Canine Epilepsy

May 2010 Brody suffered his first seizure. I hoped that it was a one off, as it was pretty much the scariest thing I have ever experienced. I ended up racing to a vet that was open in the weekend (because of course this happened Sunday morning while I was in bed) in my PJs and a hoody, crying with a bleeding hand as he bit me whilst seizing. It took several hours and doses of sedation for him to finally settle down.

Unfortunately two months (to the day) after he had another seizure. After the second seizure I went to my regular vet and we had a heap of blood test done, which although they showed a few abnormalities (thyroid level among other things), nothing that would have caused the seizures.

One month later, and on thyroid medication and another seizure. At this point I decided to go to VSG to get further testing to rule out underlying causes of the seizures. After several tests, and more slightly abnormal results (this time cortisol levels), the diagnosis was given as 'Idiopathic Epilepsy' which basically means seizures with no known cause. Brody was taken off the thyroid medication, and given the option to look at pharmaceutical treatment or no treatment.

Unfortunately the commonly used drugs (Phenobarbitol and Potassium Bromide) are often started at very high doses, and frequently have severe side effects such as ataxia... walking in circles and banging into walls, as well as lethargy and liver problems. Because Brody's seizures were happening about a month between seizures, and he generally recovers pretty fast I decided not to pharmaceutically treat him.

Instead I talked to my fantastic vet about other options. Currently Brody is undergoing acupuncture to treat his epilepsy, hopefully this turns into a long term solution!

Great websites
Facebook Page

I have also set up a page for NZ epileptic dog owners to discuss issues. It's called Canine Epilepsy NZ

UPDATE - May 2011

Brody has now been seizure free since Christmas! At that time the vet started him on a new probiotic - OMX-10.
So currently his treatment is continuation of the raw food / reducing any environmental chemicals / fish oil and these new probiotics. Fingers crossed!!

UPDATE - November 2011

Brody has has several seizures since May, but not as frequent as last year. There still seems no obvious pattern to his seizures, so we are unsure what triggers them. Fingers crossed once again. He still has no lasting effects from the seizures, and recovers very fast (within an hour or so he is back to his normal happy self).