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  • #104299 Report Abuse
    Shari G

    Omg..ty. I just cried a bit in relief because finally maybe a light at the end of the tunnel. He seems so spaced out at times too and then he will do these quick jerks almost like he got shocked. I’m praying for the potassium bromide to work. Brodi also has had pancreatitis a few times so another thing we have to be careful that the seizure meds don’t flare up. This is truly heartbreaking.

    #104304 Report Abuse
    Shari G

    Taylor R. I sent you a message via your email.

    #104305 Report Abuse

    Hi Shari G,
    have you tried any acid medications?? Drolling is a sign of wanting to vomit,
    my 8 nilly 9 yr old Staffy was doing the excate thing as your dog is doing in video having a licking attacks 2 weeks ago, he suffers with IBD & gets bad Acid Reflux & does take Omperazole (Prilosec) now for his acid reflux attacks but last month when he had had 2 licking attacks in 2 in 1 month I noticed he didnt drink his water after eating his 7am feed when he came back from his 7.30am walk, he eats 5 small meals a day 7am, 9am, 12pm, 5pm & 8pm & I’d say his kibble started to be digested in his stomach & cause he hadn’t drank his morning drink of water it has caused him to get his bad acid reflux & start doing his mouth licking attack, I let him eat some grass to push the acid back down throat, then I gave him his ant acid medication “Losec” it was due 8.30am around the same time he started having his licking attack then I gave him a small meal 20mins later & he was better…..
    As we age we doný make as much Hydrochloric acid in the stomach so our food isnt being digested properly like it should be & we get bad acid reflux, google “Hypochlorhydria” it’s low stomach acid that causes acid reflux, ask vet can you try Omperazole (Prilosec) 20mg giving once a day it doesn’t have to be given before food like the other ant acid meds do as it’s a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) & his diet what is he eating?? make sure it’s low in fiber low carbs, as high fiber & high carbs cause acid reflux especially if they are eating a dry kibble, then if after taking the Prilosec & change of diet hasn’t worked then maybe look into other options, he’s 9 & 1/2 yrs old, thats excellent age my Boxer had Mast Cell Cancer at age 9 & she too was suffering from bad acid reflux but back then I didnt know much about acid reflux until I rescued Patch my Staffy & got a really good vet that specializes in IBD…
    Please ask your vet about Hypochlorhydria & next time it happens again have some liquid Mylanta in the fridge waiting & give him 1 teaspoon straight away. Fits/seizures do not go on & on for a long time, acid reflux does….
    I hope you find some answer’s cause its an awful thing to watch happen, I even start having a panic attack watching Patch…

    #104306 Report Abuse
    Taylor R

    Understanding that everyone is well-meaning on this site and just trying to find a solution to help their dog be at ease. While some of your dogs may be experiencing digestive/acid reflux issues, I CAN TELL YOU, beyond any doubt, and pursuant to our dog’s NEUROLOGIST, that my dog’s episodes are in fact seizures, and they DO last for hours. They are not at all related to any digestive/acid reflux issue but we had several run-of-the-mill vets diagnose it this way before the neurologist got involved. Omeprazole/prilosec, changing her diet, and other organic homeopathic meds did no good.

    The official diagnosis from the neurologist is complex partial seizures or focal seizures. They are a series of small seizures and mis-fires in the synapses in the brain. One common way they manifest is through gulping or repetitive swallowing.

    Potassium bromide worked miracles for Scarlet who has been seizure-free on the meds for 1 1/2 years and needs occasional increases in doses when she has minor breakthrough episodes.

    Another popular anti-seizure medication is zonisamide – read Hines’ story and watch video here: http://www.jasonbk.com/2014/02/hiness-gulping-a-cautionary-tale/

    Phenobarbitol is another option.

    Wish you all the best of luck in finding solutions for your pups.

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 9 months ago by Taylor R.
    #104308 Report Abuse

    @ Taylor R, Thank you.
    I am sure that your posts will help someone. We are so lucky that there are now more treatment options to treat canine seizures.
    My dog that was on a daily low dose of phenobarbitol (there were less treatment options 20 years ago) never had any side effects.

    #104311 Report Abuse
    Shari G

    Brodi is currently on Prilosec one pill every morning and has been on it for over a month. Before that he was on pepcid and when he still had episodes is when they switched him to Prilosec. He is also on a low fat food due to the pancreatitis he has had in the past. He is also on sulcrate 3 times a day for 2 weeks now and hasn’t stopped these episodes. At one point I was nearly convinced it was a digestion problem only because it was grilled into my head that excessive drooling means nausea but I have a hard time believing that because while he is having an episode he’ll eat with np and also none of the nausea meds help even when injected.

    #104313 Report Abuse

    Hi Shari,
    I would be stopping the Carafate (Sulcrate) it lines the stomach so you can only give it when the stomach is completely empty so if there’s any food in his stomach the Carafate lines the food instead of his stomach & can make things worse, why has the vet got him on 3 a day? the food may not be completely digested, if he already has very low stomach acid the Carafate could be making things worse… Has he had any more gulping attacks since starting the Sulcrate or is he the same?

    If you have the money have an Endoscope & Biopsies done to see what is happening in the stomach, the Biopsies will give your vet some answers, your vet must think his mouth licking & swollowing has something to do with the stomach for him to prescribe these types of drugs..
    Ask your vet about “Gabapentin”?? it is used for seizures, pancreatitis, IBD, stomach problems, nerve pain, Gabapentin capsules covers a few health problems maybe see if he settles after taking the Gabapentin…

    Even though you have change his food to a low fat food, how high is the fiber & carbs?? Is he on a vet dry diet kibble?? the carbs will be high & so will the fiber if its a vet diet, alot of vets prescribe the Hills W/D for dogs with Pancreatitis why I’ll never know the Insoluble fiber is 28%… Dry kibble is no good when dogs have Pancreatitis, the dry kibble could be causing acid reflux in the first place, have you tried feeding a lean meat like chicken or turkey low fiber, low carb, cooked meal, chicken breast & sweet potato & just give him the Losec 20mg every morning for 1-2 weeks & see how he goes?…. that’s what my Boxer was put on a home cooked diet by the new vet but it was too late by then, her old vet had her on the Hills vet diet it made her worse but vets never blame it’s the vet diet that’s causing the gulping swllowing drolling…..

    Maybe best to have the Endoscope + Biospies done so the vet can see the stomach &
    see is there’s any stomach ulcers or anything else, the biospsies will give some answers to whats happening…could be Helicobacter-Pylori, they eat & eat like they are starving, droll, swollow gulp as well..

    #104314 Report Abuse

    @ Shari G
    Make a list of your concerns and questions and direct them to your vet. I imagine that as your dog is started on and responds to the anticonvulsant and there is a decrease in symptoms related to his diagnosis of epilepsy, his medications will be reevaluated. Maybe he won’t need as much?
    Most importantly, I hope your dog feels better soon, work closely with your vet and give us an update.
    PS: I would ask your vet if he would be willing to sign a rabies vaccine waiver, due to the dog’s neurological disorder.

    #104586 Report Abuse
    Lauren V

    Taylor R. I sent you an email. I’m 99% sure this is what my dog has. Thanks for your posts.

    #116659 Report Abuse
    Eileen L

    Good morning all. I am a member of this unhappy club. I have a three year old boxer who has had three of these episodes in the past nine months, each worst than the one before. No bloat, clean stool, no traumas. Sila was a happy go lucky girl but along with these episodes has also developed anxiety in the care.

    My last Boxer Nysa, started having similar activity at age 8 and was ultimately diagnosed with idiopathic seizures. I really think that is what is going on here. Sila is at the vet as we speak for ultrasound to see if there is anything to see. I doubt they will see anything as the ER vet did xrays and there was nothing of note.

    When not having these issues, which like many folks here always occur at night out of the blue, she is happy, playful, eats well, has good stool, etc. I have another dog who eats what she eats and he is fine, though I know not all diets suit all dogs.

    So my question is directed at those folks who have tried the anti-convulsants. Have you had long term success and do you find one drug better than another? I am only familiar with Pheno. Any and all input is most welcome and appreciated. Thank you !

    #116746 Report Abuse

    Hi Eillen,
    I’d be asking vet can you do a electroencephalogram (EEG) a noninvasive test that records electrical patterns in the dogs brain & work out does your dog have epilepsy/seizures??

    In the mean time I would change her diet to lower fat around 10-14%max fat, if you’re feeding a dry kibble change to another brand kibble with limited ingredients & different ingredients to the ingredients she is eating at the moment & feed her Dinner meal a low fat home cooked meal for 1-2 months & see, does she seem better at night, feed her new kibble for breakfast & then cook some chicken breast or turkey breast & boil some sweet potato & broccolli for dinner, this way she is having a bland meal at night & its not a dry kibble sitting in her stomach…
    Xray & Ultra Scan will not show if there something wrong with her stomach & esophagus or if her Pyloric Spincter flap isnt closing properly, when the Pyloric flap doesn’t close this can make the stomach acid wash back up into throat & mouth while they are sleeping & the dog gets up quickly & start swollowing & licking mouth trying to get this awful taste out of their mouth, you need to Endoscope + Biopsies when looking at the stomach & esophagus, biopsies can tell the vet so much information…

    I’d try the diet change first before trying any Seizure meds or ask vet what will it cost to have a electroencephalogram (EEG) test done after she has had a seizure withine 24hrs do teh EEG test, like humans have done to work out if they have epilepsy…also the next day after she has had seizure does she sleep or seem lethargic, sick the next day??…….
    When I was growing up around 11 yrs old I had a few Epilepsy fits & after I’d have a seizure I’d wake up in hospital & have a really bad headache, felt sick & was very tired…after I was put on Dilantin…Unfortunately dogs metabolize Dilantin much faster than humans do making it extremely ineffective in treating canine epilepsy for some dogs…So the only way vet can work out what medication works best is try out a few different meds but I wouldn’t be putting my dog on any epilepsy medications till the dog has had proper test done first & if he/she was having daily seizures…..
    Some of these alternative drugs have shown promise in dogs with seizure disorders. These drugs include clorazepate, felbamate, “gabapentin”, levetiracetam, and zonisamide…
    My dog was taking Gabapentin last year for his IBD & aniexties & then vet said give him Gapapentin for his lower back pain, vet did Xray & he has a “square” not round left leg socket into pelvis, vet thinks he might have arthritis pain, but the Gabapantin drugged him up & I also took Gabpentin this year for nerve damage & I woke up feeling soooooo dizzy like I had Vertigo it was a awful feeling, also these seizure meds can be dangerous for dogs… I’d try the diet change first & seee how she goes..

    #116747 Report Abuse
    Taylor R

    Hi Eileen L.


    Please feel free to contact me by email to discuss further, but as my previous posts indicate, I adamantly disagree with the advice that Susan keeps putting forth. We changed Scarlet’s diet 10 ways to Sunday, and it didn’t work, so have several people on this thread who emailed me saying they have tried everything.

    Potassium bromide worked miracles for our boxer Scarlet (now 7 years old) who has been mostly seizure-free on the meds for over 3 years. She needs occasional increases in doses when she has minor breakthrough episodes but has not had an increase in over a year and a half. She currently takes 5 ml of potassium bromide under the care and direction of her doggy Neurologist, Dr. Gregg Kortz in Sacramento, Ca. I will say that 3 episodes in the past 9 months may not be frequent enough to trigger treatment. Scarlet’s seizures (videos linked above) were occurring multiple times a week and would last for hours. I would say Scarlet still has an episode approximately every 1-2 months but they are much less severe. Her vet told us to give her an additional 5ml of the potassium bromide when this occurs and they go away within 20 minutes. We have not noticed any side effects and neurologist told me that most dogs don’t live long enough for potassium bromide to have adverse effect on liver, as compared to people who live much longer. Please feel free to reach out with additional questions.

    [email protected]

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by Taylor R.
    #116752 Report Abuse

    @ Taylor

    you are not a vet, not all dogs might have the health problems your dog or my dog has BUT
    Eileen needs to try everything first, diet change, ant acid med & speak with her vet & do the proper testing before putting any dog on dangerous drugs…
    a few people that have posted on this DFA post, have confirmed their dogs do have IBD as I see their posts in the IBD & Pancreatitis F/B canine groups….

    Your dog may not of had stomach problems but more dogs do end up with stomach problems then Epilepsy seizures.. It’s up to a vet to diagnose these dogs not you…

    #116757 Report Abuse

    @ Eileen

    A veterinary neurologist would be your best bet if the regular vet has not been helpful.
    The correct medication and dosage is key in treating idiopathic epilepsy.
    I had a dog that did well on a low dose of phenobarbitol for years, no side effects.
    But, that was a long time ago, there are other medications that they use now too, as Taylor mentioned.

    Uncontrolled seizures are very stressful for a dog and can result in more neurological damage and other medical issues.

    #116766 Report Abuse

    You mentioned that the seizures were getting worse……

    If the seizures are severe or are occurring more than once a month, most likely your veterinarian will want to start medication.

    Any effective medication will have possible side effects.
    I would focus on whether the benefit outweighs the risk, more often than not, it does.

    #163339 Report Abuse
    Taylor R

    UPDATE ON SCARLET! She’s 9 1/2 years old, still on the potassium bromide and doing really well! She gets annual bloodwork to make sure her levels are ok but we haven’t had to increase her dose in the last year. Her seizures are very well managed and infrequent. She occasionally needs an increase in the meds when she starts having breakthrough episodes. By breakthrough I mean very minor and short episodes, I give her an extra dose when that happens and resolves in 20 minutes or so. If that happens more than once or twice in a month, we see the neurologist and we up the dose which we do about once a year now. It took some time to get the dose right. She gets annual bloodwork. She is 9 1/2 years old. I hope that helps and you find a vet that works for you. One piece of advice my vet and neurologist did give me was that if the dog is positively reacting to anti-seizure meds, it can’t be anything but a seizure disorder. I get a lot of messages that vets tell them it is a gastro issue and put dogs through a whole ringer of diagnostics/mri/dietary changes because this is not how seizures typically present. But they are focal seizures. Potassium bromide is not harmful and relatively inexpensive. If it works you know it’s not gastro. I hope this helps please keep me updated. Scarlet has been taking the potassium bromide and has required dosage increases over the last 4 years but it continues to work really well for her.

    #163340 Report Abuse
    Taylor R

    Haha I’m just seeing @Susan’s message, yes, duh, you need a vet to diagnose and prescribe meds. You also need to be your own best advocate for your dog. A lot of vets have never seen focal seizures present in this manner and immediately send you on a road of diagnostics and dietary changes. Hopefully it is just a gastro issue that resolves with diet change, but if it doesn’t, maybe you try something else. I’ve received dozens of emails from desperate dog owner who have spent THOUSANDS of dollars on diagnostic procedures, put their dog under anesthesia for exploratory surgery, MRIs, x-rays, expensive foods or diet changes, with no change or diagnosis.

    So ask your vet this, “If potassium bromide works, or any anti-seizure med, can it be anything but a seizure disorder?”

    #178956 Report Abuse
    Tarynne W

    Hi friends! I came on here desperate like a lot of you, so I created an account to tell you what works time and time again for me in this scenario – bread. When my dog is desperate to eat anything (shoelaces, carpet, the hair on my head, etc) I feed her some bread and it always stops her gulping attacks instantly, even if I’ve tried to feed her other things before. Obviously I’m not saying this is a cure all, but much like humans, if your dog has an upset stomach the bread seems to absorb the acid and make it a little bit easier on them. Just wanted to share what works for me!

    #179513 Report Abuse
    Mel R

    Hi everyone. I’m at crying point for my lovely female boxer. She’s 7 this year and she’s been the most poorliest dog I’ve ever had. I’ve read about the same problem on this forum that my bitch has and I’ve read all of peoples solutions but I’ve done them all. I’m devastated for her. For 6 years my girl has had the gulping thing but can I start by telling you of her illness so you will understand why I can’t try all of your suggestions . She started at an early age of itching and scratching her ears were left bleeding and her chest sliced from her claws. She has no fur left on her chest now. She’s bald. The fur just doesn’t grow back. So in 2018 I had an allergy test done . It cost £450 but it wasn’t the money ( I’m just trying to explain that it should be an extensive test for that price. ). It turns out she’s allergic to 13 things…….dust, grass, weeds, beech trees, birch trees, ostrich in dog food, venison in dog food, grain, blue fish ( I can’t remember the rest . I’m waiting for the vet to send me a print out). So I put her on a hypoallergenic food, grain free dog food. The vet that told me of all these allergies said that a dog can eat everything on a pig apart from the oink hmmm funny… so she’s on pork , sweet potato and apple. But her gulping remained. All her life when she’s had an episode of gulping I’ve automatically opened the back door and she’s ran out to eat grass for 30 minutes minimum but you may remember that I said she’s allergic to grass 😔. Recently I moved house which has no garden so when she has a gulping fit I’m walking to the field at the bottom of the road at 3am in the morning just to stop her from gulping. The grass seems to stop the gulping but it’s not doing her grass allergy any good. She panics and just expects grass. She’s been put on omeprazole 3 months ago and I’ve spaced her food out incase it’s too heavy on her stomach to have big portion. I also got her a food bowl and water bowl with them lumps in the bowl ( to stop them from eating too fast ) and I also took her collar off ( I only put her collar on when it’s time for walkies. ). She’s gone the longest time ever without having a bad gulping fit , which is 10 weeks and when she has a small panic gulp I put her head in my hand and stroke her throat ( easier without the collar on ). But today no stroking her throat would calm her down. 3 hours of gulping and panicking … she vomited. She has never vomited. The vet has put her on a steroid called medrone to fight her itching but it’s not the answer to ALL her allergies and I’m also aware that steroids ruin the organs in time. She’s been on them 4 years now and when she’s had to come off them for an acl operation her itching went worse . She’s also been diagnosed with pancreatitis last week so
    . If anyone has got any recent suggestions they are more than welcome . Just bare in mind she’s limited with all her problems .

    #191916 Report Abuse
    Taylor R

    Posting an update, we started a Facebook page with a couple other dog owners going through similar issues. Trying to send an invite to all the people who have emailed me about my video of Scarlet the last couple years to be a dog community resource for those still struggling and looking for solutions. Please join!
    Dog Swallowing and Gulping Seizure Support Group

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