Sunday, 21 June 2009

A scary night....

Well, I haven't talked about Pompey and Lily for a while, but this post is all about Lily... On three previous occasions, we have woken in the night to hear Lily growling and when we've gone to see what has happened, she is acting very strange, has wet herself and is foaming at the mouth with pupils dilated. She will only let me near her, not Pompey or hubby, for about 15 minutes, after which she is fine. We thought she was having nightmares of some sort. However, last night, or rather, early this morning, I was laying awake in bed at about 4.00 when I heard one of them being sick. I got up straight away to check them out and when I got to the bottom of the stairs, Pompey ran to see me and led me to the dining room where Lily was having a seizure. I would have expected myself to panic and become hysterical because it was my baby, but something took over and I sat on the floor next to her making comforting noises and stroking her until it stopped (my Dad has epilepsy, so I know a bit about dealing with seizures). After it stopped, she acted in exactly the same way as the other three occasions which leads me to believe that she wasn't having nightmares at all, but seizures each time. So, now we must go to the vet to have her checked out, but I wonder if any of you have dogs who have had seizures and whether epilepsy is common in dogs or if there are other reasons for it happening. I love that I can turn to you all for advice - obviously it's Sunday and we can't see our normal vet until tomorrow - I don't like seeing out of hours vets, not only are they expensive, but they don't know Lily and I don't like taking her to have a stranger look her over. Thanks for any advice you can give me...!

OK, so I will be back later with the preview of my newest kit, some CT layouts and a freebie! Also, don't forget that my latest freebie collab starts tomorrow - you'll love it! TTFN.


Breeoxd said...

Im so sorry that I dont have alot of advice to give but I do know that pups do get epilepsy now and again. Big huggums to you all

charlie said...

I dont have any advice hun but wanted to stop by and give you some of these ((hugs))

kathryn said...

I have a friend whose Husky has seizures. The dog is now on medication, I think phenobarb, to good effect and with no other symptoms.

Good luck.

Michele said...

Sorry to hear Lily is not doing well. Glad you were able to see what was happening so you can get her to the vet tomorrow. Hope you are able to find out what is going on. :-) Good luck!

Angie ~ Scrap'n'art said...

OMG! Sorry to hear that Vicki, didnt really know that dogs could have seizures!! Hope something can be done. Hugs to you Angie xox

Snowsmoon said...

OH, Vicki, I hope you find out everything is ok with her. I have had many many pets and when one of them get sick it is just like one of your family members getting sick.

I have two months of nonstop real life/family things keeping me away from the computer but I do check my dashboard almost daily to see what everyone is up to. Wanted to stop by this morning to say HELLO from across the pond to let you know I am thinking of you.

Good Luck at the vet and I will watch to see what happens. Thoughts and prayer are with you both.

Dawn aka Snowsmoon's Design

Shauna said...

I don't about seizures in dogs, I do know they can have them for many different reasons. I will keep you and your baby in my prayers.

Esther said...

Hugs, not fun at all for you. I have known other dogs that fit, it's quite common in Jack Russells which my mum used to keep though none of ours did it I knew someone else who's dog did have them. Hopefully the vet will be able to help. My mum just has husbands that fit instead, both my dad and step-dad are/were epileptic.

Marif said...

So sorry to hear about Lily!
Hopefully I can help a bit...this might be a long comment!
Schatzie has seizures too, most of the time in the middle of the night. They seem to be triggered by a combination of things including stress and exposure to chemicals. I know they are completely unrelated but the mini ones where it's not a full seizure, just shaking, drooling, etc. seem to be only triggered by stress and the two real seizures she had were both with some exposure to chemicals (lysol being sprayed once and moth balls in the cottage the other time), but there was stress too (hubby coming home in the middle of the night after being away the first time, and first time at the cottage the second time) so the chemical thing
could be coincidental.
First, the vet told us not too panic when she has a seizure, dogs CANNOT swallow their tongue, so what you did is exactly what we do, sit beside her, pet her, breath slowly so her breath slows down. For the mini-incidents (which are more common for Schatzie) we have found a totally unscientific solution. When she starts shaking and drooling, we take her straight outside and it stops almost instantly. Most of the time she has a bowel movement, so I wonder if the fact that she has to go is related, or if the stress upsets her digestive system. But it helps, so even if it's in the middle of the night, we take her right out.
We have seen a vet about it, he agreed that they sounded like seizures. The medication for that is very strong and not great for dogs, plus they eventually need stronger doses... He suggested reducing the protein content in her food. There have been studies showing that reducing protein in the dogs' diet will reduce the incidence and severity of the seizures. They can't explain why exactly, but there is a statistically significant correlation. We made the dietary change, and she hasn't had a seizure since (just a few of the mini-shaking incidents). Most dog foods have around 35% protein in them, we switched to a food that has 19% (it's the Royal Canin MediCal sub brand, tooth formula, but any food with lower protein should work). We also made sure her treats don't have protein. The bonus is that her poo is now manure and our lawn is very nice, lol.
More seriously, I really recommend the protein thing, it can't hurt and our vet says it can delay or eliminate the need to administrate medication, which for me is a real plus.

I hope this helps, I'm sure your vet will have more info. Give Lily a big hug for me (and Pompey too because it must be scary for him).
Marie-France XO

scrappy weiss said...

i just read this. you poor dear! my neice has a golden/yellow lab and she was diagnosed with seizures about 1 year ago. has to take meds every day which is really no big issue. keeps her from having them and she doesn't seem to have too many side effects. so sorry to hear and i do hope that the vet can figure things out. keep us posted dear. much love. xoxo e

So~Inkin~Cute said...

Oh Vicki! I am so sorry you've had to go through this!! We had a beagle years ago who had seizures and I know that it is so scary! As soon as you mentioned the first part of your post regarding how she woke up and had peed and was acting strange, the first thing I thought of was our beagle. He was such a precious dog and it was always so scary when it would happen. I was a kid at the time and I remember I would cry. However, my mom would take control of the situation and she would always make sure that he didn't swallow his tongue which is what the vet told her to do at the time. Not sure if this is still a common practice or not. She would have to get a large wooden spoon and hold it gently at her tongue. I don't think that people still do this... So I am guessing your love and gentle touch is the best thing for Lily and then of course consulting your vet to make sure she's not eating anything that might be causing the seizures.

I know after having multiple seizures our dog ended up on some sort of medication that helped tremendously. He was at the point where he was having the seizures too often and the benefits of the medication out-weighed the side effects. I think that medication is only needed in extreme cases.

My thoughts are with you, girl! I know how our pets are family and I know just how special Pompey and Lily are. I hope that you do not have to go through this again.... Please keep us posted.

Hugs to you!

Yvette said...

I am so sorry to that Lily is starting to have seizures. My dog Chewie a Cocker Spaniel has had seizures for several years. When that first started he would have them about once a week. As the year went by that became less and less. He is 12 years old now. Knock on wood, it has been about a year without a seizure. I was told by our vet that he would most likely out grown them. So far she has been right. At time his would have some really bad ones but other times they were very mild. The worst one he had made him arc is back and messed himself. Take care of Lily and yourself. Hopefully Lily won't need meds Chewie didn't need them.

Stacey said...

Oh my goodness Vicki!!That is so scary! I have no advice for you cause I have never had a dog...hopefully the Vet will be able to answer your questions though! Give her a big hug from me!!!

Sue said...

How scary for you! It's good you could remain calm. I hope the vet can figure out the problem and that Lily is better soon.

Mercedes said...

Vicki -- I am so sorry to hear about Lily... Our chocolate lab Alex has epilepsy. A couple of years ago he had one that was what they call a "Grandma" seizure and it scared me so badly! Then he had another and another. Each time they lasted a little longer and got a little worse, and they were happening closer together -- the first two were 6 months apart, then it got to 4 then 3. The last one was when our little girl was just months old and it was he worst I had seen (still not as bad as how Lily's sound, but scary enough) and I thought there was no way I could take him to the vet with a baby, etc.

So we went to the vet and finally decided to start him on the phenobarbital. We were always told that it was very rigorous, but it hasn't been too bad. He weighs 100 pounds and takes 1 1/2 pill two times a day. Really the worst part is that is that he has to get expensive blood work done twice a year to make sure he's still taking the correct dose of phenobarb.

As far as we know he hasn't had another since. We are really glad we decided to start him on it. And it's not too expensive, either.

We just give him the meds when we feed him twice a day. He didn't even really have any effects when we started it like the vet said was possible, but they said he probably wouldn't since he's such a big guy.

I hope this helps, and I hope everything turns out OK with Lily and that Pompey is OK with it all, too!


Rose said...

Ugh, I hate it when my pets are sick, I feel so helpless. All I know about epilepsy (my nephew has it) is that you are very disoriented after the seizures. After my nephew would have one he would just cry for about 20 minutes, and his were brought on usually when he was coming out of sleep. I've never heard of it in dogs before, but if they can have diabetes and cancer then why not epilepsy? Hopefully they can do something for her :)

Anonymous said...

No advice just sympathy. I know how hard it is to sit by and wait for it to be over.

Anonymous said...

So sorry to hear of the difficulties Lily is having. I can't offer advice, but would like to offer some hugs and understanding.

Beth said...

Vicki, I'm sorry to read about Lily, I hope y'all find what works for y'all. We used to have a Great Dane, Bandit, he used to make my dad soooo mad!! We'd come home and he'd have SHREDDED the walls in the house. So dad started keeping him outside, and he shredded the walls on the outside, broke a window to get in, broke the door trying to get in. Dad put him in the garage apartment, same thing...shredded the walls, and actually broke out. He tried putting him in a 10ft tall fenced in area (they live in the country, not fenced in property--didnt want something bad to happen to him) and he would get out, and still tear things up. My dad couldnt find him one day..he'd gone through the ragtop on the convertible and was asleep in the car. My dad was REALLY mad. One night my dad and sister were watching t.v. and Bandit was asleep on the floor..he woke up, stretched, and got up to play..they were just sitting there petting him and a commercial came on, and it had a noise that made Banditlook at it...and he had a Grand Mal Seizure. It was bad, he messed himself and everything. Turns out when my dad & sister looked back, most of the damage he'd done were done during lightening storms :( They were triggering the seizures. He was put on medication, but he was one of those rare cases where the meds didnt woek out so great. He kept having Grand Mal seizures..sometimes 2-4 a week. But he was a rare cade. Turns out with Great Danes, especially pure bred so closely bred like the ones at the place my dad got Bandit, its really common to have problems like that. :(

kc71595 said...

Oh, Vicki. I'm so sorry to read about poor Lily.
Growing up we had a dog, Angel,that had epilepsy. I remember my mom had to give her phenobarbital way back then, so the meds haven't changed still today. When she would start seizing my Dad would pick her up and put her outside on the porch because she would wet herself every time. I would follow him out and sit with her, holding her as tight as I could trying to make her quit shacking. I would whisper in her ear and try to soothe her. :(
Now that I'm the Mom... we have a mini doxie, Buddy, who used to sleep on the foot of our bed. One night I woke up and him grunting and wiggling all over the bed at my feet. When I sat up to check on him I knew exactly what was going on and I immediately started crying again. I know now that I can't stop him from shaking, but I still pet him and whisper to him trying to soothe him. We took him to the vet as well and were told he, too, was having Grand Mal seizures. They gave him the same medication, but in a tiny little dose(he only weighs about 20 lbs). We had him on it for several months, but it was time to have his levels tested and it all got to be pretty expensive for us. Plus the vet warned us that one of the side effects was that it could cause liver damage, especially since he is so small. So, he hasn't been on any meds for quite some time now, and he is the spunkiest, rowdiest dog you've seen. I know he still has his seizures once in a while, but not often. We just have to hope for the best. He's 7 years old now, so I'd say he's doing pretty good :)
I hope that Lily will be well again soon. I know how you feel, loving her like she's one of the family. I feel the same way. My thought s are with you and Lily, as well as Pompey. It must scare him, for him to go get you the way he did. He knew something was not right. How precious. Hugs to you and your doggy family :)


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