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Thread: Late Onset Epilepsy in Labradors

  1. #1

    Late Onset Epilepsy in Labradors

    Does anyone have any experience with epilepsy in Labs?

    I have a 6 year old black lab who first presented fitting last year on a walk. He has now had 3 or 4 fits since then. As usual our vet has been flippin useless and just wants to start racking up a huge bill and diagnosing a lifelong illness.

    My questions are, is there any root cause to this? Is it really treatable or just something to be aware of?

    Any help gratefully received.

    Rob
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad.

    Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they never get it wrong.

  2. #2
    Lots of reasons why dogs will have seizures. Unfortunately to try to help will need more details. In general seizures relate to an abnormality affecting the brain, but that can be disease elsewhere eg the liver that can cause the brain to malfunction. In order to determine why a dog is having fits it is necessary to rule out non brain illness (generally by blood tests initially) before ruling out brain problems by advanced imaging (MRI) and analysis of cerebrospinal fluid. Unfortunately even with all of these tests it is not always possible to identify the cause in every dog when the diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy is made. I would suggest that you talk to your vet about how best to proceed
    Last edited by srvet; 30-03-2013 at 21:41.

  3. #3
    Posts like this just make me cross.

    You have a dog that started fitting at 5 years old. That would still be 'top end' of the onset of bog standard normal epilepsy.

    Quote Originally Posted by long_range_rob View Post
    As usual our vet has been flippin useless and just wants to start racking up a huge bill and diagnosing a lifelong illness.
    So, to rule out other causes requires a minimum of a good physical examination and bloods to rule out other causes. An MRI is nice but expensive, often CSF can be checked at the same time. The diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy is a diagnosis of exclusion - ie ruling out other causes.

    You could easily spend 2000 on a thorough work-up. Without some investigation the vet hasn't got a clue what is wrong with the dog or the likely prognosis. Psychic powers do not exist.

    The most common cause of fitting would be bog standard idiopathic epilepsy. Labs are an over-represented breed. It can usually be controlled but will require lifelong medication and regular blood tests to monitor the treatment. Assuming that it is epilepsy. Often [with PITA owners or those who do not have the funds to look after their dog properly or do not have pet insurance] we may have to cut corners and try treatment and see if it helps. Some dogs do not stabilise on the standard medications and can need to use other, more expensive drugs or even referral to a specialist.

    So what happens if you don't treat? Each time a dog has a fit the brain 'learns' and creates pathways - making it that little bit easier for the dog to have another fit. Untreated they become more and more common and longer lasting. Not nice for the dog, nor the owner.

    What exactly do you want or expect from your vet? The dog diagnosed and cured for the 25 consult fee?

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  4. #4
    The wife's German shepherd (4) has had three or four now over the last twelve mth we are told to log and if they last more than 5 mins administer diazepam rectubes 10 mg .
    regards
    ​norma

  5. #5
    This is where insurance really does come in to its own - wish you all the best with your Lab'

    Mike
    Specialist boarding for working dogs in Staffordshire.
    All breeds of dogs trained, puppies and older dogs sometimes available
    Click here------->Wren's mews, kennels and cattery.<-------Click here

  6. #6
    Thanks all for the feedback.

    Apache, sorry to make you cross but my opinion is my opinion. If YOU don't like it then don't bother responding!
    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not using it in a fruit salad.

    Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they never get it wrong.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by long_range_rob View Post
    Thanks all for the feedback.

    Apache, sorry to make you cross but my opinion is my opinion. If YOU don't like it then don't bother responding!
    Apache's response, gave you all the info you require short of an actual physical investigation, and all for free!

    If you feel your vet's have been "flipping useless", have you thought about getting a second opinion??

    Wait - there in lies the problem, you already know that you will get the same well informed advice, about the requirements of a proper investigation. Which means you will have accept the responsibility of owning a dog, and pay out some money to ensure the correct diagnosis and treatment for a loyal and loving friend.

    Every answer you have had on this question has basically said it is a diagnosis based on exclusion, you have your answer. There are no short cuts.

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