Hi. I have a 2 year old male pit who had his first seizure 3weeks ago. It was out of the blue, while he was sleeping, grand mal. He was fine after and his vet said we should just watch him to see if he has anymore before doing anything else as far as testing or meds go. So, last night he had another one. And then a second this morning. Both while sleeping, grand mal. He’s fine once he comes out of them, but it’s heartbreaking and horrifying to watch. They last about 1 minute to 1.15.
I am writing in hopes of getting some help trying to figure out what could be causing them. I have my suspicions it’s the flea/heart guard meds. He was on heart guard and frontline plus for all his life, until he had the first one 3 weeks ago and I read that frontline could cause them. So we switched to what my other three take, advantage multi. last night he had his first dose….so I am completely wanting to blame the chemicals, and the internet is not helping their case much, but I just don’t know. We were trying to think of things that might have triggered them. Like we ran the vaccuum for a long period last night. We ran the dishwasher too. We also did a ton of laundry. He doesn’t really like the sounds of any of those things.
I just am looking for advice, info, help. As of right now, I want to take him off all meds and let him live without the poisons in his body. But being in the south I know he needs them.
You should take your dog to the vet ASAP to get checked out. If a dog has more than one seizure in a 24 hour period, it is known a seizure cluster and warrants an immediate vet trip. It is very unlikely this is actually life-thretentaning if the seizures are so short and he is fine afterward, but it is good to get him checked out. It is totally possible that the flea preventive could have caused it, though it is hard to know for sure. I would recommend switching him back to frontline, or talking to your vet about alternative preventions. Do not use any alternative preventions, such as garlic, without checking with your vet first. Garlic has the potential to cause problems if given in large amounts.
The vet will probably do blood work to check the Kidney(or liver, I forget) functions, and if those come back normal they may prescribe a medication like Phenobarbital. These meds often take several weeks to have full effect.
I once had a foster dog with Epilepsy, but he had Focal seizures instead of grand mal ones.DoriMember
It may very well have been the topical flea tick meds. that have been known to trigger seizures in dogs. Also, what foods are you feeding your dog. I remember reading that some ingredients have to be avoided in dogs that get seizures. I’m sorry but I don’t recall what they are.
I do agree with Akari that it at minimum requires a call to the vet to let him know how many, how often and how long each seizure is lasting. Please start keeping a log of everything and anything you are feeding your dog. What’s happening in the hours preceding the seizures. Anything new happening in your environment inside and out. Have you changed cleaning products anywhere in the house. Are you burning candles. Are you using air fresheners. Anything new sprayed outside around your property. All this is needed information to determine what is going on. I would want to know all that first before putting him on meds for seizures but, of course, advise your vet of all the above. Write everything down before calling the vet. You made have made some change in his environment that is affecting him. Also, laundry detergent…is it scented??? Did you change laundry detergents or softeners? Anyone of these things could be triggering seizures.
When my foster dog was diagnosed with Epilepsy, we were told by one of the pet store employees to avoid rosemary extract and feed raw food. The thing about rosemary does not have much evidence to support it, (learn more here: https://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/frequently-asked-questions/dog-food-ingredients/) and I don’t know about the raw diet. However, one probable cause seemed to be peanut butter. The seizures seemed somewhat timed with the peanut butter, and we stopped to peanut butter the same time we started the meds. Phenobarbital is supposed to take several weeks, but after we stopped the PB and started the meds, he had no seizures for a few weeks and only had one more thing we thought may have been a seizure a few weeks later.
Now, I have never heard of PB causing seizures, I have given it to other dogs with no problems. I don’t recommend avoiding peanut butter unless he actually seems to have a problem with it, but it is just a reminder that anything can cause seizures.
Now, I’m going to say something that sounds like the opposite of what others are telling you, but bear with me. NONE of those things caused the seizures. Epilepsy, diabetes, renal and/or liver failure, brain tumors, poisoning, these types of things cause seizures. Those other things only trigger seizures, but the underlying problem is already there.
Your dog need to be checked out to make sure the seizures are from epilepsy, because any other cause left untreated can kill your dog. If it is determined to be epilepsy, then chemical exposure, stress, and a number of other things can trigger the seizures. So as was mentioned, getting him off flea meds, heartworm meds, clearing out cleaning chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, scented candles, air freshners, etc. can reduce or even eliminate the seizures, so it’s important to do as much of that sort of thing as possible, especially early on when you can see if it is making a difference. Cleaning up the diet is really important too. Go natural as much as possible.
Well said BCnut, that makes total sense but I hadn’t really thought about it. Do you think a raw diet could actually help control seizures?SusanMember
Hi Rebekah, oh be careful with Advangtage spot on, it goes thru their skin to the blood system, where frontline plus only penitrates 2 layers of their skin, that’s what my vet told me after Patch was real ill after I put Advangtage on him, so now I just use the Frontline again but only if I see a flea when we come into spring & summer then I stop using the frontline over Autunm & winter,
When I was young, 11 yrs old I had epillepsy & was put on medication for years after having all the test done & staying in hospital for 2 weeks drs said the fits were probably caused by my hormones turning into a teenager (peroids)… I remember after a fit I would have a real bad headache & felt crap, I had my fits in my sleep aswell, my mum would hear me from the loungeroom….I had to change my diet, no preservatives etc…..In Lew Olsons “Raw & Natural nutrition for dogs & Cats” book she recommendeds either a raw diet or cooked diet no kibbles for epilepsy……like BC said GO Natural as much as you can..
Yes, going raw can help, but really getting on any diet that is less processed, less preserved, less ingredients that you don’t know what they are, is helpful. Homecooked is the way a lot of people with epilepsy dogs go. You have total control of the ingredients that way, and if the dog is stressed from seizures, you don’t have to worry about bacteria.Rebekah RMember
Thank you everyone. Titan has been playing all day and is eating, drinking, going to bathroom as normal. He has not had another seizure. I was so afraid for him to take a nap, but he did and no seizures. I hope it stays that way throughout the night. He’s really very tired, as am I. I have been stressed all day and haven’t eaten a thing.
I am thinking about taking them off the flea meds and heart guard in the cold months. Not sure yet what to do in the spring and summer. I just am not comfortable with these poisons.
My dogs all eat a dry food by Natural Balance. It’s salmon and sweet potato and has no fillers, bi-products, etc. Two of my dogs have severe skin allergies, so this is what we have found works. I wonder now if the skin probs could be due to the topical flea treatments. We stopped giving them the heart guard bc it is beef flavored and beef was one of the first things we excluded when trying to determine what was causing the allergies. But the advantage multi is supposed to have the heart guard in it combined with flea meds. An all in one thing. I’m thinking it’s just too strong for my sensitive pups. Although the others have never had seizures that we know of, there are some suspicious things that go on after they get this topical.
We have him a bath this morning and tried to wash it all off his skin. I don’t know if it helped, but I hope it did.
I have unplugged the scented plugins, am not going to burn scented anything, gonna watch on the volume of tv, etc. just things in general that stress me, I’m going to take into consideration for Titan and try to keep it calm.
Doing research online, we ran across something. Have any of you heard of canna companion or canna pet? Two companies that have created non-Thc meds for dogs with seizures, anxiety, arthritis, cancer, etc. I’m going to talk to my vet, but we may try it.
Talk to your vet about heartworm prevention. My epilepsy dog had other problems too and we always knew he would not have a long life, so really didn’t worry about heartworms once he started seizuring, so it was a no brainer to take him off of them. If your vet really wants to keep him on the heartworm meds, get ivermectin sheep drench from Jefferspet.com and have your vet help you to figure out the right dose. That way you don’t have to have the flavoring and you can get the right dose for his actual weight rather than a wide weight range.SusanMember
I dont know for sure but I think there was a post on DFA about using natural products to repel fleas instead of flea products, You could even post a post…..I dont use monthly heartworm prevention, only every 4 months when I worm Patch I use Milbemax all wormer & this worm pill covers Heartworm aswell, so if Patch was infected with Heartworm he should be covered on the Milbemax, it takes 6 months for a heartworm to mature…. I dont really live in a mosquitoes infested area, I was speaking to a vet nurse the other day when Patch was being admited into hospital for his Endoscope, she asked if he’s on a monthly heartwormer & I told her what I do & she said thats Ok cause most people use heartworm prevention there’s less chances of getting heartworm now, she said they are not seeing many dogs infected with heartworm anymore but I live Australia…. a mosquitoes that bites ur dog has to be carrying the parasite heartworm & bite your dog, I think if you have indoor dogs that sleep inside of a night, it would be rare for a infected mosquito to come along & bite my dog….if he did get infected he’d be covered when I worm him every 4 months……I hate using anything on my dog, he just looks at a pill & gets sick lol….
- This reply was modified 5 years, 11 months ago by Susan.
To Rebeka R ..Yes, very scary, I know! I used a “Seresto” Flea/Tick collar on my 6 month old puppy – immediately over 3 days broke out into seizures. Once collar removed, seizure free. I am not trusting any of these flea/tick products. Living in New England we have plenty of deer ticks so was very concerned as to what I could use that was non-toxic to my dog. A dear vet friend turned me onto FOOD GRADE Diatomaceous Earth. I rub this powder onto her fur throughout her body and NO FLEAS, NO TICKS, NO DEER Ticks. (pls avoid the eyes). MAKE SURE it is FOOD GRADE, or otherwise regular diatomaceous earth is very toxic/deadly to animals. I go right to the source and buy it from Wolf Creek Ranch on the web. I’ve found some ‘commercial’ pet stores, food/grain stores, on-line pet stores don’t have FOOD GRADE label on it and won’t take any chances. I do use Heartguard on my puppy with no side effects. Hope this helps!!! Woof-Woof and Happy Tails to you.
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