Canine Epilepsy

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Canine Epilepsy

Post by bentley »

Having reached a stage where I can discuss it without bursting into tears, I'll tell you about recent events. Not because I'm looking for sympathy ( but I can always use a hug) but because someone might find themselves in a similar situation at some point and find it useful.

Some of you may already know if you've spoken to Jan.

During the early hours of Monday morning last week. I was disturbed by an almighty racket downstairs. I ran down to see what was going on and imagine my distress to see my beloved Bentley throwing himself all over the floor, clearly in the throes of a massive seizure.

Oh dear Lord. What to do.

I'll spare you the details, suffice to say that my darling boy didn't recognise me and was in a state of terror and confusion. Quiet words and trying to approach him made him far worse.

All we could do was retreat to a distance out of his sight and wait for the whole sorry episode to end. Which it did after about fifteen hours, sorry, I meant minutes, It just felt like fifteen hours. The actual seizure lasted less than a minute.

I knew it was over when the barking stopped, I spoke to him and he gave me a feeble wag of his tail. At that point I could tell he recognised me again.

A trip to the vet saw us referred straight down to Liverpool Small Animal Hospital, and they were amazing. After a barrage of tests they told us what I'd been dreading hearing, that Bentley has epilepsy.

At the moment we are monitoring him to establish how frequent his seizures are likely to be. He hasn't suffered any more major seizures but has had a couple of petite mals.

I went into complete panic. What if he has a seizure while I'm out with him and Ellie? What if this happened? What if that happened? My head was in a spin.

Jan was almost my first port of call. What a star, she talked me straight off the ceiling with her calm, no nonsense approach.

So. What have I learned?

Epilepsy makes my boy even more special to me.
Epilepsy is not the end of the world.
It can be controlled with drugs if necessary but hopefully seizures will be few and far between.
They are not likely to happen while we are out and about, they are far more likely to happen at night.
If he has a seizure there really is nothing to be done except wait for it to finish. I've changed the room round so as to minimise the possibility of him hurting himself if he does have one.
He cannot swallow his tongue.
There are warning signs. If we can catch it before it really starts we have emergency medication we can give him which could stop it in it's tracks. Maybe not the actual seizure, which lasts less than a minute, but the distressing phase after it.
Life goes on.
Bentley is still Bentley.

As you can see from Tuesday's antics:

Ellie thinks the paddling pool is hers, it's not. It's Bentley's really.
Here he is taking over the filling of it and keeping nice and cool, as well as having a sneaky drink. :thumbsup: :love6 :thumbsup:


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lynn wise
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Re: Canine Epilepsy

Post by lynn wise »

Oh dear Lesley, what can I possibly say, so sad to hear this news.

I'm sure that Jan will have been her usual tower of strength, giving you all the relevant info and guidance.

I have never seen a dog fit after all these years, my only knowledge is what you have said you did. Poor lad, but thankfully you were there and acted on it.

In our thoughts.

and great :bighug: s


Re: Canine Epilepsy

Post by Linda »

Hi Lesley
This must of been so frightening for you and for Bentley. I am glad you have had a lot of your questions answered and your fears eased a little. Many dogs are diagnosed with epilepsy and are treated successfully with medication. Bentley will still be his handsome, loveable self. I'm sure Jan will give you great support too.
:bighug: for you and for Bentley
p.s. Love the photo :1971

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Re: Canine Epilepsy

Post by lenny »

So sorry to hear of Bentlys illness Lesley. I cannot even grasp the horror you must have felt when you first saw him. Thankfully Jans calming words have put you a little at ease. Bently is such a star on here and we are all wishing him the very best I'm sure he is so lucky to have such a loving family to help care for him, give him a massive hug from us, we do hope he improves with his medication .
Sorry to everyone for not posting for a while we had a bereavement in the family and being the next of kin have been busy sorting out everything , have kept looking at the forum but not posted will try to reply to some great pics and posts soon . Just thought I had to wish Bently well. Lenny. :love4

milo's mum

Re: Canine Epilepsy

Post by milo's mum »

oh dear lesley. i could say what a shame for bentley but i have experienced seizures with george (black lab). looking back i think i took them worse than she did. i too worried about being out and about (she never did have one on a walk). her seizures started at 15 months but were few and far between till she was about 9 years old. we did take her to the vets but were not given medication. when she was about 9 they increased to about a seizure every few months not serious ones though. about march this year i thought that was it. she was trembling terribly and her head was shaking very badly. i sat (in tears) comforting her and in 10 minutes she stopped. mentioned it at vets they basically said she is old( was going to be 13 years old in may) and as she was ok again now to leave her be. on whit bank holiday monday i had her put to sleep as she had a stroke early in the morning. 2 days short of her 13th birthday......
the purpose of this is not for sympathy either. it's to let you know that
1. bentley is very special
2. it's not the end of the world and he can still have a great life with you
3. seizures do not mean he is going to die...he can still have a long life
4. you are doing a great job so just carry on and enjoy life with him cos there will still be times when he makes you swear (under your breath of course)!

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Re: Canine Epilepsy

Post by bentley »

Thank you everyone for your support and hugs. It really does help.

Special thanks to Milo's Mum for that extra little bit of insight. It helps to hear from someone else who has been through it all. My heart bled for you when I read the last part of the story. I can't imagine how you coped with that. George was lucky to have had such a loving Mum.


Re: Canine Epilepsy

Post by rosndog »

Oh, Lesley,

I am so sorry to hear about poor Bentley. It must have been so upsetting for you, not to mention poor Bentley's confusion. Thankfully you were able to get him to a great veterinary teaching hospital so he was in good hands, and Jan, I'm sure, will have been a great source of comfort and undoubtedly sound advice.
We're all thinking about you, and we're glad to see your special boy enjoying some cool refreshing water in this lovely hot weather.
Take care
Ros and Sophie :love4

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Re: Canine Epilepsy

Post by hairydog »

So sorry to hear about Bentley, and so glad that Jan gave you her advice and vast amount of knowledge...I know people who have dogs with this and yes they lead totally normal lives and the medication helps you just learn to live with it....and he is so lucky to have a loving family like yourselves...

Big hugs to the gorgeous boy.... :love4


Re: Canine Epilepsy

Post by superjazz »

We have just read this posting about your dear Bentley, he is such a star. At least the prognosis is good and he can continue to have a long happy life with you. We can appreciate what a shock it must have been at the time for you.Best wishes and big hugs for you all.
Pat , Syd & Katie

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Re: Canine Epilepsy

Post by Cobi and Ginnies Mum »

Sorry I've only just read your post Lesley... so sorry to hear about Bentley being epileptic, it's not the end of the world, just have to have a few tests and as you say a few precautions.

Our Abigail was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 4yrs, and was prescribed phenobarbitone, at first it was 120mg then 180mg. We would have frequent blood tests to make sure her medication was right, (her tablets had to be at the same time 12 hours apart... we even pulled into a layby, caravan in tow on our way to Scotland, she had her tablets wrapped up in ham)
Abigail could be a little devil from time to time, and we didn't treat her with kid gloves, Ceili and then Ginnie used to 'batter her', and Abb's would give as good as she got ..... Abby did not die from a fit.

It is very frightening, but we learned to recognise the signs that Abby was likely to 'fit', of course all dogs are different, so the signs will be different, her eyes became 'wild' and frightened looking, her head would sway 'snake like'. We always let her know that we were there, she would then collapse, we talked softly to her, until she came out of it. We found that the 'summer heat' seemed to make it more frequent, she was better cool and wet, and swimming than having walks in hot weather. Abby didn't know that she had had a fit, and 'life' would continue as soon as she could stand up.

Cobi has worried us on a couple of occasions, she's staggered about and fallen on her side whilst we were out walking, we took her to our vet, after a thorough examination, says that Cobi 'forgets' to breathe when she's racing around, so if it's warm, it's a swim or dip for Cobi, or first thing in wet grass before it's hotter than 18c. (our vet says that this happens with Boxer dogs quite a lot)

Have a look at Valerian and Skullcap tablets as they can be used for dogs that are epileptic who are also on prescribed medication (after checking with your vet first)

give Bentley a 'big :love4' from us


Re: Canine Epilepsy

Post by sammingtonsmythes »

I am so sorry Lesley.I haven't been on recently and am very late to your post about dear Bentley.As I have experienced similar when Ellie had a stroke I can fully understand how distressing it was for you.So glad to hear that it is easily treatable though.Give Bently a big hug from me and a lick from Monty love Diane xxx

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