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#344972 - 08/21/17 02:02 PM Seizures in a senior dog?
Karin Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 907
Loc: San Jose, California
Likes: 17
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

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#344975 - 08/21/17 07:37 PM Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin]
Wisc.Tiger_Val Offline
Member First - Owner Second "The Watcher"

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 8782
Loc: Wisconsin
Likes: 267
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
RIP Raya - AKA: Raz-a, Ray a Sunshine, RayBestos, the little one, Silly Girl. 9/21/05 - 6/27/14
RIP Lakota - AKA: Bubba, Big Boy, BooBoo (the other part of the Binky and BooBoo team). 1/19/03-9/19/2011
RIP DeeDee - AKA: DD Poo, Little Bit, Binky (part of the Binky and Booboo team) 6/23/02-6/20/11

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#344976 - 08/21/17 08:17 PM Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Wisc.Tiger_Val]
Karin Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 907
Loc: San Jose, California
Likes: 17
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

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#344977 - 08/21/17 09:47 PM Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin]
SeanRescueMom Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 2553
Likes: 81
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

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#344978 - 08/21/17 11:47 PM Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: SeanRescueMom]
Shilohsmom Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 1726
Likes: 160
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!

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#344979 - 08/22/17 03:05 AM Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Shilohsmom]
Codmaster Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 05/14/10
Posts: 1611
Loc: CA
Likes: 49
Good luck at the vet!

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#344982 - 08/22/17 08:36 AM Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Codmaster]
Mary Jane Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2731
Likes: 126
Originally Posted By: Codmaster
Good luck at the vet!
x2

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#344986 - 08/22/17 12:31 PM Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: SeanRescueMom]
Karin Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 907
Loc: San Jose, California
Likes: 17
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

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#344989 - 08/22/17 01:04 PM Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin]
Karin Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/11/10
Posts: 907
Loc: San Jose, California
Likes: 17
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

Top Likes: 0 
#344992 - 08/22/17 07:31 PM Re: Seizures in a senior dog? [Re: Karin]
Mary Jane Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/16/10
Posts: 2731
Likes: 126
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

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