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Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1752
Experience:  >10 years practicing veterinary medicine including exotics, fish, reptiles. Canine/feline specialist
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Hi We recently rehomed an ex breeding border terrier. very

Customer Question

Hi
We recently rehomed an ex breeding border terrier. very shy and nervey at fisrt. we have had her now 3 months but 2 weekends ago she had a seizure that lasted 4 minuets. what a panic for us that was as we were staying at a hotel over night and think the change of enviroment may have been the cause. But hwhen we got home at midnight she has another. our vet really pushed for us to put her on phenobarbitone [ ? spelling] but I had read about diazepam gel and thought that would be better as she has only had these two .... then wait and see and hope there are no more. Are we wrong - what do you think??
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 4 years ago.
This is Dr. Laura. Thank you for your question.

I'm sorry to hear about your border terrier and her seizures. Can you provide me with some more information about what happened and what tests were performed by your vet? That will allow me to assist you better.

Feel free to copy and paste if that helps!

1- Do you have any information about her seizure history? Were these her first?

2 - Had you recently applied any topical medications or could she have had access to any toxic substances, cleaning supplies, plants etc- I saw you were at a hotel when it happened.

3.) what was the date of each - and has she had any more since? and is she taking medication now?

4.) Can you describe the seizure- grand mal? Did she loose consciousness? full body involvement- urinate or defecate, or have tremors before or after?

5) any symptoms before or after, and for how long? Does she ever act odd after a meal, pace, or have any other odd behaviors? I saw you mentioned shy...

6.) Finally, what tests did your vet perform? If you have specific results, that would be great.

- Any other information such as diet or any supplements/etc she is on would be terrific!

We need to know the cause - and then we can discuss prevention options that will be safest for her.

Sincerely,
Dr. Laura
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
<p> </p><p>Hi</p><p> </p><p>1) no seizure history - however after we rehomed her about 2 weeks into her stay again at midnight she went very tens and ground her teeth pusing her front paws forward and seemed to craw backwards at the same time </p><p>- no initial ora </p><p> </p><p>2) Hotel room didn't smell / seem as if it had any specific products in to affecte her. </p><p>flea stuff was used a week before.</p><p>NOT in a hotel when it happend [just staying there overeningt had been at hotel 4 hours earlier . was at a friends house, when same symptoms as explained above were seen . this time she had full body stiffness and shivering, eyes open but not interacting, slight poo incontinence [ sat 21/8/19 @7pm ]</p><p> </p><p>then again 22/8/10 at midnight when back at home on her own bedding] same symptoms but moved quickly through the phases this time with added jerking before being interactive., </p><p> </p><p>5) she seemed to be looking streaching forward on first occassion to get food [ humans] then still laying down pushed back as explained. the net time aslleep , then swollowing as though going to vomit then into same motions for seizure </p><p> </p><p>6) apparently full screening blood tests U&E, metobolic test !! but not really sure - will go and ask for my records </p><p> </p><p>---cant tel you the cause as don't know !!! thats why I am asking for your advice how to proceed! not on medication at all as mentioned only got gel as stand by </p>
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information. That definitely helps.

To be clear, was she standing during her seizures, or laying down?

And the stiffening - did she have full body tensing and convulsing (like a person with a full blown grand mal seizure) or just the stiffening? These describe different types of seizures - tonic, clonic, and it will impact whether to start her on something stronger now or not. Hope that makes sense!

Also, did all this happen this week? I'm just trying to get an idea of how long it's been since that second one - days, weeks, etc.

As long as the blood work was normal, we don't need full results unless you want to post them.

Thanks so much! I'll have some good info after I'm a little more clear on her history. Thanks for your patience,
Laura
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

 

To clarify as I said 21/8/ 10 @7pm she was laying down in lion posse , seemed to crawl forward for human food she smelt other side of room.

 

she went very tense and ground her teeth pusing her front paws forward and seemed to craw backwards at the same time - no initial ora - her body totaly stiffened and when i picked her up she was like a 'stuffed dog '

then she was shivering, eyes open but not interacting, slight poo incontinence . NO JERKING OCCURED HERE but took 4 mims before backe self

 

then again THE NEXT DAY 22/8/10 at midnight when back at home on her own bedding] same symptoms but moved quickly through the phases this time with added jerking before being interactive.,SHE WAS LAYING DOWN THE WHOLE TIME

 

ITS NOW 12 DAYS ...THANKFULLY SINCE SHE HAD THESE SEIZURES AND WE HAVE NOT HAD TO USE THE DIAZEPAM GEL

 

i ALSO ASK AGAIN ....WILL SHE DEFINATLY NEED MEDICATION OR CAN HER SYMPTOMS BE CONTROLLED WITH RIGHT DIET RELAXATION THERAPY ETC

 

Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much. It's very hard sometimes to know exactly what is occuring when you don't see the episode.

I start daily anticonvulsant medication for patients with the following:

1.) Frequent or severe seizures (which she has not had yet)

2. An episode of status (when they do not come out of the seizures) or clusters (occuring one after the other in rapid succession)

3. 1 or more seizures due to an underlying, progressive lesion (example: brain tumor)

4. A clear pattern of increasing frequency/severity of seizures

I think the severity of the seizures are just as important as the frequency. For example, a brief focal seizure every 2 weeks may not be as bad as an episode of FULL STATUS EPPILEPTICUS every 3 months.

At this point, if labs were normal, I would recommend one further test called a BILE ACIDS - she would need to be dropped off at your vets for a few hours for this test, but it will help to rule out liver disease and a portosystemic shunt.

If that is normal, and the rest of her blood work normal, then I would simply monitor her, and would keep 1-2 doses of diazepam on hand to administer rectally should a seizue occur.

If they reoccur but happen only 1-2 times a year, even 3-4 times a year, then I would recommend monitoring. If they become more frequent or severe, then I would discuss starting medication. There are alternatives to phenobarbital, and I do like potassium bromide as well.

More info and guidlines you can use to discuss with your vet.
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=560


I hope this helps and that she remains seizure free. Let me know how else I can help.
Sincerely,
Dr. Laura
Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 4 years ago.
Here is more information on phenobarbital and potassium bromide.

Please let me know if you have any more questions or if this has been helpful.

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=621

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=522

Dr. Laura
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks for the info - l will go onto recommended site for further reading

 

so thanks again for the present .

 

 

Expert:  Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP replied 4 years ago.
You are welcome.

I'm not sure what you mean by the second line. Please let me know if you need anything else or have any other question. If I have been helpful, please don't forget to press the accept button. After you accept, you can reply back for another week or two with an update or any other questions you think of and I'll be happy to help.

Also, if you need me in the future, just ask for me by name in your question. Sincerely,
Dr. Laura

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Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP
Dr. Laura Devlin, DVM, DABVP
Veterinarian, DABVP Canine/Feline
230 Satisfied Customers
-->10 years practicing veterinary medicine including exotics, fish, reptiles. Canine/feline specialist