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Worrying symptoms - ?epilepsy

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On Saturday evening hubby mentioned that twice he has seen Marley shivering quite violently  (as if the dog was freezing cold)  - but when he called him he got up and stopped shaking.   Once on Friday and once earlier on Saturday when I was out.    Both times Marley appeared to be sleeping.

Yesterday afternoon I was just finishing my salad  and as usual both dogs came up to me to see if I had left them a bit of cheese  (a reward for not approaching when I am still eating)  I went to give Marley his bit of cheese and noticed his head moving like a noddy dog  -  if he were human I would describe it as Parkinson's.    I gave him the cheese and he started to eat it still shaking, then I gently touched his neck and said his name - and he stopped shaking.    He is booked into the vet at 11.40 this morning.

Cane, who went over the bridge nearly two years ago just before Xmas, was diagnosed with focal epilepsy,  was managed quite successfully for years  (he used to attack me during an episode  - causing several bad lacerations and a broken middle finger).     I rang and spoke to the vet as soon as they opened this morning - and they said it was good that I had caught it early on if it is epilepsy.

He had four owners in his first 12 weeks of life, taken from his mum too early, poor little man has had a lot to cope with - now possible epilepsy on top.    I cannot even begin to describe how much I love him and what he means to me  -  I've never had a dog 'get to me' the way he has.    But it might explain the recent change in his behaviour I've noticed  he has always been a very loving dog  -  but occasionally he is cold and indifferent  (not just in the normal husky way sometimes observed) but more like we just didn't exist  -  then later he comes up for a cuddle and a stroke/fuss just like he always has.


I love you baby  - whatever it is  - we'll fight it together.

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I've been in touch with Doc Jones DVM in Idaho, USA  He is a traditionally trained vet  - and also a qualified medical herbalist and naturopath - here is my email: I live in the UK – so cannot co

That's truly awesome that you already have great knowledge of herbal medicine, Chrissie. And isn't that cool Doc Jones replied to your email ! I'm a believer in herbal remedies as well.  

My dog started taking Phenobarbital (grand mal) when he was 5 months old. Other than that he was a pretty submissive but happy boy. My other dog barked and alerted me when the attacks occurred. Can yo

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I've heard about head tremors in dogs which sounds like what Marley might have , definitely a vet visit , try and record it if u can too if he only does it sometimes
I've just read the bit about him being cold and indifferent . Sounds like my boy bing's when he got diagnosed with hypothyroidism , he will need medication for that so definitely get him to the vets n get some bloodwork done

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He is booked in again tomorrow morning at 8.45 for a fasting blood test  nothing after 6pm tonight except water.

The vet said it sounded like mini seizures as at least on one occasion he was still conscious  -  but wanted to check his liver out for something first as it can cause similar symptoms.    She said she was reluctant to start him on epiphen at his young age because of the liver damage it can cause.    Temperature and heart perfect.

Its not just his head but his whole body  and legs that shiver and shake   -  I only mentioned the head because he was on the other side of the coffee table and that is basically all I could see yesterday.    We are both going to keep a sharp eye on him  - and I have my camera ready in case he has another episode.    Vet said just to video it and not snap him out of it  - she wants to see how long it goes on for.

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We were waiting for them to open this morning  -  Marley as usual greeting everyone with over-enthusiasm -  right up until he saw the vet come in and he just sat down and looked at her suspiciously   :(

Bearing in mind it took two nurses and myself to hold him still to have his temperature taken yesterday  (he REALLY did not like it)  I was worried as to how he would react to them taking blood from his neck  -  but he was as good as gold  - just sat down and let them do it,  I was so proud of him.


I am now waiting nervously for the results - they are due to ring early afternoon.     Must admit I swallowed a bit hard when I got the bill  £162.79 for a blood test!   They are checking the liver and thyroid

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Just put the phone down from the vet  -  been on tenterhooks all afternoon!

Bloodworks all perfect everything exactly in the middle of where it should be      - so its confirmed to be epilepsy    :(

We have to keep a diary of dates of every time he has  an episode and also look for the severity of the seizure.    If we cannot get him round from it within a 'reasonable' time  and believe he has in fact lost consciousness then he will have to be put on epiphen and we will all have to take our chances with liver failure.

Ideally she would like to wait until he is about 5 before he is on epiphen  -  but at the moment we do not know how the seizures will progress  -  if they stay as they are then we can wait.


paws crossed.




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Sending hugs. Looking on the positive side, at least now that you know what it is you're facing you can begin to start trying to manage and control the illness. I know when Bear first got sick (she's got inflammatory bowel disease ) I was beside myself as to why she was so sick. It's not easy as she's on long term steroids which will shorten her life and put her at a lot of risks for complications but the alternative is she will die if she doesn't take them. (She reacts like she's got an obstruction, constant vomiting, not eating, pooping pure blood pools). She's been on the meds for 4 years now and although she does have a relapse now and then, for the most part she's fairly stable. I hope you'll find this too in your situation. Xxx



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I really am grateful for all your support and kind thoughts guys.    I just feel so helpless    -  my DIL is epileptic  -  and the drugs she is on have ravaged her liver and she is constantly fighting a drug induced 'fog' she has to fight to think straight and remember things.

My furbaby is too young to go onto these drugs without risking liver failure  -  so I just have to hope that the seizures do not escalate in depth and strength.   There is nothing I can do to help him  -  only observe and record.

I know it will settle down - but at the moment, because it is too raw  -  we are constantly looking at him to see if he is having a seizure,  we always loved looking at him having a puppy dream, 'running and chasing rabbits'   -  now we worry it is another seizure and have to wake him up.    We are constantly checking up on him when he spends time in the garden  -  around 6pm as it is getting cooler he used to be in the garden until it was time to come in and go to bed  -  now I am checking up on him every 15 minutes and bring him in around 8pm before it starts getting dark.   He doesn't like that  -  he wants to be outside

The one good thing is that we are both retired so my dogs are rarely left on their own - and when they are its only for around 15-20 mins.

The attacks always occur when he is resting - not when active  -  so we do not know how many he has during the night as he makes no sounds during an episode.

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I really truly wish there something I could say that would help but I know that I can't. My own human son was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at around 15 years old. It was just before xmas and I think I spent the entire xmas period in tears that year. I hadn't heard of it before and looking it up all I could see were the significantly increased risks of cancer, endless treatments and regular endoscopes needed (because of the cancer risks). It sounds silly but it felt at the time like part of him had died....the healthy child with a carefree life ahead of him had gone. It took a long time for me to get my head around things (a lot of time spent with me in denial and arguing with the doctors that they must be wrong [emoji85]). He's going to be 20 this friday and he's employed in a job, got good grades in his school and college exams. He's doing ok. [emoji3]
I find it helps me to try not to look too far ahead into the future as that overwhelms me with all of the possibilities, most of which may never happen but worry me anyway but I always seem to jump to the worst case scenarios. I guess it's a mothers prerogative to worry or maybe it's just me, not sure, lol.
Sending you love and hugs aplenty. Xxxxx

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My dog started taking Phenobarbital (grand mal) when he was 5 months old. Other than that he was a pretty submissive but happy boy. My other dog barked and alerted me when the attacks occurred. Can you put a little bell on Marley so that you'll hear that when he shakes ?  For some,  seizures won't come back for several months, a few years, or more longer periods and I hope this is the case for Marley. 

One thing for sure is he is lucky to have you !

Sending all my hugs and kisses.


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I've been in touch with Doc Jones DVM in Idaho, USA  He is a traditionally trained vet  - and also a qualified medical herbalist and naturopath - here is my email:

I live in the UK – so cannot come to see you.    My 22 month old Siberian Husky (pic attached)  weight 22 kilos has just been diagnosed with epilepsy.   During an attack he just shakes  - in a human it would resemble Parkinson’s – he remains conscious and will even take a treat and eat it during an episode (at the time I did not know it was epilepsy) -  although comes out of it at a touch and hearing his name.   So, at the moment it is quite mild.   The attacks always happen when he is resting  - never when active.   So far we have only observed three seizures   in successive days  -  then nothing for the last 5 days.

 My vet does not want to put him on epiphen yet as it can cause liver failure in young dogs  -   I heartedly agree with not giving drugs if at all possible.   However I am worried about the attack’s severity increasing.   Complete blood works came back AOK – straight in the middle of where they should be.

I am wondering if skullcap tincture ( 1:4  25%)  would work – if so how much should I give him (fed raw, 2 x daily  - although many times will either eat breakfast or lunch only)  -  or if I can make an infusion.

I am not a qualified herbalist – but have taken a year long course in the UK  and prepare our own drug alternatives –but know little about herbalism for dogs (reading up on that now of course).

I would be really grateful for anything you could suggest  - however I realize it is difficult with not having seen him yourself.

Here is his reply:

Hi Chrissie,

Skullcap can be helpful  in some cases as can passionflower. I have used a combination of the two with some success.

I'd give a dog that size a teaspoon of the the dry powdered combination twice daily just mixed with his food. 

Holler if you have other questions. :0)

Doc Jones


Doc Jones has helped me before with a problem with one of my dogs and if you check his website you will see some of the amazing things he has accomplished with herbalism - when traditional medicine would not help.  https://homegrownherbalist.net/blogs/news/squirrel-the-secret-to-rapid-wound-healing                 https://homegrownherbalist.net/     

He has never charged me for his help and advice.    I only had skullcap and Passionflower tinctures  - so ordered the freshly dried herbs from Baldwins - which arrived about half an hour ago and am now going to set to grinding about a week's worth of powder  - I ordered 500 grams in total but powdered herbs lose their effectiveness a lot faster than whole dried herbs - which usually remain effective for around a year  (tinctures 10 years) so will grind a fresh batch every week for him.   I have a coffee grinder used purely for herbs - but will resort to a pestle and mortar when necessary.

We have not observed another episode - but obviously as they occur when Marley is resting we do not know how many (if any) he has during the night.   At least now I feel as if there is something I can do to help my beautiful baby boy  -  I would go to the ends of the earth for him.

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