I didn't blog about this before, because we didn't want to worry BooBoo's mum while she was in Taiwan, but here are my notes from BooBoo's epileptic seizures.
The first one that we witnessed was on 4 January 2006. Before all of you guys get worried, it wasn't a bad seizure, relatively. BooBoo was conscious the whole time, and it looked like he just had a nervous tic spread throughout his body. The limbs were affected, and so was his head. Here are my notes directly after the events :
did not lose consciousness, lasted about 10 minutes, right after ginga got his antibiotic - cephalex. ginga lost some on the floor and booboo was lying right there when it happened. Booboo had also had the hip/joint medication about 5 minutes before. also, he played with ginga 10-15 minutes beforeSince this was the first time that we had seen something like this, we immediately put him into the car and drove him to the emergency clinic (this happened at approximately 2200 hours, so his normal vet was closed). He was by the time he got to the emergency clinic, and they advised us that it was common in dogs and to shut off tv and lights and record the event as well as we could so that we could potentially find some common triggers. Later, doing research, we found that some border collies are genetically predisposed to seizures and it may be much worse, with the dog actually losing consciousness. There are medications that control the seizures, but that's a lifetime thing once you start because if you stop after that you can actually induce seizures.
My notes from today:
This time I was not as worried as last time and knew what to do. I let him have his space and it was all fine. We have a video record now of the seizure so we can compare it to any future ones.
Booboo had another seizure. He was under the couch, Ginga was on top of the couch. There was a loud noise like Booboo hit something and Ginga jumped off the couch. Booboo then crawled close to the edge of the couch and I noticed that he was having a seizure, time 2046. His feet were trembling but his head looked fine at that time. I set up the camera to record a movie of it but since he was under the couch it was difficult to see. Anyway, the seizure moved up to his neck and head and lasted for approximately 5 minutes. During this time the camera battery ran out and I didn't notice. I waited about 2 minutes after it subsided and lifted up the couch so that BooBoo would get out. He did, and walked towards the door. He then lay down by the door and I checked his limbs. His limbs were still trembling, his lower jaw was still trembling. It gradually subsided. Strange event - this morning Ginga was smelling BooBoo all over, from his mouth to his paws to his head and body. I got a little worried because I know that dogs can detect when an epileptic seizure is about to occur in humans, maybe they can detect this in dogs as well. I wonder if we can train him to warn us closer to the event.
I don't think BooBoo needs medication. He is not in any pain due to the seizure and is still conscious. It's just something we have to live with and make sure that he doesn't bang his head on anything while this is going on. We could call him "Seizure Milan", ok doc, that wasn't funny, we agree.
Earlier in the day, Ginga was also sick. He vomited some blood and did not want to eat bread or anything else. He just dropped the bread! Now if you know Ginga, this is amazing as the guy lives to eat. So we called the vet and they asked us to bring him over. It's not a problem if he pukes a little, but if he doesn't eat afterwards it might be something blocking the route of the food. Lova and I-mei collected some of the vomit and we took it with us so they could analyse it. According to them it could be something he ate, something blocking his alimentary canal, or an ulcer. We took an x-ray that showed that there is no obvious blockage, but he did have a lot of "Number 2". The doc said he needed to get rid of that and gave us some pills to deacidify the stomach a little to help the ulcer heal. Ginga disagreed with the doctor and did not want to "release his load," as it were until later in the evening. I was very worried that it would be cancer but so far we don't think it's anything like that. It's funny, it's something that we wouldn't go to the doctor for ourselves, but when it's a helpless little thing we feel much more responsible.
The moral of the story is that when it rains it pours, and Ginga might be able to detect epilepsy in BooBoo. And dog owners, if your dog shows signs of seizure for more than 20 minutes you must take the dog to the vet. Otherwise, just record the events and take him (or her) later. Don't panic, it's a common thing. Shut off the tv/radio/mp3 player/lights and just chill. If it does last more than 20 minutes, try and get some ice cubes to keep the dog cool as seizures can cause them to overheat suddenly. If it is a bad seizure (when the dog loses consciousness) then do not get anywhere near the paws or the mouth. The do not know what they are doing and can hurt you seriously. Try to keep some cushions around so that the dog does not hurt himself or herself. That's all for the moment, we will update when we know more.