dementia for the past couple of years, but these other symptoms are fairly new. For the dementia, we've been giving her Cholodin for many years, and recently, CBD oil (7 drops with BF and 7 with dinner), as well as Canibit treats, which don't seem to be doing much (if anything) to help this seizure-like activity.

Does anyone else have a dog with seizures that has these symptoms? In my research, it looks like it could be maybe focal seizures? We have an appointment to see her vet tomorrow, but I was wondering if anyone can give us some advice on what to ask the vet, what to think about in advance, etc. Thanks for any help/advice.


Karin and Dave

Heidi, 12-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin] #344975
08/21/17 11:37 PM
08/21/17 11:37 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 8,858
Wisconsin
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
Member First - Owner Second "The Watcher"
Wisc.Tiger_Val  Offline
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Karin, no advice just sending you some good thoughts.


Val da Tiger

Fuzzybutt the cat.
Neilla the Big White puppy.

RIP Cheyenne - AKA: Digger, CheyChey Girl, Cheyenne Large and In charge. 2/16/02 - 2/27/16
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Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Wisc.Tiger_Val] #344976
08/22/17 12:17 AM
08/22/17 12:17 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
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Karin  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Thank you, Val. I'm hoping that our vet will have some ideas for us. I'm hearing about others who have had good luck with phenobarbital & CBD oil. Our previous dog did very well on pheno, other than slowing down a bit and gaining weight.


Karin and Dave

Heidi, 12-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin] #344977
08/22/17 01:47 AM
08/22/17 01:47 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,589
SeanRescueMom Offline
Carpal Tunnel
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Sorry to hear about Heidi's canine dementia and possible seizures. frown Sean had both so it is a little difficult to separate the two but he had the seizures while still somewhat young and before the dementia. His regular vet prescribed phenobarbital but I had him on the lowest possible dose for maintenance. After the first two seizures he never had another episode. As he aged the specialist he was seeing for his autoimmune illness and neurologist felt he should only be on the medication that was absolutely necessary so we weaned him off the phenobarbital and never experienced a seizure.

Honestly, I'm not an expert and you know Heidi best. Some of her symptoms sound more like dementia and others could be seizure related. I trust your vet will give you the best medical advice that is needed for her. Please keep us posted after your visit tomorrow, good luck! hugging


Sean - 1998/2014
If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart I'll stay there forever.
Carleton DOB unknown
Neely - 2003/2015
Gizmo -2008/2011
Neeko -1991/2005
Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: SeanRescueMom] #344978
08/22/17 03:47 AM
08/22/17 03:47 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1,808
S
Shilohsmom Offline
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No ideas from me, thankfully I haven't had to deal with this. Just wanted you to know I'm sending many thoughts and prayers for both of you. hugging

Please keep us updated.


Rosa

Proud Mom to Eli and Kodiak
and never to be forgotten, Shiloh and Shoshi
Every dog deserves to have a human that thinks its the greatest dog that ever lived!
Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Shilohsmom] #344979
08/22/17 07:05 AM
08/22/17 07:05 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 1,618
CA
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Codmaster Offline
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Good luck at the vet!

Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Codmaster] #344982
08/22/17 12:36 PM
08/22/17 12:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,756
Mary Jane Offline
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Mary Jane  Offline
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Originally Posted By: Codmaster
Good luck at the vet!
x2

Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: SeanRescueMom] #344986
08/22/17 04:31 PM
08/22/17 04:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
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Karin  Offline OP
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Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Originally Posted By: SeanRescueMom
Some of her symptoms sound more like dementia and others could be seizure related


This is the hardest thing. Heidi has been having what we've thought is canine dementia for several years now. We've kept it in control very well with Cholodin. Her first symptoms were just getting really startled and scared, and trying to squeeze into corners. I've read that Cholodin also helps seizures, but if you read the label, sometimes they will get overloaded on it and have exaggerated forms of the symptoms above and you have to take them off of it for a couple of days and then put them back on again.

Heidi has lost a lot of weight lately due to loss of appetite (53 lbs, down from 65 at her highest). She's always been on the thin side, but our vet is getting concerned and as much as I try to get her to eat, she just eats the toppings and not the kibble until she gets really hungry. Add to that the fact that she has an extremely sensitive stomach and I searched high & low for something she could tolerate and found Nature's Logic kibble, which she has been eating for years and is probably sick of it. I've been cooking up lean ground beef and sweet potatoes to try and entice her, which seems to work pretty well.

So, part of me wonders if she's always had seizures and the Cholodin kept it at bay or if she's had dementia the whole time. And I had to take her off Cholodin because of the "overloading effect" and she is now on a much smaller dose. Could that be causing the seizures (if they are, in fact, seizures).

And then there's the CBD, which is supposed to help seizures and anxiety and maybe I'm not using enough. I think I am overanalyzing everything, trying to do the right thing. In the meantime, Heidi is either sleeping all day, or panicked out of her mind. She won't even go for a walk anymore and barely eats. frown I'm glad we're going to the vet today, although I have asked her about these symptoms before and we never came to any conclusions.


Karin and Dave

Heidi, 12-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin] #344989
08/22/17 05:04 PM
08/22/17 05:04 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
Old Hand
Karin  Offline OP
Old Hand
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Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Thank you for all the kind comments. I will keep you guys posted after we go to the vet. Just now, I made up her breakfast with all the things she likes on top and she wouldn't even touch it. Maybe something else totally different is wrong with her. She is almost 12, so I know that we may not have much time left with her, which I don't even want to think about.


Karin and Dave

Heidi, 12-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin] #344992
08/22/17 11:31 PM
08/22/17 11:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,756
Mary Jane Offline
Carpal Tunnel
Mary Jane  Offline
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Posts: 2,756
No ideas or knowledge from me. But dear Lord how these magnificent older dogs demand every single thing we can do.

Heidi, you picked the right family all those years ago.

all the best to all of you,
MJ

Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin] #344993
08/23/17 02:48 AM
08/23/17 02:48 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 2,589
SeanRescueMom Offline
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Originally Posted By: Karin
Just now, I made up her breakfast with all the things she likes on top and she wouldn't even touch it.


There were times when out of the clear blue sky Sean would not eat either. The only way I could get him to eat was to sit on the floor with him and feed him a little at a time out of my hand.

Regarding you overanalyzing everything, isn't that what we all do for our dogs? I think it's perfectly normal. wink We form such a close bond with them that we try to fix everything and when we don't know the cause of something it effects us. After the Cholodin wasn't working as well for Sean the specialty vet switched him to something else and it did help but off the top of my head I can't recall what it was, if I remember I'll let you know. Sending special thoughts your way, will be anxious to hear what your vet has to say. hug


Sean - 1998/2014
If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart I'll stay there forever.
Carleton DOB unknown
Neely - 2003/2015
Gizmo -2008/2011
Neeko -1991/2005
Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin] #344994
08/23/17 10:30 AM
08/23/17 10:30 AM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,952
Ohio
PositiveDog Online coffee
Carpal Tunnel
PositiveDog  Online Coffee
Carpal Tunnel
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Posts: 4,952
Ohio
I'm so sorry for what you are all going through.

You are so good with her and have no doubt made her life so much better. I will be thinking of you.


Bonnie

With approval of my friends:

SamCat, 03/2011
Bennie the 12 1/2% GSD 02/2013

Seiko, Solo, Sophie, Skye and Buddy - bridge dogs who taught me so much
Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: PositiveDog] #345016
08/26/17 06:31 PM
08/26/17 06:31 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
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Karin  Offline OP
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Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Thank you for all the replies and kind words. I really appreciate it. We had our vet visit and it went well. We showed her videos of Heidi doing the head tilts and the rhythmic trembling, and our vet said that it did look like something neurological to her. She recommend a veterinary neurologist at a local specialty animal clinic down the street so we went over there and made an appointment for next Tuesday.

In the meantime, we've upped Heidi's CBD oil to 12 drops with breakfast and 12 with dinner, in addition to her regular cholodin tablet & canibit (CBD oil treat). She seems to be doing better. She hasn't had any more head tilts or tremors, although she is still doing the compulsive digging of the grass/carpet/gravel and getting really anxious now and then. She has also been sleeping through the night most of the time, which is a HUGE improvement from before.

Previously, we had her on 2 Cholodin tablets with BF and 2 with dinner and I think it was too much considering she has lost so much weight. And according to the label (and our experiences) sometimes dogs can get overloaded on Cholodin and get extremely agitated. They recommend taking them off it and putting them back on it after a couple of days. That's what we did and now that it's kicking in a bit, it seems to be helping. In my research, I've read about people who say that Cholodin and/or CBD oil has reduced and/or eliminated their dog's seizure activity.

I've also been cooking Heidi stew meat, sweet potatoes, and lean ground beef in, addition to her kibble as well as mixing it in, and she is definitely eating more. She weighed 52 lbs at the vet's and she said she'd like to see Heidi back up to 60 lbs again.

We're not ready to lose Heidi yet (of course, nobody ever is...), so we'll do whatever we can to help her and try and figure out what's going on


Karin and Dave

Heidi, 12-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin] #345017
08/26/17 06:37 PM
08/26/17 06:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Karin Offline OP
Old Hand
Karin  Offline OP
Old Hand
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 909
San Jose, California
Also, the vet called yesterday with the results of Heidi's blood tests. They were all very good, except she said there was a "mild elevation in one of the liver enzymes" (ALT). It was 163, whereas the high end of the range 118. She said that sometimes the ALT can be in multiple hundreds or thousands and it can be transitory, so it may be nothing, but it is new to her previous results and she thought we should do another test in a month or two. I've been looking on the Internet and can't find too much about it. Anyway, at least I feel like she's doing better right now and we're on track to try and figure out what's wrong with her. Thanks again for the support!


Karin and Dave

Heidi, 12-year-old GSD
Adopted on 10/14/07 from: German Shepherd Rescue of Northern California (http://www.savegsd.org)

Sheba, GSD/Malamute angel
Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin] #345043
09/01/17 06:38 AM
09/01/17 06:38 AM
Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 19,513
Northern CA
MaxaLisa Offline

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MaxaLisa  Offline

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Jazz had a couple of different types of seizures. Here are her trembling ones:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PLp8Fx2...amp;mode=NORMAL
She also had that weird staring type of seizure.

I personally don't think neuros are super helpful unless you're going to do the MRI and all sorts of testing, and then do different drug therapies.

I would run a tick panel through protatek with any neuro condition and elevated enzymes. I would have to look up what the internist had us run on jazz, but we included the tick stuff as well as toxo and the one that starts with N that I can never remember. (found it: http://germanshepherdhome.net/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/285799/Re:_Facing_difficult_decisions#Post285799)

Jazz seems to no longer have those seizures, but still has anxiety/panic attacks. I do not know what I did to help with the seizures since I did a bunch of things, and she is also on doxy for her collagen issues.

I do think that lots of neuro issues correspond to r-lipoc or alpha lipoic acid and I think there was a distinct improvement in both jazz and indy when I added it to their protocols. I think lecithin also helped jazz, but that's sorta like the cholodin. Too much acetylcholine though can cause that jittery stuff because of the way it affects the communication with the muscles.

I tried some canna-pet for jazz, but it heightened her anxiety and made her more aggressive to other dogs on hikes. I have a friend that is using it for his severely brain injured son and it's been amazing. Different types will have different affects so i'm glad the stuff you are using is working out.

Seizures are so hard. And then with the other aging stuff, it's really hard to know what exactly is going on. I'm really glad though that the cBD oil is helping.

I would find some liver support. Unfortunately they changed the formula for my favorite liver support and I don't know if the new stuff works, so I don't have a good product to recommend.

I also would consider a B complex, but a lower dose one. The b vitamins are so important with neuro conditions, but too much might increase anxiety. The only ones that Max could tolerate were the Jarrow b-right vitamins which are about a B-25 complex.

Last edited by MaxaLisa; 09/01/17 06:50 AM. Reason: changed link

MaxaL (aka LisaT)

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