Author Topic: Seizures In Dogue de Bordeaux  (Read 14059 times)

Offline WI Em

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Seizures In Dogue de Bordeaux
« on: June 26, 2006, 12:58:58 pm »
Hey everyone, this is going to be long, so brace yourself.

My puppy had seizures (2 of them) just over 2 weeks ago. I rushed him to the Emerg.Vet and got treatment. He was pheno-loaded and then put on Phenobarb. 65mg twice a day. 10 days later we went to the vet for a blood level check and a booster on his lyme's vaccination. Beaumont had gained 10 lbs. by this time. The vet called his prescription in to a local pharmacy and I got it refilled never looking at the dose because I ASSUMED IT WAS THE SAME. The vet DIDN'T INFORM ME SHE WAS LOWERING THE DOSE!!

Beaumont went for boarding Fri and Sat. nite and I picked him up Sunday afternoon.We went from the boarding kennel into the car to go to the beach for the afternoon. Beaumont had a Grand mal Seizure on the way to the beach. I immediately headed for the Emerg.Vet. and he kept seizing on the way, never really recovering from the seizure before when the next one would start.

Beaumont kept cluster seizing all afternoon and into the evening, even with a vailum/glucose IV  :'( and yes, they gave him rescue doses of vailum to stop the seizures when they happened. Finally at about 9pm they got his seizures under control.  I was with Beuamont the entire time and we spent the night there.

After some discussion with the Emerg.Vet, I learned that our regular vet had DROPPED THE DOSE FROM 65mg to 60mg!!! This combined with the 10 lbs. weight gain is what I and the Emerg.Vet suspected caused the seizures to come on so strong.

At 8am I had to transport Beaumont to the regular vet so he could be weaned off of the valium IV. I requested  ANY vet other than the one I had seen the week before who had treated my dogue so carelessly (not to mention had said that he is an aggressive breed >:()I was informed she was the only vet on that day :( so I had no choice.

Well, when I tried to discuss the difference in dose of meds in relation to the weight gain and questioned why she did it, she literally blew me off and just said that Beaumont's pheno levels had come back within the therapetic range. I said yes, but at the 65mg dose, not at 60. She tried to change the subject and I informed her that I had the Emerg.Vet run a NEW pheno level test just to make sure that the new dosage was within the expected parameters and also that a Bile Acid test was being ran to check for liver shunts. The look she gave me could have killed Medusa!

I requested a referral to a neurologist because I feel that infection of the brain or brain tumors/lesions should be eliminated as possible causes of the seizures. Again I was met with a condescending attitude about what I felt best for my puppy!! FINALLY she gave me the referral and we see the neurologist in Madison,WI (I live in Stevens Point,WI) tomorow June, 27,2006

Obviously, I am NEVER going to that vet again, and have already researched and found a new vet that I'm VERY comfortable with.

And of course my breeder was contacted about everything as it has progressed and she is absolutely crushed-she views her litters (has only whelped 2) as her babies as much as we do. She is spaying her bitch and is very concerned as to how I'm proceeding with things, wants updates etc.

So here's the thing:

Anyone else ever have a Dogue de Bordeaux get seizures and also SO YOUNG?!! If so, how did things turn out- did the dogue have to be put down? or did you get stuff under control with the right vet and meds?

Everyone I've talked to in the Bordeaux community has never heard of such a young pup having seizures, and very few have even heard of a Bordeaux having seizures period! Beaumont is from good stock, not a puppymill- I found my breeder through the Dogue de Bordeaux Society.

I'm absolutely heartbroke that my puppy has to go through so much h*ll :'( and from what I've read about other breeds the earlier the onset the more grim the outlook.

PLEASE HELP!!!!!!

Offline Rachel

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Re: Seizures In Dogue de Bordeaux
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2006, 02:04:12 pm »
I am so sorry! :'(  What a horrible this to go through.. I'm glad that you found a new vet.  Please keep us updated.
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doggylover

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Re: Seizures In Dogue de Bordeaux
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2006, 03:21:06 pm »
I am soooo sorry you are going through this h3ll, it must be horribly traumatizing to witness, seeing your beloved having a seizure.  I can only imagine it being like watching your pupper drown, and not being able to stop it.
My thoughts are with you, take care and best of luck...
 :'(

Offline newflvr

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Re: Seizures In Dogue de Bordeaux
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2006, 03:46:36 pm »
We had a similar experience to Brindle Pack's.  We adopted our big Landseer Newf at 18 months and three weeks later he went in to cluster seizures (very similar to your experience).  He clustered for about two days and was on IV Valium. He had an MRI and has idiopathic epilepsy. He was on Pheno for a year and KBr and continued to cluster seizure for that first year we had him....not as severely as the first time, but about every two weeks I'd have to, if lucky, use the rectal valium or if unlucky, use the rectal valium and then drive him to the ER for IV Valium.  Then he started seizing once a day.  That's when the neurologist put him on Gabapentin.  It's a human anti-seizure med and he's now been a year seizure free.  He's been weaned off the pheno since it didn't seem to really work for him anyway.

I think you are doing all the right things.  Get a  thorough work-up and eliminate any organic causes (thyroid problems can cause seizures...), find a vet who is supportive and is hopefully available 24 hours a day (or at least a clinic that will support him).  There are a number of online support groups for people who love their epileptic dogs!  This group is a great resource for both you and your breeder:  http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/ 

We actually participated in the study as did my dogs breeder....she sent in 16 samples!

I also changed my dogs food from kibble and raw to cooking for him two meals a day....meat and veg only.  And, last but not least, we got a puppy...Cheste r, who went absolutely nuts the only time that Cowboy seized....and Cowboy has never seized again.  I know logically the meds are doing their job, but I do think all these other changes have helped him go seizure free for as long as he has.

I guess I didn't get how old Beaumont is, but the typical age for the epileptic dog to begin seizing is around a year.  Cowboy probably had his first few seizures with his previous owner and that's why he was given up.  (and we were never told).  There is hope, and you can have a life too.  We very rarely leave Cowboy alone, I always carry rectal Valium and he's become the perfect companion.  It just takes a bit more work (dog sitters are a nightmare!!!) but it can be done!

Good luck and stay in touch!  We care!!!

Offline WI Em

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Re: Seizures In Dogue de Bordeaux
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2006, 05:01:34 pm »
Thank you all so much for your support and experiences with what I'm dealing with. Beaumont began seizures about 2 weeks ago- he's 6 months old now- very unusual for a puppy to have seizures to begin with especially in my breed. We're seeing the neurologist tomorrow and hopefully between the neurology dept. and my new vet we will be able to give Beaumont a happy seizure free life. I'll update everyone when I get home, hopefully on Thursday. We're leaving in a few min. Thanks all again.

Offline WI Em

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Re: Seizures In Dogue de Bordeaux
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2006, 09:56:07 am »
Hey everyone, we went to neurology and had every test known to man to rule out physical causes of Beaumont's seizures.

As expected, there are no physical reasons to be found to explain Beaumont's seizures. The neurologist was very honest in telling me that Beau's epilepsy may not be able to be controled, but we can try.

The reasons it's going to be a challenge:

1. Beaumont is a Mastiff, and notoriously, Mastiff's don't respond well to the medications.

2. Beaumont is VERY YOUNG to have onset of seizure activity. (he was 5 1/2 months when he had his first round of seizures)

3. Beaumont's seizure history shows he has frequent, severe (grand mal), and lasting (cluster) seizure episodes. Meaning he has a grand mal (and they're long-usually more than 5 min each), gets anywhere from 5min to an hour break, and has another seizure- this will continue if intervention medication and/or medical help isn't recieved.

So the neurologist doubled Beaumont's medication- he now gets 120mg of phenobarbital twice a day. His blood levels are to be watched like a hawk to ensure he's ALWAYS within the therapeutic range.

If he has more seizures, we will be adding potassium bromide. If he has more seizures on that, there is another drug that's expensive we can try (it may be Gabapentin, but I'm not sure), and if he has seizures on that, I'll have to make a choice about the quality of life for my dogue.

I've been given 3 doses of valium so I can give Beau one rectally if he has a seizure -after 3 doses if he continues to seize, he has to go to the Emerg.Vet. I know that I can't take him anywhere without the valium.

I hope that Beaumont continues to be seizure free, but for now I'm keeping my fingers crossed and trying to be realistic about what the future may hold.

Again, thank you all so much for your support and understanding.

Offline newflvr

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Re: Seizures In Dogue de Bordeaux
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2006, 01:54:14 pm »
If he has more seizures, we will be adding potassium bromide. If he has more seizures on that, there is another drug that's expensive we can try (it may be Gabapentin, but I'm not sure), and if he has seizures on that, I'll have to make a choice about the quality of life for my dogue.

Please don't lose hope.  Just take it a day at a time.  We get Cowboy's gabapentin through www.canadaphar macy.com and it's about a third of the cost of even Costco.  Don't try to evaluate Beaumont's quality of life yet....as I learned with Cowboy, he is having the best life he can have considering the cards  he's been dealt.  My fingers are crossed and holding good thoughts that Beaumont will be okay!

Cowboy sends drools.....

Offline Jo14

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Re: Seizures In Dogue de Bordeaux
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2007, 09:51:09 am »
Hi there

We had a dogue with epilepsy, he started at 3 years, he went without medication for another 12 months then started to have them more regularly (grand mal) so was put on phenobarb this kept him OK for another 12 months, with only a few seizures, then they started to come every week again in clusters, so his medication was upped and he was also put on bromide, things sadly over the next 12 months went downhill from there, I dont want to scare you as hopefully this wont be the case for your dogue, but Arnold continued to get worse and worse, sometimes having up to 18 seziures in 24 hours, in the last couple of weeks he was on the maximum amount of meds and it was still happening and he was starting to suffer brain damage, so we had to do what was best for him and on the advice of the vet we had to have him put to sleep, it was the hardest decision but the best for him as he had started to suffer, our vet did say though that this was not common and most dogs respond well to treatment and can live a long and happy life, we were just unlucky, I hope that your dog is OK i just thought I would let you know that I do know what you are going thorough.