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Calling All Dog Lovers....need Some Advice

Posted by: Lisa McStamp on 05/08/2013 - 11:16 AM

I have a 10 year old female lab/mix who is having seizures (3 in the last two days), Her blood work came back normal. She does have a bacterial ear infection being treated, but pretty much we don't know what is causing the seizures. She will start Phenobarbitol today , but of course it has it's own side effects. I really don't like treating the seizures without knowing the cause but not sure what other options I have. Has anyone had any experience with seizures in dogs and use of phenobarbitol. I am very open to natural/holistic remedies. I would appreciate any ideas or advice. Thanks.


Oldest Reply

Posted by: Roseann Caputo on 05/08/2013 - 11:23 AM

Have you thought of getting a second opinion?


Posted by: Christina Rollo on 05/08/2013 - 11:38 AM

Ditto, what Roseann said.

Years ago we had a puppy just about a year old who was limping for quite a while. I took him to 3 vets, 2 of the 3 told me he needed surgery to repair his knee. At the time, I didn't have the money to pay for surgery. The 3rd vet gave our dog anti-inflammatory medications to take for 2 weeks, he never limped on that leg again. Thank God I didn't put him through unnecessary surgery! It always pays to get a 2nd and in some cases a 3rd opinion!


Posted by: Rachel Counts on 05/08/2013 - 11:52 AM

You can always get a 2nd opinion. My boyfriend's family Lab, who is 11, has had a seizure almost once a year or every two years. JUST ONE. Vet has no explanation. Dozer is just fine, he's a happy go lucky boy. Hope your dog will be OK!


Posted by: Lisa McStamp on 05/08/2013 - 11:54 AM

So sad I didn't even think of that. Feel so rushed to treat her to avoid another seizure but would probably be better to at least get another opinion before putting her on long term medication. Thanks Roseann and Christina, Makes a lot of sense.


Posted by: Lisa McStamp on 05/08/2013 - 12:16 PM

Thanks, Rachel. Glad Dozer is well. Hopefully a second opinion will give me a better option. Would prefer to eliminate the cause if possible. *sigh*


Posted by: Roseann Caputo on 05/08/2013 - 12:16 PM

Best of luck. Pets are so important. :-)


Posted by: Rebecca Sherman on 05/08/2013 - 12:49 PM

Is it possible she's dehydrated or feverish because of the infection? My corgi had a seizure when he was a puppy, just once. It was terrifying. He had had an ear infection, and he'd over-exerted himself at the beach the day it happened.


Posted by: Laura Fasulo on 05/08/2013 - 1:03 PM

Since the dog is being treated for an ear infection I would wait until that clears up to see if it could be the cause of the seizures.

Also make sure the food you are feeding is not on recall. You can google to find out. My dog became severely illl last year to the point we thought she would die, she was only 4 years old at the time. It turned out to be her food which was on recall. Ater that scare I found the website where I link below.

You can join a mailing list at this website to get notifications of any pet food recalls. There are also forums where you can ask questions and articles about pet health, food reviews etc. You might want to post your question there as well. It's a good website. I recommend it to all dog owners. Good luck with your dog.


Posted by: Kylani Arrington on 05/08/2013 - 1:17 PM

An ear infection shouldn't have any correlation to seizures. Seizures are, in very simple terms, an electrical storm of the brain. Neurons misfire and the result is seizing, convulsing, memory loss, etc. It works the same in humans and animals. If your dog has had three in two days, there's something going on than just an ear infection. I would definitely get a second opinion. The blood work might not show anything but a brain scan would. Not sure if they do brain scans on dogs, though.... but checking blood isn't going to give you any answers either. See if there are other testing alternatives and go from there. Unfortunately, running a battery of tests is going to be expensive. But dogs are part of the family so in the end it's worth it if it means adding to her quality of life.


Posted by: Laura Fasulo on 05/08/2013 - 1:31 PM

Sorry Kylani, that's not true. Ear infections can lead to dogs.

@ Lisa, The phenobarbital seems to be the accepted treatment for ear infections. see the link


Posted by: Greg Norrell on 05/08/2013 - 1:55 PM

Perhaps get a second opinion, but I would proceed with the recommended medicine in the interim. You don't have to commit to it forever.

I have one female (shih tzu, almost 6 yrs old) who has had two seizures in her lifetime, a couple of years apart. Both times it was after raising a litter of puppies, and I think it was simply from overstimulation leading to what Kylani described above as an electrical storm in the brain. Most vets have x-rays but no catscan or mri equipment. Your vet may be able to recommend a place with more diagnostic capabilities.

One of my boys (also a shih tzu) was diagnosed with autoimmune hemolytic anemia on Monday and had to have a blood transfusion. Veterinary care can get expensive quick.

Good luck.


Posted by: Kylani Arrington on 05/08/2013 - 3:41 PM


That would have to be one serious infection to lead to a seizure. If the dog is being treated for that then that's great but that doesn't mean that it's cured. It's just treating the symptoms. The seizures may return, especially if it's not due to the ear infection.


Posted by: Lisa McStamp on 05/09/2013 - 1:10 PM

Thanks everyone for all the well wishes and information. Sage has now been seizure free for almost 36 hours :). We took her off her food after the 3rd seizure. Still not sure if that is the cause, inflammation from her ear infection or environmental were also possibilities. @Laura sorry to hear about your girl, so glad she pulled through. I check dogfoodadvisor all the time. Wonderful site, very informative. I haven't used their forums though. There were a couple of ingredients in her food that have been suspected to cause seizures in some dogs (rosemary extract and sage extract) @Greg Good luck to you also. Hope your boy is doing well. Yes, I've noticed how quickly the vet bills add up. Thanks again.


This discussion is closed.