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Thread: Canine Epilepsy

  1. #1

    Question Canine Epilepsy

    [IMG]<a href=";current=mobyandmace.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>[/IMG]

    Hi Folks,

    I'm new to this, so sorry if there is a thread like this already!

    I have two Staffies, one English and the other American.

    In April my English boy (4 and 9 month year old pure bred) started having Grand Mal seizures, the longest lasting around 1 minute, this happened 4 times over two weeks. The Vet prescribed Phenobarb (started off at 50mg twice daily) he did not have a seizure after this, however a week later she increased the dosage to 100mg twice daily as his blood levels were below where they should be.

    He was seizure free for two months, however had one 2 days ago during the night (very small, around 20 seconds) and has started chasing his tail obsessively yet with not much conviction (never catches it)! (something he has not done since he was a baby!) The vet has now increased his dosage to 150mg twice daily (his blood work came back as being in the right zone but the lower end of the spectrum) and said the tail chasing is probably related to little zone outs.

    I was just wondering if anyone else has a dog with epilepsy and how they found the medication; did the dog fit occasionally, stop fitting or continue needing dosage increases?

    My boy has been fully tested for toxins, blood sugar and the Staffy inherited condition, all came back OK. I know the breeder and about 4 siblings and 1 half sibling, none of which have developed epilepsy yet.

    Also, the other Boy (Huge red American staffy) barks before the English has his seizures and is the most attentive buddy for him! (Sits back and watches while he is seizuring then keeps his distance) I worry about him psychologically as the English is quite demented post seizure and doesn't seem to know the American (no aggression between them though). I wanted to know if anyone else has similar experiences and has tips about giving the non epileptic dog plenty of TLC without making too much of a big deal!

    This is so long! I've written an essay!


    Last edited by MaceFace; 06-24-2011 at 07:05 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009


    I only know about epilepsy from the human friend point of view.

    One of my friends has it. She wouldn't know who she was or who you were - though she usually knew you were a friend... for about 20 to 30 minutes after the seizure and then it would all gradually come back. I expect it could be the same for the dog. I think after a fit as long as you move calmly with no panic or upset, the dog should be reassured.

    With human epilepsy - it takes a while to get the meds in balance to manage the condition, and even then - there can still be fits. For my friend - stress and anxiety would trigger hers. She usually had some idea of something being wrong or an aura / hot feeling before it would get her.

    So if you can manage the environment for your dog so there is minimum doggy stress that would probably help.

    Overall as fas as I know - dogs with epilepsy live shorter lives than ones with out. I'm not sure if that's the meds (I suspect so), or the epilepsy.

  3. #3


    Hi Hyacinth,

    Thanks for your input! My boy tends to have his seizures during the night when he is relaxed, so unfortunately even in the most chilled out of places (bed!) he still get's into the zone. After he has had a fit I try to keep the environment as low key (TV off, other dog quiet, only lamp on, ect) to prevent him having another seizure because I've been told the first 24 hours are the worst and can induce cluster seizures.

    It's reassuring for me to hear that it took a little while for your friend to get her medication figured out (though I'm sure that was a stressful time for her and her family . ) I guess I just had naive hopes that Moby's epilepsy would not be ongoing!

    One of my biggest concerns is our other dog, an American Staffordshire Terrier called Macio. He is a beautiful dog and is so kind and gentle when Moby is fitting, but I worry about how confusing it is for him and how he feels. There has been no agression between them at all, even when Moby is in his demented phase post seizure, however I still just feel sorry for Macio as it must be so confusing for him to see his best buddy like that!(Currently he will look sad and go and sit out in the hallway or other side of the yard and just watch Moby calm down from a distance) So any tips on managing doggy feelings would be great!

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Hi, I just saw this thread. I also have an epileptic dog.

    Monte was diagnosed over 6 years ago. He is now 8. He has cluster seizures and averages 4 in a 50 minute period every 6 weeks or so.

    Monte's seizures have never been adequately controlled with drugs sadly. He is on phenobarbital (Pb) and another drug called Potassium bromide (Kbr).

    I expect that Monte will have a slightly shorter lifespan than what he would otherwsie normally have had. The seizures place his heart under a huge amount of stress, and to be perfectly honest, I am surprised he is still with me. He has had in excess of 300 seizures over his life so far (in fact, this is probably up to at least 340 by now) and yet he is still going strong!

    The medications have their issues, and many side effects which can be difficult at times to deal with, but we get around them.

    Be aware that many dogs will attack a dog that is convulsing. It it thought that this is an instinctual response perhaps where the dogs are killing of a weaker dog in the pack. Lucily, this has never happened to Monte and I also ran a rescue where he was mixing with many other dogs. However, in having said that, I rescued and own Pugs and they are not an aggressive breed in any situation normally.

    If you are still watching this thread, I am happy to have a chat about epilepsy and anything I can help with. I have been living with it for so many years anow, and researching and talking and discussing it that I have amassed a huge knowledge base on the condition.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  5. #5

    Default Living with your dogs epilepsy

    Hi everyone,
    I'm new to this forum,but I signed up to share my experience with canine epilepsy.
    Unfortunately I have recently had to say goodbye to my gorgeous boy,Angus.
    He was a ten year old staffy x American bulldog,and a big baby!
    He developed epilepsy at age 2 and died at age 10.
    We went through a lot with him,quite violent fits,cluster fits and sometimes just the odd little twitch. He was on phenobarbitol and bromide for many years. But the only reason we managed to have him still with us for the 10 years was due to a more holistic approach.
    We have a wonderful vet that suggested placing gold beads on his acupuncture points. Best money ever spent! Prior to having it done we were just about ready to throw in the towel. He had been fitting on and off for a week and he was bumping into things and so restless we were struggling to cope. We felt for him going through it all the time.
    Anyway it cut his fits back so much and even then 99% of his fits were just so small they were barely noticeable.
    If anyone wants more information reply to my post and I will do my best!
    Good luck.

  6. #6


    A good friend of mine feeds green beans to her dog who has seizures. He went from having 4-5 seizures of varying degrees a week to zero.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009


    I'll stick with western medicine for Monte.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  8. #8

    Default Canine epilepsy

    I understand you wanting to stick with western medicine but please don't dismiss the acupressure therapy. I must admit we were skeptical but the difference it made was huge. By the way,angus still took his regular "western" medicine but without the gold beads we would have missed out on 4 wonderful extra years with him.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Perhaps you could pm me the details so I can check them out. To be honest though, Monte will be 9 this coming April and is still going strong. He has suffered more than 350 seizures over his life and I expected that he would not even live to this age, but he is doing quite well.
    A pessimist sees the glass as half empty;
    An optimist sees the glass as half full;
    A realist just finishes the damn thing and refills it.

  10. #10

    Default Canine epilepsy

    Dear Anne,
    Yeah I didn't realize your dog was 9. It probably is a little late to be considering the gold beads. I understand totally it gets to the point where you don't know which way to go. Do you keep spending heaps of time and cash when you are unsure whether it's going to improve their quality of life. We got to that stage at the end. Angus couldn't walk and was coughing and vomiting. They want you to keep having more tests done,we knew it was his time,how much more could he go through. Our vet did a post mortem and he had tumors on his liver and spleen. So it appears we made the right decision. It was still terrible though.
    Our other dog was sad and lonely,so I took a trip to the local pound and came home with a jack Russell puppy! Doesn't replace angus but he has helped with our healing.
    Good luck to you. Xx

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