Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cooper Had Another Seizure

So Cooper had another seizure tonight. It was a bit longer than the last one, but didn't seem quite so severe. He didn't tense up as badly as the last one, and even though it lasted longer, I think quite a bit of it was just him being absolutely terrified, because for a good portion of it he had control of his face and he was clearly looking at me when I talked to him.

This is the second one in about 4 months. I still don't think that's enough of them for them to be considered "regular occurrences." From what I understand, regular means when it's happening on a basis that you can remember the last time it happened clearly. Like last week. Or once every other week.

The biggest problem with him having these is that he's HAD blood work and tests done after he had one once before, and everything came back negative. He also had blood work done a few months back due to some issues he was having losing weight (it turned out I wasn't giving him enough food after switching to a new brand) and that blood work came back showing he was completely fine and healthy. I understand that MOST veterinarians are really reluctant to make the call that a dog has epilepsy because it's not something that they can really test for. They can run a billion other tests and rule out that all of those things aren't the cause of these issues, but even then many vets will still not want to say it's epilepsy. The main reasons for this are cost to the pet owner...the tests are really expensive and then determining that it is epilepsy means the dog will have to be on medications everyday for the rest of their life. The other issue is that since you can't really test FOR epilepsy, just because all those other tests come back negative doesn't mean that one of them was a bad test...example, if the test comes back negative but the dog actually DOES have that problem but it's just not showing when the test is taken, you could start a regimen of medicine for epilepsy that is completely unnecessary.

From everything that I've read about this online, it says that when a dog is having them every few months, it's best just to keep track of when they happen and what occurs right around them. This time I noticed that Cooper was being VERY cuddly...more so than usual, and he seemed to almost seem like he knew that something was wrong. This time he did a good job though, because he got off of the couch on his own when it started...I'm assuming he did this so that he wouldn't fall.

Of course, just like when my sister used to have seizures, after it was over he was immediately very tired. I haven't seen him look so tired in a LONG time. He's just been laying since it happened, but he's alert and happy. He had some cookies...which is actually kind of funny, because even in the middle of having the seizure, he's able to somehow eat a cookie. I gave it to him and he actually tossed it up in the air by accident when he flinched a little, and still managed to catch it.

I'm a bit worried now about him...but I did everything that I read tonight when it happened. I remained calm, I talked calmly and quietly, I supported him so that he didn't slam his head into anything, and we just waited it out. Like before he seemed to come out of it momentarily then go back into it again. I'm thinking now that this isn't him actually being "done" with one seizure and starting another, so much as it's just naturally what's occurring to him and how his body is dealing with it.

I've read that ALL dogs can be prone to seizures...but sometimes things happen that lower the tolerance level that they normally have. Age can cause it, some traumatic injury, a disease...many things can cause that threshold to be lowered. When I think back on it, Cooper has had "attacks" of sorts infrequently ever since we got him. He had one that I remember particularly at my old house because I thought he was just trying to not go into his crate. It wasn't until a few moments later that I realize he had something wrong with him.

For now though, all is well. He's sleeping on the bed tonight...

1 comment:

Doug said...

Poor Cooper.
I remember as a kid my first dog kept getting seizures more and more often as she got older. Eventually they started occuring often enough and affecting her badly enough that we ended up putting her down. Hopefully this will not happen to Cooper. He looks like a great dog.
BTW: Glad you like the new background on my blog. The cookie cutter plain one did not seem appropiate.