Baron had a seizure that lasted over 2 minutes. The on call vet said to bring him to the office first thing in the morning. He seems okay, but scared. How common is this in Pembroke welsh corgis& how serious. We are both scared .

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I know there are some on here who have had these...just keep him off areas that he could fall off of.  So sorry!!!!! I work with people who have seizures and other than being a bit careful they do well.

Sorry to hear that.  It is very scary to see.   Remember, it is worse for you than the dog after the seizure is over.  Usually you see several minutes to an hour of confusion from the dog until brain activity returns to normal.  He might be very thirsty after a seizure, and you may want to give him a little snack.   He may be unable to see for a short period of time after the seizure, but this does NOT mean he is now blind.

Our Maddie had one seizure last August and then another a month later, at which point she was started on phenobarbital.  We have had no more seizures, but I am not thrilled with the side effects.  She is a bit uncoordinated and tends to stumble when she corners fast and slip and slide on the hard floors, something she never did before.  However most dogs who need to go on phenobarb do better than she does, I think.

Expect complete bloodwork and a thorough physical.  The vet will likely do some balance tests and test neurological responses (like does the dog shift weight when a paw is lifted and lean into certain pressures) as well as checking eyes an vitals and the like.  

We opted not to do an MRI because it is really expensive and in our case would not have changed treatment options.

How old is Baron?  Epilepsy usually sets in before age 5.  Our Maddie was nearly 9 when she started seizing, so she most likely has some neuro problem and not epilepsy.  But other things, like blood sugar or thyroid problems, can cause seizures, which is why the do the bloodwork.  They will also look for signs of stroke or poisoning.  


Try not to worry too much but do make sure Baron is kept away from stairs and things until you have a better idea of what is going on.  We now permanently baby-gate the stairs, since Maddie tried to head up after her second seizure while she was still uncoordinated, and now with the pheno she is too uncoordinated to handle stairs.

Maddie likes to swim so we got her a life jacket.  She still goes hiking with us though she can't handle difficult terrain.  She is no longer good at chasing balls, but that is due to vision problems that may be age related or may be due to whatever brain issue probably gave her the seizure, and is likely not a result of the seizures themselves.  

Corgis are not especially prone to seizures, but seizures in general are not rare in dogs;  I think something like 3% of dogs have epilepsy.  When you start talking about it with dog people you know, you will be sure to find someone else whose dogs has seizures.


Good luck!  And keep us posted.

I had a Standard Poodle  with epilesy. We were lucky he only had seizures about a couple times a year. He was Yong when they started. He lived to 18 years old and was fine. Good luck to you. Try not to worry until you have all the facts.

We had an Irish wolfhound that had seizures.  His was due to 2 blows to the head....first time he slid down our stairs as a young dog and slammed head first into the closet door at the bottom of the stairs and 2nd time he must have been chasing a cat thru the kitchen...table and chairs were all over...and he put his head clear thru the bottom of the island.  He started to recognize the feelings when he was going to have one and would come right to me.  They are very scary looking and as Beth said worse for the human than the dog.  He didn't have them often...maybe every other month, I just really don't remember.  He lived till age 7...but remember an Irish wolfhound's life span is only 7-10 years.  He developed twisted bowel and that's what took him.

As said keep him of surfaces he could fall off of and monitor him as he goes up and down the stairs so you can be right there if it happens again.  The vet will do a thorough check as stated.  Try not to worry too much...I have known other dogs who needed to be on meds for seizures and they have done very well and lived normal life spans.  Please keep us posted.

I've had two dogs who both lived long lives with severe seizures.  With that being said, most idiopathic epilepsy (epilepsy with no known cause- i.e.: brain tumor, head trauma, etc) manifests by age 2.  In older dogs, seizures are more often caused by another disease process.

Both of my dogs began seizing relatively early in life.- one a german shepherd/husky mix started at about age 1 1/2, and a newfoundland that started around age 3.  I had an extensive work up (CT scan, MRI, Lumbar Puncture) done on the german shepherd/husky mix, as she didn't have any real trauma that would have caused the seizures.  The newfoundland was a rescue I took in after he had been hit by a car.  He had extensive trauma- both front legs broken, a broken jaw, and all his puppy teeth knocked out.  His were obviously due to head trauma.

So, both were started on phenobarbitol after their seizures began happening pretty often. (More than two a month).  The german shepherd would cluster seize every time a bad storm came through.  She ended up in the ED more often than not, having to be sedated with pentobarbital in order to stop her seizures.  The newfie would seize in the beginning just from stress.  When it became more often, we started meds.

Both did pretty well on just the phenobarbitol, which is a relatively safe medication.  After long term use, it raises the risk of liver cancer (which is what eventually took my german shepherd/husky), but as long as you follow the lab regimen for blood monitoring, you should do OK.  When the phenobarbitol wasn't stopping the seizures anymore, both ended up on potassium bromide.  With the two medications they both did WONDERFUL.  Sampson (the newfie) lived to be 12 and had to be put down because his body was just too arthritic to have a quality of life anymore, and Tasha (the german shepherd/husky) lived to be 12 also.  They told me she would never make it to be 6 years of age.  :-)  I also took them to an acupuncturist, and this seemed to help somewhat....

A seizure generally is not an emotional experience for a dog.  After seizing, just like a human, they are confused- and this seems to cause them the most stress.  Try to keep them in a quiet environment, away from steps or anything they could fall off of/down that would cause injury.  DO NOT put anything in their mouth- it is physically impossible to swallow your tongue- human or canine.  Also, do not put your hand or arm near their mouth.  If you brush up against them, they will bite and not be able to let go- it's an involuntary reaction they can't control.

Seizures use up a lot of energy...the pet will be very sleepy, and tired acting upwards of a day later.  If they are able to walk and control their own secretions (swallow spit ok), then a teaspoon of Karo syrup after the seizure is a good idea to replenish their glucose level.

I know it is VERY scary...but it is a very manageable disease, and your puppy can live a healthy life...good luck!!

Thanks everyone for your help. They took bloodwork which was all okay. They started him on phenobarbital. He had a problem with the Neuro exam, he has limited sensation in his lower back and his left hind leg. The vet is hoping that it's just a post seizure reaction. He has to go back tomorrow for a recheck. Please continue to keep paws crossed.
Thanks Baron & Teresa

I thought they might start him on meds right away because the seizure lasted so long.  One reason Madison was started on pheno after only 2 seizures was that she took a full hour to stop pacing and panting and looking distressed after her second seizure and the vet was a bit concerned that it was taking her neural activity so long to return to normal.  She pointed out gently that dogs don't feel stress like we do and Maddie was not still "worried" about the seizure an hour later.  If she was pacing and panting it was because of continued increased neural activity.

I hope Baron's neuro exam goes better on follow up.  :-(

That's why she started him on meds. It also took him 2 hours to recover.
Baron will be 5 in January.
Great news Baron's follow up neuro test was normal. He just has to come back for routine bloodwork in one month. His weight is also only 34 pounds not 38 I made them use a different scale. Extra treats tonight. Thanks everybody

Such good news!   Let us know how he does.   Maddie was groggy and very slow on walks for the first week or two on pheno.

I will caution you on this:  once he's used to the meds, do not skip a dose!   We forgot Maddie's one evening and came home and found her all shaky and twitchy.   She improved about a half hour after getting the missed dose.   We have forgotten it once or twice before with no problem, but that night for whatever reason she had some obvious withdrawal symptoms.

We got one of those weekly pill cases from the drug store.  We fill it up every Sunday for the following week and then can be sure whether or not she got her doses for the day.

Teresa....good news to hear on Baron!  Just keep on loving on that special guy and let us know how he is doing.

Great news!!!!

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