Late Onset Epilepsy in Labradors

long_range_rob

Well-Known Member
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
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
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
 
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Apache

Well-Known Member
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.

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?
 

norma 308

Well-Known Member
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
 

Wrens Mews

Well-Known Member
This is where insurance really does come in to its own - wish you all the best with your Lab'

Mike
 

long_range_rob

Well-Known Member
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!
 

Highlander

Well-Known Member
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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