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Pain induced seizures


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Tonight my 13 yr old Annie had a sudden and severe seizures lasting several minutes. She does not have a history of seizures that I know of and she is generally great health for an old gal. Annie has arthritis and takes a Cox 2 inhibitor drug to give her ease. The vet cautioned that this drug would be hard on her liver and we are monitoring her system function. At her age it is a choice between shortening her life with a strong drug or giving her sufficient pain relief to enjoy the time she has left. Annie has benign growths on all 4 feet that make it difficult to balance.

 

Today I was getting my boots on to do chores and the dogs were milling around by the front door. The 6 month old pup, Wren, bumped into Annie and lifted her left rear hip. Annie did not make a sound. She just staggered and her momemtum carried her across the room. At first I thought Annies hip was out of joint and ran to help her. She was flopping and clearly in a full seizure.

 

Annie came out of the seizure well and seems to be back to her old wobbly self. I'm wondering if the bump from the puppy caused her intense pain or this is the beginning of liver trouble due to her meds.I work with individuals with epilepsy and deal with episodes frequently. We are always careful to prevent dehydration and constipation since those are triggers. I have not seen a seizure precipitated by pain.

 

Has anyone had a dog collapse under similiar circumstances?

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When Phoebe had her first seizure it happened when she and the rest of the pack were racing down to the creek. One thing the vet asked was whether I thought it was possible that one of the other dogs had slammed her into a tree or fence post. I might have seriously considered that possibility at the time, except that I knew she had a littermate with seizures.

 

Anyway, the operative word was "slammed," indicating that she would have had to hit the tree/post pretty hard to result in a seizure. I doubt the pup running into her back end was a direct cause (unless the act of hitting her somehow jarred her spine, compressing it forward toward the base of her skull?), though I'd wonder if she didn't have some inner ear type thing going on and the sudden push across the floor pushed what might be a normal old age vertigo type thing into a full blown seizure. But that's just a wild guess.

 

I hope it was a one-time thing.

 

J.

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This is purely anecdotal, but when my Casey girl used to have seizures, most were brought on by a some sort of event like a seemingly minor bump to the head or a dog running into her or something similar. A lot of dogs with seizures have triggers of some sort. Casey's seizures ended up being from Erlichia, so that's one of the first things I check when a dog starts seizing.

 

Good luck with Annie.

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When Sophie was a youngster, she ran full bore into the bow of a pointy wooden sea kayak. She hit her head, right above her left eye. The impact was strong enough to dislodge her eyeball. The very good vets at the Q Street Emergency Clinic in Springfield, Oregon, were able to save her eye, and though her eyesight was compromised, she had no other lasting injuries.

 

About a year later, someone threw a leash at her from her blind side. The heavy clip hit her in the face and she immediately went into a seizure. Apparently, though the impact of the leash clip hitting her was not severe, the earlier trauma left her vulnerable to have seizures if she ever got hit in the head in the future. She has only had the one seizure, and perhaps that is because it was fairly soon after the first injury, but I am always aware that another knock to her head could put her in a seizure.

 

Could Annie have had an earlier head injury that predisposed her to seizures under certain conditions?

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Sadly, Annie has gone on to have 2 more seizures. She comes out of them well and is alert but is confused and panicky. One started during her sleep and another happened while she was pacing. I'm wondering if she does have a charleyhorse and the pain is enough to trigger her episodes.

I've taken her off her arthritis meds and we'll see what the vet has to say....thanks for your help.

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Hopefully it's something simple that you can pin point that's causing her seizures and you can take care of it easily, but she sounds like an old dog with a few problems and seizures have been added to the list.

 

Hopefully she won't have any more. Good luck. Not much else to say except that I know well what it's like to live with a dog who seizures --- whatever the reason for the seizures are. It ain't easy.

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Annie went on to have a fourth seizure but has not had any more since Sunday evening. She came out of them very well.

 

Annie has something called Degenerative Myelopathy which is similar to Lou Gehrigs in humans. It is progressive and there is no treatment for it.

Basically, the myelin sheath that coats the spinal cord has worn away. German Shepherds are predisposed to DM but border collies are also one of the known carriers of the gene. The best news is that is a painless disease since the nerves are dead. The bump from the puppy probably did set off the seizures since the processing of her nervous system is jumbled.

 

Annie is having her ups and downs. She's comfortable altho she appears to be extremely annoyed that her legs wont go where she wants to go. Her appetite is great and her quality of life is still very good. It is hard to watch her going downhill like this but we're ready for the inevitable when she decides she's ready to leave us.

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