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29-10-2010, 03:44 PM   #1

Akita seizures??


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akitagirl's Avatar
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Dogs owned: Akitas
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29-10-2010, 03:53 PM   #2

Re: Akita seizures??


So sorry to hear about Suki

Awful awful vet like the situation isn't hard enough . I'm glad you've left them, good luck finding a better vet, there are some out there.

Has the vet mentioned a referral for an MRI scan?

I don't have any first hand experience I'm afraid. My friend's Akita has seizures, often after a busy, exciting day out. He's prescribed rectal diazepam for when he is fitting. He had an MRI scan which found nothing, they are reluctant to put him on meds because they can cause complications with the liver. His was put down to severe head injury as a youngster (he came from an abusive home).



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Dogs owned: japanese akita
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keiko is Male
29-10-2010, 06:40 PM   #3

Re: Akita seizures??


Quote:
Originally Posted by akitagirl
So sorry to hear about Suki

Awful awful vet like the situation isn't hard enough . I'm glad you've left them, good luck finding a better vet, there are some out there.

Has the vet mentioned a referral for an MRI scan?

I don't have any first hand experience I'm afraid. My friend's Akita has seizures, often after a busy, exciting day out. He's prescribed rectal diazepam for when he is fitting. He had an MRI scan which found nothing, they are reluctant to put him on meds because they can cause complications with the liver. His was put down to severe head injury as a youngster (he came from an abusive home).
Thank you for the quick reply. Many different varients of seizures as you know, i never knew dogs could get epilepsy etc. Not sure whats going on yet so i'll wait until the growth spurts have stopped/slowed down and see what happens? If im stuck i will go to a new vets which is only a few miles from where i live.

Thanks again Akita girl, glad i found this great site

Anyone else on here who can help that would be great.. It sure would make me sleep better



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30-10-2010, 08:12 AM   #4

Re: Akita seizures??


One of my dogs was diagnosed with epilepsy a year ago and has been on epiphen (45 mg twice a day) since then. His is called ideopathic epilepsy as there is no apparent cause - I later found out he has an uncle with full blown epilepsy so I guess it's in his breeding. He is unusual in that he has only had seizures whilst actually competing in agility, rather than whilst asleep or coming out of sleep which is the usual case, but they are short and he recovers very quickly. Fortunately, the epiphen is controlling the seizures and he has not had any since being medicated. He has only had four seizures that I am aware of but they were occurring at decreasing intervals which is why the vet suggested he was medicated - every seizure damages the brain slightly so not medicating could mean you end up with a brain damaged dog. I also understand that withdrawing the epiphen could be dangerous as it is likely to bring on a seizure. My dog has three-monthly blood tests to check on his liver function and also to make sure he is still within the 'therapeutic range' for the drug which reveals how his body is coping with the drug and whether he would be better on a higher or lower dose. It is not definite that the dog would sustain liver damage on this drug.

Once he had stabilised on the drug (which took a few months) I started gradually re-introducing agility, not really expecting him to be able to compete again, but he is and to a good, if not consistent, level. He still has occasional bad days when he seems unable to process commands quickly enough. I did beat myself up about whether or not to stop agility if that was the cause so I wouldn't have to medicate but, once they have started fitting, there's no going back so I may as well let him to do something he enjoys. I was also horrified to find out that evening primrose oil (any essential oil in fact) can be a trigger and he had been having a capsule a day since he was a puppy! Mind you, even my vet didn't realise that but imagine how I felt about that!

I do hope you find another vet who is more supportive but you may have to accept that your dog will need medicating and it will be for life. Fortunately, epiphen isn't particularly expensive, but the blood tests are more so - I'm hoping that my dog will only need them every six months now as he has been seizure-free for a year. I would say that, if he was purely a pet, you wouldn't know there was anything wrong with him - it's just me remembering to give him his pills every 12 hours that is the problem!

There are some useful websites if you google canine epilepsy but let me know if you need any more information. Just as an afterthought, would your dog still be growing at 3 years old? I think an MRI scan would be required to check that out. Good luck.



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Dogs owned: japanese akita
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30-10-2010, 12:53 PM   #5

Re: Akita seizures??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fivedogpam
One of my dogs was diagnosed with epilepsy a year ago and has been on epiphen (45 mg twice a day) since then. His is called ideopathic epilepsy as there is no apparent cause - I later found out he has an uncle with full blown epilepsy so I guess it's in his breeding. He is unusual in that he has only had seizures whilst actually competing in agility, rather than whilst asleep or coming out of sleep which is the usual case, but they are short and he recovers very quickly. Fortunately, the epiphen is controlling the seizures and he has not had any since being medicated. He has only had four seizures that I am aware of but they were occurring at decreasing intervals which is why the vet suggested he was medicated - every seizure damages the brain slightly so not medicating could mean you end up with a brain damaged dog. I also understand that withdrawing the epiphen could be dangerous as it is likely to bring on a seizure. My dog has three-monthly blood tests to check on his liver function and also to make sure he is still within the 'therapeutic range' for the drug which reveals how his body is coping with the drug and whether he would be better on a higher or lower dose. It is not definite that the dog would sustain liver damage on this drug.

Once he had stabilised on the drug (which took a few months) I started gradually re-introducing agility, not really expecting him to be able to compete again, but he is and to a good, if not consistent, level. He still has occasional bad days when he seems unable to process commands quickly enough. I did beat myself up about whether or not to stop agility if that was the cause so I wouldn't have to medicate but, once they have started fitting, there's no going back so I may as well let him to do something he enjoys. I was also horrified to find out that evening primrose oil (any essential oil in fact) can be a trigger and he had been having a capsule a day since he was a puppy! Mind you, even my vet didn't realise that but imagine how I felt about that!

I do hope you find another vet who is more supportive but you may have to accept that your dog will need medicating and it will be for life. Fortunately, epiphen isn't particularly expensive, but the blood tests are more so - I'm hoping that my dog will only need them every six months now as he has been seizure-free for a year. I would say that, if he was purely a pet, you wouldn't know there was anything wrong with him - it's just me remembering to give him his pills every 12 hours that is the problem!

There are some useful websites if you google canine epilepsy but let me know if you need any more information. Just as an afterthought, would your dog still be growing at 3 years old? I think an MRI scan would be required to check that out. Good luck.
Hi Fivedogpam,

Thank you for the information. My Suki is the smallest of the bunch at 35kgm, Keiko is a 50kg lump, ha! Unfortunately Suki had another fit at around 9pm last night and for my girlfriend Natalie and i its broke our hearts

Money is of no object for my dogs and i dont care what i have to spend on my dogs as they have a better life than the both of us. I bought some back up medication from allergicpet.com
Once i saw Suki had sat up with her jaw locked in the kitchen i knew she was heading for a seizure, normally her fits are around 2 minutes but once Natalie squirted some drops in her mouth (bought from the website) she came around in 30 seconds so it radically reduced the fit, it was like magic. I have also bought the seizure capsules and these are empted in her food 4 caps 2 x daily, we will observe her on this dose. Suki is a bit of softy and hates the vets, i dont want to stress her anymore than she is already so im going for the natural alternative, at least she wont need blood tests. 3 blood tests does seem a lot to me? I know you have to check or blood stabilsation of the drug to get the dose right but i couldnt do that to Suki to be honest but the good thing is your dog is seizure free so im very pleased to hear that

My vet put Suki on 2 x 90mg epiphen and it was like having a disabled dog! Lost the use of her back legs in the morning and took her at least 3 hours to gain stabilisation, she was an absolute mess and this was very upsetting, so many side effects of this drug my vet never told me about. A walk would be only for 2 minutes and then she scraping her claws on the floor etc and it looked liked she was going to colapse. Even the look on Suki's face was like, whats wrong with me? And Keiko was sulking all day and didnt want to play because he was feeding off Suki's stress, so i took her off the epiphen.... at least your dog i fine on the dose given with no problems.

It seems like a pattern in terms of the fits, 2 fits (1 each day) then nothing fo 4 weeks then 2 more exactly the same. Its too distressing for the Keiko too as he loves Suki to bits and they are never apart and never fight, so im giving the capsules a go and if they work, although expensive (180 every 3 months at the highest dose) then everyone will be very happy and Suki will be her normal self again.

The capsules really smell and dogs aint daft so ive ordered some salmon oil to add to the food mixture to hinder the smell. Trying to put the capsules in cheese didnt really work because of the volume of the powder and that would alot of cheese. Mixed in tuna and brown rice wasnt too bad but you could smell still it, Suki knew it too! Next meal will be small bite mixer biscuits with lean steak mince, this should hinder the smell better.

I will keep this section updated with her progress because i know (now) there are MANY people in the same situation as us.

Thanks again for your valuable information,

Paul.

P.s, X Factor then early night tonight, Natalie and i are shattered



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Dogs owned: Border Collies
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30-10-2010, 04:07 PM   #6

Re: Akita seizures??


What is in these capsules? Skullcap and Valerian can help and I did try my dog on these as well as the epiphen but he was quite dozy so I stopped them on my vet's advice - at least you can stop and start those without any ill effects. I'm surprised your vet didn't warn you about the side effects of the epiphen, especially on a relatively high dose! Suki would have eventually got used to them but I can imagine how upsetting it was for you to witness. I know folk who have tried homeopathic remedies with some success but it seems that they eventually have to resort to chemical sedation for the dog's sake. I think I would try to find a homeopathic vet rather than buy stuff over the internet as you don't really know what you are giving her or the long term effect it might have! Alternatively try a different vet and explain Suki's problem and see how they react. I changed vets when my year old puppy was muzzled just for a booster and screamed when the vet had to try twice to put the needle in. The new vet was quite happy for me to take the lead and distract him with cheese and he didn't even notice the injection!

I really feel for you because I know what you are going through. I was devastated when it happened to me and cried buckets the day he was put on medication but it does get easier and knowing you are doing the very best you can for your dog helps. Mine is now on a wheat-free diet (almost 100%), crated when I'm not there (just in case!) and enjoying taking his tablets because he gets a treat afterwards. As soon as I rattle the bottle of pills, he appears! All my dogs see a chiropractor at least twice a year anyway (because they do agility) but some treatment might help her to be more comfortable if she has bruised any muscles during her seizures and would get her used to being handled by someone other than you and Natalie.

Another useful piece of advice I was given was to keep a diary of when she has her seizures, what she has eaten, what the weather was like, where she was, what she was doing, how long did it last, how long before she was back to normal and anything else that might point to a pattern developing, which could be useful in the future if you do decide to consult a vet.

Keep us posted and I will be thinking of you both and Suki!



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Dogs owned: Bernese Mountain Dog.
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30-10-2010, 04:43 PM   #7

Re: Akita seizures??


Sorry to hear of your troubles.

No advice I am fortunate in my dog does not have fits but I really feel for people who's dogs do. I understand where you are coming from with the homeopathic route I too have a dog that gets very stressed by the vet.

We avoid as much as possible. I am not sure Ollie would cope with injections blood tests etc., on a regular basis.

I am really surprised that your previous vet didn't sedate Suki when she was showing distress. Our vet has advised for blood tests and examinations if needed the first thing would be sedation for his safety and Ollie's.

I will keep everything crossed the homeopathic route works for you.



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Dogs owned: japanese akita
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30-10-2010, 04:45 PM   #8

Re: Akita seizures??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fivedogpam
What is in these capsules? Skullcap and Valerian can help and I did try my dog on these as well as the epiphen but he was quite dozy so I stopped them on my vet's advice - at least you can stop and start those without any ill effects. I'm surprised your vet didn't warn you about the side effects of the epiphen, especially on a relatively high dose! Suki would have eventually got used to them but I can imagine how upsetting it was for you to witness. I know folk who have tried homeopathic remedies with some success but it seems that they eventually have to resort to chemical sedation for the dog's sake. I think I would try to find a homeopathic vet rather than buy stuff over the internet as you don't really know what you are giving her or the long term effect it might have! Alternatively try a different vet and explain Suki's problem and see how they react. I changed vets when my year old puppy was muzzled just for a booster and screamed when the vet had to try twice to put the needle in. The new vet was quite happy for me to take the lead and distract him with cheese and he didn't even notice the injection!

I really feel for you because I know what you are going through. I was devastated when it happened to me and cried buckets the day he was put on medication but it does get easier and knowing you are doing the very best you can for your dog helps. Mine is now on a wheat-free diet (almost 100%), crated when I'm not there (just in case!) and enjoying taking his tablets because he gets a treat afterwards. As soon as I rattle the bottle of pills, he appears! All my dogs see a chiropractor at least twice a year anyway (because they do agility) but some treatment might help her to be more comfortable if she has bruised any muscles during her seizures and would get her used to being handled by someone other than you and Natalie.

Another useful piece of advice I was given was to keep a diary of when she has her seizures, what she has eaten, what the weather was like, where she was, what she was doing, how long did it last, how long before she was back to normal and anything else that might point to a pattern developing, which could be useful in the future if you do decide to consult a vet.

Keep us posted and I will be thinking of you both and Suki!
Hi,

Here is the link what i bought the capsules and liquid from http://www.allergicpet.com/ I thought the feedback was pretty good with no side effects so i wanted to try that first.

The vet is french and VERY hard to understand! He told me about the liver problems that may arise, her metabolism will increase but dont give her extra food, she will drink more and be a liitle dosy for a few days. When i googled it (i google everything) it really put me off. Suki really was like a zombie and was also making Keiko ill so after 1 week i took her off the Epiphen. After 5 days i had Suki back, playing with Keiko as usual and just being her really loving self. Im very fortunate to work from home so Natalie and i can watch her 24/7. We dont go out so its a perfect opportunity to monitor her.
We record every seizure, time it, how long its take to come around,think what food shes had etc basically think if we have done anything different in that particular day.

I will monitor Suki with the natural medication shes on and if its too much to bare and im not happy i will go seek advice from my new vets. Everything has to be done in stages i guess

Any trouble i will post up asap. Hopefully a nice cryless nights sleep tonight, 2 nights with no sleep has killed us.

Thank you,

Paul



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Dogs owned: japanese akita
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30-10-2010, 04:51 PM   #9

Re: Akita seizures??


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lynn
Sorry to hear of your troubles.

No advice I am fortunate in my dog does not have fits but I really feel for people who's dogs do. I understand where you are coming from with the homeopathic route I too have a dog that gets very stressed by the vet.

We avoid as much as possible. I am not sure Ollie would cope with injections blood tests etc., on a regular basis.

I am really surprised that your previous vet didn't sedate Suki when she was showing distress. Our vet has advised for blood tests and examinations if needed the first thing would be sedation for his safety and Ollie's.

I will keep everything crossed the homeopathic route works for you.
Hi Lynn,

Thank you for your concern. Its nice to know people on this site no what we are going through and can help in some way.

When a vet knows a dog is in this kind of state you would think sedation would be the best option, obviously not according to them?

Paul.



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30-10-2010, 06:45 PM   #10

Re: Akita seizures??


Hi there

My dog (not an Akita) developed epilepsy when he was just over a year old - he's 6 now. After an MRI scan and spinal tap (when they found out we had insurance) he was prescribed phenobarbitone (Pb) but he became immediately hyper on it and because I was concerned about the side effects (including liver damage) and the fact that dogs can become tolerant requiring an increasing dose) we decided to medicate him with potassium bromide alone, plus rectal diazepam for emergencies. I feed a mainly raw meat diet with bones, some fruit and veg, eggs and tinned fish and don't feed any grains - no rice, wheat, oats, corn, etc. or dairy; essentially a glutamate, aspartate restricted diet. Since doing this, things have improved hugely (after he was hospitalised and sedated and they didn't think they'd be able to bring him around and stop the fits), although I'd be reluctant to say it was just down to the diet. Still, I wouldn't change it now because he has been doing so well.

When the fits started, I tried to do all I could without going down the drug route, including using Skullcap and Valerian but after a huge cluster (13 fits in an hour - he typically has a cluster of fits over a period of around 48/36 hours) decided to medicate as his fits are life-threatening.

Our record so far fit-free is 13 months. Unfortunately, he has recently had a cluster of 10 fits over 48 hours but that was after the 13 months of no fits at all and his recovery was much quicker than it used to be. When he started having fits, he'd have them every few weeks.

I found the Guardian Angels website to be a brilliant resource, an absolute mine of information:

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/site_map.htm

'If I knew then what I know now':

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/If_I_knew_then.htm

There are other drugs that can be used instead of (or as well as) Pb - also milk thistle can be used to help support the liver:

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/milk_thistle.htm

Another epilepsy resource:

http://www.canineepilepsy.co.uk/



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