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Thread: Fits

  1. #1


    Hopefully some of the vets may be able to provide me with some answers

    Yesterday while working my GSP had a seizure of some sort had been working as normal then he suddenly collapsed when on point, he is a very fit six year old with no previous history of fits or any other health issues.

    When he collapsed his whole body began to spasm his eyes rolled back in his head,and there was lot of saliva running from his mouth, after a a few minutes the spasms stopped and he appeared dead, but when I put my hand on his chest a rapid heart beat proved otherwise.

    We were in a remote area and quite a long way from any vehicles,so I left a member of the party with him and went to get my truck,would have been close to an hour by the time I got back to them, by that time he was conscious, but disorientated did not appear to recognise me and could not stand.

    One member of the party though just a layman with no medical experience said he thought it was an epileptic fit as he had a dog at one time that had epilepsy and the symptoms seemed the same.

    Quite a long way from the nearest vet,so decided to head for home and my own vet about three hours away.

    By the time I got home I had missed the vets surgery,though I could have called the emergency out of hours service, but by the time I got home he was more or less back to normal,so decided to wait and see how he was today.

    Today he is completely back to normal.

    So to cut a long story short two hours after the fit before he was able to stand three to four hours before being back to normal,but still seem to be a little unsteady on his feet though that might just have been my imagination.

    And ravenously hungry while he has always had a good appetite I have never seen him so hungry.

    So my questions now that he is back to normal, is it worth taking him to the vet is there a test they can do for epilepsy or do I need to wait and see if it happens again?

    Is epilepsy the likely cause? could it be a stroke believe stroke symptoms are different in dogs from humans?

    Now that it has happened once how likely is it to happen again?

    Have kept dogs for close on fifty years and have never seen anything like this before, so any insight would be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    My sympathies, these things are extremely alarming the first time you see them, I'm glad he's back to normal. This may or may not be epilepsy

    Working through your questions.
    There is no single test for epilepsy. We usually arrive at the diagnosis based on eliminating most other causes of seizures and most vets would probably be unconcerned by a single seizure. So in the first instance, I'd make a note of the date, time and what your dog was doing and it would be worth taking him along for a full clinical exam. If everything is normal then at this stage there is little to be gained by further work. If the seizures recur, then taking blood to eliminate other causes (liver, kidney) are worthwhile. If a regular pattern becomes established then MRI can be useful (if expensive) or moving to therapy.
    If it is epilepsy treatment depends upon how frequently the seizures occur and how many of them occur at once. So if a dog has one seizure a year, that is best managed without treatment. If the one episode actually consists of lots of seizures close together, then treatment is justified. So as you can see there is no simple solution. (As a general comment, if any dog fits, then as much as possible, leave them alone and in a dark quiet environment. A video on the mobile can be helpful for us to see)

    Now - how hard was he working and when did he last eat before working? There is a well documented incidence of low blood sugar in working dogs that can give the exact symptoms you are describing. It is often transitory so by the time you get your dog to the vets, everything is normal and tests show normal blood sugar levels. The answer is to keep some food handy - just small bits.

    You've said your GSP is six. In my experience, thats relatively old for epilepsy to have its first presentation, so I'd be looking at the hypoglycaemia as a more likely cause. IF it is epilepsy, the treatment can be highly effective and they can live perfectly normal lives

    Best Wishes

  3. #3
    Buchan, Thank you very much for your comments, giving me a better understanding of what I may be dealing with.

    Thanks once again.
    Last edited by bogtrotter; 13-10-2013 at 12:03.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bogtrotter View Post
    Buchan, Thank you very much for your comments, giving me a better understanding of what I may be dealing with.

    Thanks once again.

    My lab was six or seven when he had his first fit, they come in lots of three with him spaced a couple of days apart one minor, one major and one minor. It's heart breaking seeing him having them but as he has them very infrequently, once maybe twice a year took to the vet and although he knows about them told me not to worry. As for medication he said I should not go down that route untill they are a problem, more frequent.


  5. #5
    On one of my shoots a beater used to work 2 GSPs and the same happened to one, after rushing him to the vet and blood test and xrays he was told the dog had a dicky heart, I wonder ifit is something to do with the breed. My old Labrador has had 2 fits which I put down to heat. But other dogs I have had threw the years that have had fits were older dogs and there liver was starting to fail; which sends ammonia to the brain which make them fit, It could be a number of things even the start of Diabetes

  6. #6
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    where men are men and sheep are worried
    Some years ago i had a patterdale x collie , she worked like a trogen to the gun then without warning collapsed on a walked up shoot , rushed her to the vet and he diagnosed epilepsy . The treatment was hit and miss and sadly one morning after i had gone on a clay shoot without her , she went into a fit and never came out , she was 5 year old at the time .

  7. #7
    SD Regular
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Noth Yorkshire(ish)....Other places in Scotland depending Which deer i'm after!
    we have a border terrier that randomly fits, his symptoms aren't as severe as your GSP but it is a seizure type fit. We haven't taken him to the vets as the symptoms are match canine epileptoid cramping syndrome, its a surprisingly thing but little heard of. google it and see what you think.


  8. #8
    Sorry to hear of your dogs seizure.
    I have had a litter of GWPs some years ago which, despite careful breeding, had two epileptic dogs in. They were both young though when first having fits. I know how distressing it seems but what excellent advice Buchan gives and hopefully your own vet will also be supportive and helpful.
    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Thanks for all the comments guys, check up and tests at vets have, not found anything, so hypoglycaemia suspected, will just have to wait and see if it happens again, for the moment he is well, back to his normal self.

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