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My boy Ari, 2 and a half years old, had an epileptic fit last night. It lasted about 30  seconds. I took him to the vet this morning, who said I must wait until a next fit to see how we can treat it. I gave him 1mg Alprazolam and 2,5mg Diazepam. He is looking oke now after about 18 hours. I am scared of a next fit. What should I do?

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Fran, I know of an example where that has happened.  The owner insisted her dog was put onto thyroxin and he had no further fits.  It is more common than people think.  If my friend hadn't researched hypothyroidism she would have been fobbed as well. 
There is a link with Epilepsy & Thyroid problems. I don't claim to understand why, but my vet and the neurologist at the Animal Health Trust in Newmarket, both told me that if a dog is Epileptic, then 99% of the time they will develop thyroid problems and vice versa. Geordie was discovered to have thyroid problems as well. Although his thyroid problem is now stabilized it did not stop the fitting. You can't expect that it will as each dog is an individual and epilepsy is an individualistic condition.....what works for one dog doesn't necessarily work for another.
This is all very interesting as Holly, my Irish had her first fit coming up for 8 years ago. She had another fit with in six months of the first, she had blood tests taken and was put on to epiphen. She then had a fit round about once a year. Her last fit was nearly 3 years ago. She was diagnoised with a thyroid problem 2 years ago. It would seem to me that the two could be related. It is very upsetting watching a dog that you love having a fit. It is like its not them. I watch in horror as Holly once ran down the garden and crashed into the fence. But there is nothing you can do, until the fit is finished. They used to start with her vomiting. So every time she vomits you are waiting for a possible fit. At 10years old she has a great quailty of life now, and is a right DIVA. So I think you should ask you vet about the thyroid issue, as I feel that the treatment that Holly has had and is still having has made the difference.

My Hawk has epilepsy.  He had his first on at 18 months, he is now 2 1/2.  His seizures are not close together so he is not on any medication. If your dog only has one seizure a month meds are not recommended.  Hawk has never had cluster seizures. I keep a record of all his seizures, with the time, how long they last and what he was doing before and after.  I also call my vet to have them listed on his record.  Hawk paces after a GM usually for about an hour, his PM have all been when he is asleep. When your dog has a GM, you want to make sure he is in an area that he will not hurt himself and keep all other dogs away, as some dogs will attach a dog that is having a seizure.  I am so lucky as Tiz is very gentle with Hawk and she takes herself away from him until his seizure is over.  You want to keep your dog, if possible in a cool, quite, dark area after. Hawk wants to be with you after a GM, but he can not sit still and will keep going in and out of the house unless I confine him to a room with me.  Hawk's blood work was sent to Dr. Jean Dodds.  His blood work came back normal, one of the few times I really wished for abnormal.  Dr. Dodds is a wonderful kind person and I respect her so much. She is my hero. 

Hi Everybody,

Just want to say thank you for all your comments and replies. Ari had three seizures in a months time. I handled it much better with the knowledge I got from all you people. The fits last about a minute and then he is very distracted and aggitated after that. If he has another fit, I will take him back to the vet for thyroid tests. ......but, with Ari and Rhett's friendship: it is going very well!

Thank you all,

Phil, Ari and Rhett



Phil so sorry to hear about your boy Ari.  I too have suffered with my last dog Dublin and this dreaded condition.  That link above is a great website that provided me with more help than our neurologist did.  Mine had cluster seizures.  The first line treatment of Pheno wasn't controlling his and we added the next treatment to it which is Kbr or potassium bromide.  A formulary pharmacy makes it up for you in liquid form.  Please watch your dog for stomach problems should that drug be added to your treatment plan.  It put holes in Dubs stomach and he also developed pancreatitis from it.  He had only been on it 2 weeks.  I belong to several groups for canine epi and other dogs have deveoped the same problems.  Irish kids have sensitive stomachs and I just want you to be watchful should that drug, which is helpful for many dogs, be added.

He didn't even know he had it.. just watch him let him be a dog. I know its scary but he'll be ok
never pleasant dealing with seizures, nuch as you feel you should "do" something its always better to observe. What was the dog doing prior to the fit? You will find that a dog that is prone will be better not to over heat, oiver execise or get too tired. dont touch a dog in seizure just make sure that there is no furniture it can get tangled in or doors that it can crash into. when the fit has dies then it is your turn to reassure. They will briefly lose their sense of smell so calm words and touch are really important. Once meds are sorted it can be no problem but good luck!
I wanted to add that my dog had loss of vision for about 30 minutes after the seizure and that is the post phase of a grand mal.  He would fall down stairs and bump into things.  HE too was very agitated and starving.  I was told that a grand mal uses as much energy as running a marathon for the dog.  So we had to have food ready or else he would actually try to eat things that weren't safe.  He never counter surfed but would during the post phase of his seizures.  There are different kinds of seizures and of course how it affects each dog is different.  We put up a gate so our dog couldn't fall down the stairs.

really interested in the fact that the dog seems starving when recovered and the vision is impaired. The individuality comes from the fact that different parts of the brain are affected in each persom/dog which is why its so difficult to work with them. Awful thing to say but often its better if the dog does fit regularly as you and the dog get much much better at signs and symptoms and how to cope!

For a while years ago I had an epileptic dog and an epileptic husband and there were times when you heard a crash and werent sure who you were going to find!

sorry Sue which bit did you not agree with?
got it! What I meant was if you only saw one fit it is very difficult to deal with the situation but if you have a dog that fits more than once... several times over a period.... it gives you the opportunty to learn to cope. Sorry wasnt clear enough in my thoughts




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