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Re: Dog seizures

Posted by:  Marie Evans
Posted on:  July 17, 2002 at 19:35:06

In Reply to: Dog seizures
Category:   Medical
Posted by:  Kristine
Posted on:  July 17, 2002 at 17:15:26


: Does anyone know if seizures are "normal" or more common in russels...and if so why?
: My dog is in the hospital right now for seizures and I am just looking for some information.
: Thanks
: Scared Mommy,
: Kristine


Hi Kristine,

Seizures are no more prevalent in this breed than in others, which means sure some JRTs will be prone to them but it's not one of the health problems that really jumps out about this breed.

I have a JRT that has seizures, his name is Beavis. When he does have them he has grand mal, cluster seizures. These are major seizures and he gets them and then has one after another within a short period of time.

He started getting seizures right after his 1st birthday. Like you I was really scared and at that time I had no access to the internet so I didn't know much of anything.

What I can tell you is this, many dogs will have one seizure and never have another. Others that will have more seizures, have them so seldom that in many instances no medication will even be prescribed. If you have a case as severe as my terrier has medication can be prescribed and seizures can be put under better control.

Your vet will run tests to see what might be the cause of your JRTs seizures, sometimes it can be caused by allergies, sometimes it can be a thyroid problem, sometimes a liver shunt, or a brain tumor or head injury, sometimes hereditary but in most instances they never find a real cause and then its diagnosed as "idiopathic epilepsy."

All that being said you will be relieved to know that most cases of recurrent seizures can be controlled with medication. It might take a bit to figure out the right dosage and drug but it can be done. My dog is living proof of this. Sometimes now he will go a couple of years without an episode and even in a "bad" year he may only have 2 or 3 episodes, a far cry from the beginning.

If your dog is diagnosed with recurrent seizure activity you will need to work closely with your vet, this is extremely important. Most of the common causes of treatment failure is inadequate levels of medication or a failure to administer the drug as directed.

It's very important to time medication just right. I learned the hard way with Beavis. He gets meds twice a day. I was giving him his morning dose with breakfast and his second dose around 4-5pm with their late meal. He still was suffering from a lot of seizures in the middle of the night. After discussing things with his vet, it turned out that I was giving his second dose way too early and I now give him his second dose between 10-11pm. Guess what? The middle of the night seizures have virtually stopped! So timing can be everything!

BTW, Beavis is now 8 years old, his liver is functioning normally and you would never know he takes seizure medication. Most people are afraid their dogs will turn into "zombies" on meds but that just isn't the case.

I am providing a link to our Medical page and at that page you should find several links to other sites that will give you a lot more information.

It's also important to keep a log of your terrier's seizure activity if it ends up experiencing more. I have one on Beavis that started on the very first seizure. I noted the date, time, duration and severity. My vet found this extremely helpful in determining what route to go as far as treating, your vet will to. I still make notes every time Beav has a seizure, and pass the info on to my vet to update his records.

It's extremely rare that seizures cannot be controlled with medication. I am sure your terrier will be fine.

We will all be saying a prayer here that you get good news.

Best of luck and please give us an update.

Warm Regards,

Additional Reading: Medical