Seizure? Back pain? Health

Discussion in 'French Bulldog' started by BruceDad, Jan 6, 2021.

  1. BruceDad

    BruceDad New Member

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    Seizure? Back pain?

    Hello! My name is Hank. I have a 5 year old Frenchie named Bruce. A couple of times throughout years he has had seizures. Laying on his side, panting, losing consciousness. Over Christmas I noticed his back left leg dragging a bit after a long walk. Christmas Eve he started to have seizures. Cluster seizures around an hour in between. I thought it was the excitement of travel or him being with the other dogs (it has been a year since he left the house for a while). The emergency vet there had closed due to COVID and the nearest one was 4 hours away. I drove him 5 hours back home to our vet. I had videoed them for the vet and I realized everytime he had a “spell” it was after he jumped off of something. We saw the vet and she said after reviewing the videos it was definitely a seizure. But she said aloud to herself “but that doesn’t explain the dragging foot or why his head is cocked left, unless it is muscle pain from the seizures. So she did blood work and sent us home with potassium bromide and liquid Valium for when he has a seizure. Once we got home I noticed him trying to jump off the sofa. I am trying to be as diligent as I can. But he’s sneaky. Boom! Another seizure. So far he has had a couple since being on the meds but they aren’t as severe. But why always after he jumps off something or gets excited and jumps up? I called the vet. “No. It is a seizure!” So I tried to make an appointment. And it’s 4 days out. I bought a bed staircase and am keeping him in a crate when I am at work. Today, coming down the bed steps. Another one happened. Could a back problem or back pain trigger seizure activity? The meds make him a zombie and I don’t want him on that if it is not seizures. When I massage his back he doesn’t show any signs of pain. I’m worried and scared and don’t know what to do. I think I need a second opinion but on a teacher’s salary it is hard. But he’s my baby and I will find a way to pay whatever. Has someone experienced something like
    This with your Frenchie? Thank you all! Hank
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  3. Malka

    Malka Member

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    Hello Hank - reading through the details you have posted, I have a couple of questions. Firstly how old was Bruce when he had the first seizure, and did he have any sort of head trauma before he had the first seizure. Also, has he ever knocked his head against anything during a sz?

    A seizure in itself does not cause any muscle pain unless the dog has injured itself during the actual sz - and unless you are with the dog 24/7 is is quite possible that he has seized without you knowing. The fact that Bruce has a sz when he has jumped off something sounds like the jolting has jolted his brain, thus triggering the sz. Excitement will do the same thing.

    For a vet to comment to herself “but that doesn’t explain the dragging foot or why his head is cocked left, unless it is muscle pain from the seizures" sounds as if she has not had much experience with epilepsy. Foot dragging and head cocking, both to the left are symptoms of some kind of trauma to the right side of the brain, and head trauma can cause epilepsy. And from what you describe, Bruce is epileptic.

    A second opinion, unless it is from a canine neurologist, will not help, and even if the neurologist orders an MRI all it can do is confirm that the dog has some form of epilepsy. Kbr [Potassium Bromide] is usually the first medication suggested by general vets but it is not a cure - it is only to lessen the frequency of seizures. My dog was on a high dosage of Phenobarbital as my vet, who has studied canine epilepsy to the point where he has given seminars on the subject, does not like Kbr. Some epis end up on four or five different medications but unfortunately there is no cure.

    What I would suggest is that you keep a daily diary, noting dates and times of seizures [both start and finish of the sz] and how Bruce reacts when he comes out of one. What happened immediately before the sz - and whether anything different had happened prior to it - even down to a change in air-freshener or the detergent you wash his bedding in. Those details might help you find some sort of trigger that you could possibly avoid, and might also help your vet decide on a different medication.

    I am sorry that I cannot be more positive, or suggest a miracle cure. Many various medications and treatments [including CBD oil] can sometimes help lessen the frequency or severity of seizures, but they cannot cure it. And unfortunately I do know what I am talking about - my avatar is a picture of my beloved epileptic girl, so my knowledge is from personal experience, not from Google or any other search engine.
  4. Chris

    Chris Member

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    When you say his head is tilted left, is that a permanent thing or just during the episodes?

    What do his eyes do during the episodes?

    Does he walk off to one side, ie instead of walking is a straight line, does he angle off to one side?
  5. BruceDad

    BruceDad New Member

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    Thank you all so much. I have just been so worried that it was a spinal cord injury. He started having seizures when he was around 1.5. He freezes up and his eyes general roll back a little. Since I noticed the left leg dragging a bit I also noticed his head was cocked left (which I know for a Frenchie it is not unusual for them to tilt their heads. But his left eye seemed a little different, less open and alert as the right one.) His gait has been wobbly of late but I wasn't sure if that was the medication he is on? After the seizure last night, which I said since being on the meds are significantly less severe, I injected him with less than half the dose. I had noticed on a full dose he would droll alot. Anyway, last night I noticed droplets of water on the floor in various places. I checked his mouth, no drooling. Then I checked his underside and it is urine. I don't know if Diazepam loosens the muscles in the bladder or not. I need to stop googling because it says leaking urination is a side effect of a spinal injury. Thank you guys again!
  6. Malka

    Malka Member

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    When do you give Bruce the diazepam and how much is the dose? Diazepam is a muscle relaxant so could cause his urethral sphincters to slacken, hence the urine leakage. And of course dogs can, and frequently do, lose bladder [and sometimes bowel] control during the seizure itself.

    I only gave Pereg diazepam to help lessen her post-ictal behaviour following a seizure.

    A wobbly gait is a common side effect of Kbr, which is just one of the reasons that my vet does not normally prescribe it. Kbr also takes about a month for it to be effective after it is first prescribed, and you will have to be very careful regarding his salt intake if you give him any left-over food or tidbits from your plate.

    Edited to add - Google can be very useful but it can also bring up more information than you require, some of which can be incorrect for your needs.
  7. BruceDad

    BruceDad New Member

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    Thank you Malka! I agree! I need to stop googling! The dose they gave me on Diazepam was 1ml. But last night since the seizure wasn't so bad I only gave him .3.

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