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Bruce is driving me barmy at the moment with nighttime pacing and asking to go out and then not knowing why he's out there. Does your epileptic dog do this and if so, is it sporadic or does he/she always do it? How do you handle it?

Also, myy daughter is against us crating Bruce in case he has a fit and catches his claws in the sides (he really 'runs' when he fits) but do you think it's better to let him get on with it and pace (and biff me as he paces and pant and slobber on me) or to put him in a smaller area in the hope he'll settle.

Any advice/shared experiences welcome. If none, I needed to get it off my chest anyway so thanks for listening...

a very tired Carol x
collies r best
Hector did this almost all the time so i sympathise with you. The trouble was that he always wanted to be near me so i couldn't put him elsewhere to get some peace but he drove me mad sometimes even though i knew he couldn't help it.I really dont know what the answer /solution is as i just put up with it as i didn't know what else to do. err.gif Its so frustrating for you and your dog as neither of you can get proper sleep or have the magical answer to solve it. If it was very warm i always left a large fan on as if Hec was too warm it did seem to aggrevate the pacing.
that's how Bruce is, he gets upset if I'm not near, that's why I don't like shutting him in the kitchen (I sleep in the living room next to the kitchen) but sometimes I have to to get enough sleep to cope at work...
Does the pacing happen after he has had a fit? If so thats very common, all be it very frustrating and tiring just to watch. Is he on epiphen?
It always happens after a fit and in a way, I can handle that, but lately he is pacing anyway even when he doesn't actually fit (he's also having partial seizures). He's on as high a dose of epiphen and pot. bromide as he can tolerate without being so groggy it affects his quality of life.
What about getting a soft crate?
Toby takes seizures but not very often at the moment (touch wood), I have a area under the stairs where i put him to calm down, i used to put him in the Kitchen with a half door but he used to jump it then run over everything including my daughters bed and toys, so i put up a dog gate (like a child gate) and made it so he couldnt jump over the gate, it is carpeted so he has a resonably safe place to have a seizure. If he knows i am in the house he screams for attention so i just go and sit upstairs very quietly for half an hour or so and leave him in this area giving him time to settle. He does ask to go out when not confined and is also very confused with what he is doing many times falling over and in danger of hurting himself, so this area helps by giving him a quiet space to collect himself, i find he recovers much faster in this space rather than when he would wander around, If i do not catch it in time i leave him to have his seizure then let him out for a wee and put him in his Quiet place. I would defo recomend a area like this for any dog with this problem.


Don't know if you have seen this helpful website with a very very lot of info. No direct experience myself but I know someone experienced and knowledgeable and very helpful if any one wants more info please PM me for contact details.
thanks guys

have been up all night with him we're all shattered

C x
Hi,just wondering, hope this doesnt sound like 20 questions, we've owned 2 epi labs now, our first passed away 4 years ago at the age of 10 and we just lost our rescue girl last week, and in the battle to try and give her a normal life i did hours and hours of research so just wanted to know - How old is he and at what age did he start fitting?What dosage of epiphen and PB is he on?Has the night time pacing only started recently or has he always done it? What are his partial seizures? Our girl was having what I can only describe as partial seizures approx 5-10 times a day.
ok mollie moo, I will try through my sleep deprived haze

Bruce is 5 and he started fitting at 15months. At first, once they got controlled with phenobarb, fits could be 3-6 months apart, then he went to two months and then he had a cluster so started the pot. bromide as well. He then went back to 2-6 months, then to 6-8 weeks then since January it's been every 2-3 weeks.

The mini seizures tend to consist of him standing on the spot and his head kind of judders and he sometimes starts sniffing and checking things in the way he does post-fit. There have only been 3 or 4 of these lately that I have noticed.

dosage I can't say off the top of my head (am on coffee break at work) but it's 5 tabs of epiphen a day and two pot. bromide and if he goes any higher, he gets all zombified and starts falling over.

He has always had spells of night-time pacing and usually just when we're all at the end of our tether, he stops it, which is what we're hoping is going to happen this time as we're all exhausted, including Bruce.

anything else you want to know, please ask

I just had a thought - six months ago he was driving us mad like this and six months before that he bust out through the window - my friend thinks a bitch in heat might be the problem (Bruce is entire as we're afraid to risk an anaesthatic to have him 'done'). Let's hope that's the case and he'll settle down soon!

I would strongly advise you to get in touch with Margaret James, Secretary of the Phyllis Croft Foundation for Canine Epilepsy here in the UK for advice.

Personally I would not crate as I agree with your daughter. Skye would have grand-mal cluster siezures at night and be like a bull in a china shop - I know what it's like to have the lack of sleep and the worry etc etc etc - having spent many a night up with him and greeting the dawn chorus. Basically we made sure he only had access to the hall (had stair gate across stairs), shut front room door (due to too many objects for him to crash into) and made sure there was a clear area in the dining room including wrapping blankets around table legs (as sometimes he would sleep against wall near dining room table) this meant his head was protected from him banging against it.

Usually we would hear him (in fact even now he's gone I only have to hear a bump in the night and i'm awake!) I would attach a lead to him after the siezure and guide him but allow the pacing - this is the brain 'whizzing' and all you can do is 'damage' prevention and allow the brain to start to slow down - remember a siezure can be the equivalent of you running a 10 mile marathon.

To me crating will cause even more stress and I would think has a high risk of triggering another siezure. Remember they have no control and are usually unconscious throughout.

The Phyllis Croft Foundation have a network of support counsellors who you can ring at any time. There is also lots and lots of other information on the website AND they are in touch with Professor Clare Rusebridge Canine Neurologist for advice etc.

Please don't crate! Make sure everything is out of the way (as much as is possible).

And I so so know how this feels (as I know other's do to - it's one of the most awful conditions to deal with and saps every bit of energy from you).

Take care

Sandra hug.gif
We are going through the same with our Blu. He paced for 3 hours one night - going in and out of the garden (we have a dogflap) and around and around in circles. Blu has worn his paws to bleeding before. sad.gif
After his cluster fits, he is grumbly and defiant. Very hungry and thrisy. But we all understand that he has a huge headache and the drugs get increased which makes him more spaced!

At the moment we just try to ride with it - its horrible to see though sad.gif
thanks guys and don't worry, we're not going to crate, we're just looking at a way to turn the sticky out bit of the kitchen into a little safe 'room' for him, but we probably won't do it. Bruce seems much more chilled this evening and is very tired (as are we) after the last few nights. I will let you know how tonight goes.

Thanks for your advice, I will have a look at that site.
I'm with others. My Sammy was like this, and we found the easiest way was to moderate our life around this. The pacing afterwards was in a way worse than the fitting - there's a process for the fitting but afterward it's an endurance task. We soon learned it was easier to have Sammy with us at all times so we could control him on-lead afterwards rather than him be on his own. After a fit he'd be put onlead till he had calmed. We found there was no easy way around this unforthunately err.gif

I know you may possibly do this already as you have lived with this awhile, but we found the "rescue remedy in vanilla ice cream" thing, along with some TTouch, reduced the recovery time somewhat. Made us feel better too as we were doing something other than waiting. sad.gif
He slept! We all slept! We upped his tablets just for a couple of days to give his brain chance to stop whizzing and all got a good night's sleep

Bruce was so funny yesterday - every time I looked at him, he would lie down as if to say 'look, I can settle!' and if he was already lying down, he would put his head down and make himself as flat as possible. He was so happy this morning and couldn't wait to tell me he was good because he hadn't moved all night. Bless him, we don't scold him because it's not his fault but he knows he's kept us up and that changes our routine (and changes in routine will never do in Bruce world) so it bothers him.

many thanks everyone for your support, sometimes it's good to reach out to people and know you're not alone when you're going through it, hopefully this particular episode is over for now God willing

thanks again

Carol x
sorry to crash the thread can people tell me what they use ?? we have phenobarbital 1 a day , does anyone get it on line or only from vets and is this a strong medication or heavy ???
QUOTE(cracker @ 17th Aug 2008, 11:27 am) *

sorry to crash the thread can people tell me what they use ?? we have phenobarbital 1 a day , does anyone get it on line or only from vets and is this a strong medication or heavy ???

PB can only be prescribed from vets (or online with a prescription from your vet I would think). It basically works on the neurons in the brain (sedative affect) but is not neuron specific (there's lots of them!). So the idea is that it keeps them in a calm state for most of the time.

For PB to be affective (and it is a dodgy one depending how your dog metabolises the drug) you normally give a dose every 12 hours. So, Skye was on 3 a day, so would have 1.5 at 7 am and another 1.5 at 7 pm day in, day out to maintain the therapautic affect. It is also important to keep a strict 12 hour dosage because if you don't, what happens the 'level' of the drug in the blood stream dips thus basically opening a window for a siezure to occur. Skye also had Potassium Bromide alongside PB.

That's why, when you have your blood tests done to check the levels (particularly if siezures have occurred), you need to do the test before the next dose of PB is due - so that the vet can guage the level of the drug in the bloodstream prior to a second dose of PB being administered. This helps the vet decide on the correct dosage (and it is not easy to get the correct dosage but very much trial and error.

So is the 1 a day you are administering half in the morning and half at night for it to have an affect?

Also once your dog is on PB, you must continue to give it. Vet's do ween dogs off the drug but this must be done under strict veterinary supervision. The drug is an AED (Anti Epilepsy Drug).

The other thing to bear in mind with PB is the drug also has quite a journey before it reaches the brain where you want it to do it's 'job'. So, if your dog has diarrhoea (sp), and you gave it the PB an hour or so beforehand, the chances are the drug will have come out with the diarrhoea and not got tot he brain. This can then leave your dog open to siezure. But you would need to speak to your vet for advice if this ever happened but it is worth mentioning as lots of people aren't aware.

If you want to learn more, if you go back to the beginning of the thread the link is on their for the Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels website where you'll find extensive info on PB and Potassium Bromide (and other drugs) and take a look at the link I gave to the Phyllis Croft Foundation which is also a good resource for all things to do with Canine Epilepsy.

Just to answer the other part of your question - it is a drug which must be prescribed under the strict supervision of your vet due to it's nature. Long term use of it at high doses does have it's risks of liver damage - but your vet will test regularly for this (and this is more likely to happen in dog's who have been on the drug at high doses over a long period of time).

So to be honest, due to the nature of the drug and what it's for, I would advise you to maintain a close contact with your vet and personally, for me, would buy it from my vet - they way I can ensure the drug is well within date etc. But that's just my opinion. It's not a drug to mess about with.


Sandra smile.gif
thankyou for that, its a dog that has just come into my rescue and yep have already saved the link you put up earlier wink.gif

no the dog has been on one a day did not say to break it up or anything err.gif

I will take for her visit to vet and am aware i cannot get over the web with out prescrition just digging for what kind of price im looking at was thinking its possible 35/40 a month ??? at omly one a day , she has had no siezures on this amount so far but will get her blood checked and ask for advice on the 12 hour bit thankyou for that and i will have a look at site just that im not good at reading loads and loads rolleyes.gif

anyway thankyou wink.gif
i have a epileptic GSD and as he has hip dyplasia as well as epilepsy the pacing is particually heart breaking if he has cluster fits the pacing can last up to 24 hours.
Years ago our vet recoomende epitaur which contains taurine and can be bought off the internet without prescription, this can be used along side the epilaese and ephiphen and is very good. (he fits about every 6 months instead of every week)
we also try the ice cream and resuce remedy but in he still apces though the fits are not as bad.
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