My 4-yr-old male Pembroke has just started having seizures. He had 3 within 2 weeks, 2 of those within 24 hr. I took him to the Vet after the first one and they ran blood work which all came back normal. After the cluster seizures (2 within 24 hr.), I took him back to the Vet. She now thinks it is probably epilepsy and he has been started on phenobarbital. Since going on the medication (only 5 days ago), he has not had another episode.

 

I didn't see Corgis listed as one of the breeds that is prone to seizures. How common is this in Corgis? I've had Corgis for the past 40 years and have never seen this before. It scares me because now I'm afraid to leave him alone and go any where, but that is just not practical.

 

Has anyone had any experience with this?

 

Bev

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Hi Bev, I have had experience with this. I had a pem that started having seizures just after he turned 6. His official diagnosis was idiopathic seizures. (Unknown reason for seizures). He had an MRI, and a spinal tap, in addition to blood work. His 1st seizure was in May, and he would only have a seizure about every six weeks. By November he began having them more frequently. We started him on phenobarb. That worked for a while and then he started having more. That is when we saw the neurologist and the MRI and the spinal tap was done. He was put on potassium bromide, in addition to the phenobarb. Again it was controlled for a while and we had to add Keppra (a very expensive antiseizure medication). I really think our baby was and extreme example of what most dogs I know that have had seizures. Looking back we think the seizures were caused by vaccination titers that were too high. He was vaccinated shortly before the seizures started. There is some thought that this can happen. We have a friend that his pem was 5 and started having seizures a short while after her vaccinations. However hers is nowhere near what our baby had. She has been controlled by phenobarb alone. Now a few things: We still vaccinate our pups, however we draw titers prior to vaccinations. If they are in normal range we don't vaccinate, and we wait until the next yr. Otto had cluster seizures as you say your 4yr old has. With phenobarb they tend to gain weight...watch for that, give carrots, green beans as treats as they are low in caloric value. With Otto he needed to have levels of the bromide and the phenobarb drawn about every 2-3months. If his level was too high he was walking "drunk", if too low, more seizures, so I ususally had an idea what the level would turn out to be. I had a great team to care for him. Both his primary vet and his neurologist were great, always available for us. We had valium on hand to give if we noticed a seizure, thus cutting down on the clusters. It is given rectally for the best results. The suggestion to keep him safely away from anything dangerous to him should he have a seizure when you are gone, is a good one as well as to keep him away from the other dogs when he is alone, or you won't be near enough to watch them. The snarling look they have can frighten the other dogs and they may think he will attack. We had a golden when Otto developed seizures and she wasn't fazed at all by his behavior. You know your dogs better and will be able to make your choices. I don't mean to scare you, with anything I have written, only to inform you of our experience with ours. We treated him for almost 3 years before we had to put him down. But he was also diagnosed 4 mo prior to putting him down with a heart condition the cardiologist feels he was born with, and the seizures made it harder on his poor little heart. Just comfort him during the seizures, let him know you are there, the disorientation after is normal, just let him work it out. I hope this helps.
Thank you for your insights and so sorry to hear that you lost yours. I do try to comfort and have read to be calm - hard to do. I have read extensively online about the condition. Yes, your info helps and is greatly appreciated. I had read before all this happened that we over-vaccinate. My Vet actually agrees and had told me that before I acutally researched this online. So, my protocal with my older dogs is to do vaccines every 3 yrs, although I am reading now that maybe the best thing would be to do the titer levels. As far as this dog is concerned, because he is still young, I did get his full set of vaccinations, but that was back in Feb. and he didn't start the seizures until June, so don't see how they could be connected.

The whole subject of vaccinations is very interesting as I have even read that dogs and cats that have been through the initial shots as puppies/kittens, even including rabies vaccine (but of course, we don't have a choice with this one due to law), are probably protected for life. Therefore, due to all the complications that come from vaccines, more and more the advice is to check titer levels before vaccinating. I agree.
I do my puppy shots and then almost never again (except for rabies as mandated by law). I will sometimes let them booster the adults if it's been five years or something but I don't EVER let it be less than three years. And I do no corona, Lyme, kennel cough, lepto vaccines. Only parvo and distemper.
How did you decide which vaccines to eliminate? Just curious. Also, what worries me is what the vets give is mostly a combo shot, so how do you eliminate some of them unless you give your own? And that presents another problem when you either board or have to hospitalize them and they require up-to-date vaccine records. It's a vicious circle.
I grill my vet about which shots and brands they give. Even if I know which shot they generally give, I ask right before the inject it because sometimes they will have the brand I like on backorder and will have a different one instead. I'm probably not always the easiest patient, especially when it comes to things like vaccines (I don't do them past 1 booster at 1 yr old, except Rabies, grrr), but my vet respects me and has told me on more than one occasion that my animals all look fantastic and she thinks I am a great owner/home! She's always trying to get me to take home rescues saying she knows I would take such good care of them! =)
That's great to have a vet like that. My vet does agree with the new protocal for vaccine recommendations.
My dog Oscar has(had) seizures. It started last spring he was just over a year old. He had three cluster seizures within two days. They only lasted a minute or two each but I was terrified. We rushed him to the animal hospital where he stayed the night. My vet explained although not on the top of the list of breeds that can commonly have epilepsy they can be prone to it. Oscar is on a small dose of potassium bromide and has not had a single seizure(fingers crossed) since last year. He is really doing great and we just put the medication in his food each night with dinner so he doesn't have to struggle through having anything forced on him. It was scary but at least with medication it is controlled and he lives a happy and active corgi lifestyle.

I hope your baby boy does just as well on his medication as Oscar.

Melissa
Very glad to hear that your Oscar is doing well. I hope that my Gizmo will do that well. I have my fingers crossed, but scared to be too optomistic just because it has stopped since last Wed. when he went on the medss
Hi! Bev, I knew couple of dogs had a long and happy life with the seizure condition. I hope your corgi will do the same. I am sure you can provide the love and comfort he needs. Just to remind you keep your corgi away from potentially dangerous places like open water, fire place, and stairway when he is home alone. Both of the dogs with seizure condition I knew died from accidents happened during the seizure. I personally had to help my friend to get her dog's body out of a pool after a seizure accident. It was pretty hard on her after all of the effort she put in to help her dog with the seizure and the dog died from a seizure related accident.
That has been my biggest worry in all of this. I'm aware that unless the seizure goes on for a prolonged period of time (I've read variously 5 min. and others 10 min.) that could cause brain damage that probably he would be ok. That's why I posted about being afraid to leave the house because he could have a seizure when no one is at home. I would be sick if he died from a seizure related accident such as you have described. What a nightmare.
I would suggest confining her to a room while you are away where she would be safe. I wouldn't suggest the kitchen as we once found our old corgi/doxie mix Trudi seizuring under a chair. She survived, but that was scary.
That would be scary.

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