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On the epilepsy lists, one seizure a year seems to be relatively common.

For dogs that have epilepsy, or for middle-aged plus dogs that start having that seizure pattern?

I never paid much attention to those discussions but I recall that once-a-year (or 6 months) was a common pattern that was mostly independent of age. I don't recall if there was an epilepsy causation pattern established, though.
Normally, "good" seizures don't get mentioned on the lists, but a while ago there was a request for success stories. It certainly boosted my spirits to read about the many dogs who are relatively seizure-free and don't require medication.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
If epilepsy often progresses in dogs, why do some dogs stop having seizures >altogether?

Perhaps it wasn't really "epilepsy" in the first place? Morag, as you may or may not remember, has had ONE grand mal seizure in the 6 years I've owned her, and what I believe were a number of petit mal and/or focal seizures.
The grand mal occurred within the first month I owned her; I took her to the vet, bloodwork was done to rule out poisoning etc., diagnosis "idiopathic epilepsy".
No medication prescribed, since it was the first known episode... yet she never had another, and over time the smaller episodes diminished and eventually disappeared, AFAICT.
Given that she'd been spayed in an advanced state of pregnancy, and that neither her previous owners NOR the shelter had known she was pregnant, my best guess is that the "epilepsy" was actually some sort of dietary and/or chemical imbalance which righted itself over time.
Why on earth would a dog have a single seizure once a year?

My previous epileptic dog - and he WAS epileptic; it was due to a head injury in a freak accident - never had more than one or two a year, usually triggered by heat.
It certainly boosted my spirits to read about the many dogs who >arerelatively seizure-free and don't require medication.

Laddie, the dog I had from age 11 to age 23, never had more than one or two seizures a year (he had full grand mals, never seemed to have smaller ones), and was never medicated. I don't recall exactly how old he was when he sustained the injury, but it was fairly early in his life - he wasn't more than 3 or 4.
My previous epileptic dog - and he WAS epileptic; it was due to a head injury in a freak accident - never had more than one or two a year, usually triggered by heat.

My eskie also had seizures after running head first into a wall. He had them about once every 3 months for a while, and then stopped having them altogether.

Leah Roberts, Family Dog Trainer
It's A Dog's World
http://hometown.aol.com/dfrntdrums/myhomepage/index.html Get Healthy, Build Your Immune System, Lose Weight http://re-vita.net/dfrntdrums
My previous epileptic dog - and he WAS epileptic; it ... than one or two a year, usually triggered by heat.

My eskie also had seizures after running head first into a wall. He had them about once every 3 months for a while, and then stopped having them altogether.[/nq]It isn't uncommon for humans who have sustained head injuries to have seizures, so although I don't know about dogs specifically, it makes sense to me that would not be all that uncommon in them. In humans, the seizures can last a lifetime or they can just happen around the time of the injury and then resolve. Neurologists will often put a person on anti-seizure meds for a while after a head injury but then wean them off after a certain time to see if they can go it on their own.

For that matter, some epileptics can go without medication and still be seizure-free for long periods. I don't think you can really tell the difference without brain scans, but the expense of scans is going to make it less likely not only to know what is going on with any individual's dog but also to have good research on the way it all plays out in dogs. I'm glad that the medications that have been developed work on both epileptic and non-epileptic seizures in humans and that they work in both humans and dogs.

Paula
"The smell of burning rubber chickens and
singed roller-skating chimps will teach a man to hate." swt
It isn't uncommon for humans who have sustained head injuries to have seizures,

Yep. I've personally known two humans who became epileptic after suffering head injuries in car accidents- my uncle, and a close friend.
so although I don't know about dogs specifically, it makes sense to me that would not be all that uncommon in them.

And yep again. AFAIK (I haven't studied it in any detail, though) the mechanisms of siezure are similar in the two species.
In humans, the seizures can last a lifetime or they can just happen around >the time of the injury and then resolve.

That, I didn't know- interesting!
My uncle's siezures lasted his lifetime, and in fact ultimately killed him, although they weren't the direct cause. He suffered the injury in his 20's (before I was born), and died in his mid-70's of complications from severe burns suffered because he had a petit mal while cooking. The friend, I'm not sure about- we were good friends in our 20's, but our lives have drifted apart- however, I know he was still having issues 5-6 years after the accident.
In his case, it wasn't realized that he was having an issue until nearly a year later; a bunch of us went to an outdoor 4th of July celebration, and he sort of disappeared when it was over.
Come to find out, the flashing lights on the police cars directing traffic had triggered a petit mal, and he had walked around "in a daze" for several hours - he had no memory of anything from just after walking past the police cars, until finding himself wandering around a huge and nearly empty parking lot.

I don't think you can really tell the difference without brain scans, but the expense of scans is going to ... on with any individual's dog but also to have good research on the way it all plays out in dogs.

Exactly. Very few people are going have the funds to spend that sort of money on dogs, and I don't think the interest is there to do research.
I'm glad that the medications that have been developed work on both epileptic and non-epileptic seizures in >humans and that they work in both humans and dogs.

Handy, that.
I'm glad that the medications that have been developed work ... >humans and that they work in both humans and dogs.

Handy, that.

Unfortunately, as new and better anti-epilepsy drugs (AEDs) are developed for humans, the older (and usually less expensive) ones get dropped by the wayside. Because it's still sometimes used with humans, I suspect that phenobarbital will be around for a long time. I've heard that Potassium Bromide is getting harder to find, which doesn't really make sense to me because it's just a pinch of K and a pinch of Br in some distilled water. One just has to search out a compunding pharmacy.
I have noticed, though, that the drugs usually only used on animals (like KBr and, to a certain exent, PB) are more expensive every time I have a prescription filled.

Also, there are some new human AEDs that have not proven effective on dogs, so there must be some disparity in the epileptic mechanism.

Matt. Rocky's a Dog.
What are you, the clock police? :}

i was going to mention it to Sally, myself. i guess you missed the explanation Matt and i gave of why people's clocks being set incorrectly can be a big pain in the ***? basically, for those who switch back and forth between different machines, your messages will not be seen because they'll either be marked read or will never be downloaded in the first place, based on date/time.

shelly
http://home.bluemarble.net/~scouvrette
http://cat-sidh.blogspot.com / (updated dailyish, apparently)
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