my seven year old golden retriever/pyreneese mix started having seizures at the age of 2. they were very frequent and lasted 4 minutes or so- my vet wanted to put her on medication- i didn't like that idea-i changed her diet(started cooking food for her, and treats) . well- guess what- she only has a seizure now about once every 6 months and they are mild- i'm not sure if it's what i've done or not but i think most vets , like doctors think medication is the best way to go - the expense and having a drugged dog was not what i wanted- i'm happy with the results i've created- any thoughts from others experiencing seizures?
blackie- my parents had a golden that had seizures at the age of 2. he was put on aphenobarbetal (SP?) to help the seizures. It worked great and did not alter his mood or activity level until he was about 4 years old. He then developed cancer and was put on medication for that. From all the medication he was on he developed kidney failure and ended up dying a couple days before my mom was going to put him to sleep.
Seizures are not something to mess with. If your vet suggests medication, ask a ton of questions about it. Know if it is going to alter their mood, or activity level and I would suggest that the vet knows best in this case. Medicaton may be the only way he can live through his seizures.
I think seizures are a trait in goldens, but I could be wrong. Goldens are not known to have a long lifespan either.
Good luck with your dog, and hope everything goes well.
salty , our foster dog, came to us with a history of seizures. she was on 1 grain of pheno twiec a day. most often times we don't medicate an epileptic unless the seizures are frequent or severe. i read a copy of her medical records and apparently salty had them quite frequently so she was put on the meds. i continued to keep her on the meds for about the first 6 months i had her. she never seizured once with us. just in the last 8 months or so i have discontinued giving her the medication. knock on wood she has not had a single seizure in my presence nor have i come home to find any evidence of seizure activity.
i debated a long time before i made the decision to take her off them. i had her blood tested and her levels were always low. so according to the results she should have actually been on a higher dose then what she was. i spoke with the vet at length about it. my biggest concern was that if she came off the meds and started seizuring again she could have them much worse and she may not be so easily regulated with the phenobarb the second time around. many dogs need other meds in conjunction with the pheno to keep them stable and seizure free. salty didn't. the pheno was enough for her.
given the side effects the drug has on the liver, considering her age ... which is now 9 yrs old .... and given her hostory with us of never having a seizure , and getting the approval of my vet , and weighing the risks, i decided to take her off the meds.
i am happy with the decision i made for her. but i am not so sure i would recommend it to everyone who has a dog that seizures. working in a regular vets office and also working in emrgency clinics i have seen plenty of seizuring dogs and cats. have seen them come in so badly seizuring that they have had to be put into drug induced comas to stop the seizure activity. i have even had to put to sleep some that would not come out of the seizures no matter how many drugs we gave them to make them stop. its a horrible thing and the triggers for them are different for each animal. sometimes just a change in environment can trigger an episode.
like i said i am happy with my decision but it isn't something i would blindly recommend to anyone else.
thanks for the quick replys-this is great getting feedback- my dog has been tested for everything that they thought would cause these seizures- other than these- she is in perfect health-still is very active with my 2 yr old boxer/staff mix. i heard seizures are common in white dogs- mine being golden-retriever/pyreneese she is white with a couple light beige spots that just showed up a few years ago- will find pic
My dog Tux had seizures. If we made it a Month without a seizure on his meds we counted our blessings. He also had clusters. Of course your vets advics is best, but If your dog is going 6 months between them I probably wouldn't go for meds at that point.Your doing very well I would say. Just make darn sure you have an emergency plan together in case worse comes to worse.
If you haven't already, check out and join the K-9 epilepsy resources and the epil K-9 list.
i dotn know much about animal seizures but i did have seizures personally when i was younger and i was ok when off my meds but when i was on them i felt like a zombie so i quiet taking them and i felt a lot better
my male shiba-inu started siezing at about 2, and about every 6 months as well, his were only short though. I had to have the tests done on him because he was bought as a show breeding dog and for the contract he had to have them done. Nothing showed on his either so it was diagnosed as eppilepsy. I never put him on meds I felt that his siezers were so rare that daily meds for a 1-2 time a year siezer seemed foolish. He is now 9 and his siezers have become even more infrequent. I think his are triggered by extrem heat and stress so I limit them both. No exercise outside in the direct sun during the really hot days and he never is left alone, my other dog is always there with him, he has seperation issues. He is rarely kenneled as well, he doesn't like it at all.
I had a golden retriever once and she started to have seizers at the age of 7. It started with one like once a month, then one once a week, and then till it got till like 2 or 3 a day. We put her on medicane and it was so much better as long as we had it at the same time every day twice a day she never had them. But if we fogot one pill or did it late the next day she would have one. It made her life so much easier. It didnt chance her personalitly from what I could tell. It made it so much better from her life. I mean she would have a seizer at the top of stairs and down them all. Before we couldnt have her near sharp things or stairs cause it was too dangerous. Her life was so much better after the medicane.
My Chinese Crested was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy almost a year ago. He was having as many as 3 grand mal seizures a week. He has been on phenobarb [Pb] (64 mg x2/day) and potassium bromide [Kbr] (300 mg x1/day). It wasn't until we added Kbr that we started to get any type of control. Ricky has cluster seizures and the longest we've been seizure free in the last year is just over 9 weeks. In the last 3 weeks he's had a serious setback and has been having at least 2 seizures/day (albeit, most are merely very intense focal seizures, not full blown petit or grand mal). Wednesday nite he had 8 small seizures in a 2.5 hr stretch when I finally gave him a bit more Pb and some valium rectally to break the cycle).
Naturally, I was concerned with this set back and I took him in this a.m. for a Pb level & liver enzyme check. We don't have his Pb level results back yet (hopefully tomorrow) but his liver enzymes looked great considering the high dosage of Pb he's on. His enzymes were slightly elevated, but of most concern to my vet was his cholesterol level. I have now started him on Dr. Dodd's liver cleansing diet in the hopes of getting his cholesterol under control (in addition to adding salmon oil, lecithin, & garlic).
Long story short....if your dog is only experiencing one seizure every 6 months, get down on your knees and thank the Lord above. I'd give anything to have Ricky-Roo go 6 months seizure free. Once they start the meds it is very hard to wean them off. Most vets will not medicate for seizures unless they're experiencing more than 4-6 in a month.
Changing the diet to a grain, gluten, dairy free diet is one of the best things you can do. Also, try avoid anything with rosemary, sage, thyme, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, as these are known seizure triggers. Ricky is also very sensitive to chemical odors so I basically only use vinegar/water and Odokill or Odokleen to clean my house. If I need to use a bleach product (I'm a Clorox Clean Up girl so giving up my bleach was a real tough one for me) I keep Roo in a completely different part of the house & ventilate the cleaned areas very well before letting him back in.