We just finished a seizure. I was feeding the dogs their dinner; Jessie was done and gone to her bed, Tilley was licking out the last morsels in the bottom of her bowl and Luke was only mid-way. He suddenly stopped eating and gave me that look. I asked him to finish his dinner and he started to shake, I knew we had little time to go get comfortable. I dropped the dishes and ran into the living room, he barely made it around the corner and it hit. I wrapped my arms around Luke and gently let him fall to the ground.
The seizures are almost always the same. It starts out slow, he is a little stiff but still with me. Next comes the intermission, a short span between the two phases of seizing. He relaxes but remains on the floor and within a minute he is gone, his eyes roll back and his body stiffens like a board. This is the toughest part, I have to watch out for his legs; holding his front ones and keeping his back legs from gouging me. All this while assuring that he does not injured himself. Seeing this phase of the seizure is very disturbing, you do get use to it and just deal.
After his seizure stops he takes quite a while to come around, as soon as the panting starts I know he is coming out of it. His eyes refocus and he sits up, always trying to get to his feet too soon. Then for an hour afterwards he is stuck to me like glue, I usually turn the tv on and we get comfy on the sofa. Tonight I'm blogging as he sleeps beside me.
Luke is epileptic, he hasn't had a seizure for sometime before tonight. He started seizuring at the age of 3.5, the normal onset age is between 3 and 5 years of age. We have been able to pinpoint his seizures to stress or chemicals pretty much. Stress can play a large role in many dogs that have seizures. That said; stress is dealt with differently by each dog, so how much stress is too much stress is very individual. Luke is a stress monkey so it doesn't take too much to push him over the edge.
Toxins also can play a big part in seizures and epilepsy. We keep all lawn fertilizer, weed killer type things off of our lawn. And I do not use harsh chemicals in our home; I opt for Baking soda and Vinegar or micro fiber cloths. All dogs with epilepsy are different so it is up to us and with the help of our vet to figure out the best approach as far as treatment. We have opted to go the natural way; with feeding real food and using management in the stress department. Luke has Grand Mal seizures (they are very bad) which are difficult to experience with him but they are luckily far apart. He may go as long as 6 months or more before having another.
Drugs used for epilepsy have side effects just like any other chemical drug. So do your research, know what you are giving your dog and make the best choice that you feel is right for your dog.
Dog breeds that are more prone to epilepsy are the Keeshond, Tervueren, Cocker Spaniel, Poodle, Collie, German Shepherd, Irish Setter, Golden Retriever, Dachshund, Labrador Retriever, Saint Bernard, Miniature Schnauzer, Siberian Husky, and Wire-haired Terrier.