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Hi Jennasdad.

Yes, there is a proven hereditary link in GSD’s, Goldens and Labradors. To the extent that there is, in the laboratories a DNA test under trial for Labradors. I have to say that I wonder if the reason for the test being developed for Labradors has anything to do with the fact that it is far and away the largest breed, so likely to be the biggest money spinner for the companies! (Or am I just a little over sceptical of their motives?)

As to lines, yes, they are traceable to people in the know although to my knowledge there is no database in Labradors. The late Pat Chapman who’s Flatcoat Shargleam Blackcap went best in show at Crufts in 1980 was a mind of information on Epilepsy and helped me so much when Beth was Epileptic. Her second breed was Goldens, and she did maintain a database of affected lines in Goldens. She also named and shamed which did not endear her to the breeders! She was a wonderful person and a very sad loss to both Flatcoats and to dogs in general when she sadly died.

Regards, John
 

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Various people have interests in different areas. Probably Dr Isabella Kraft's book on PRA affected lines is the only "Official" book I can think of. Unfortunatly it appears out of print because I've been trying to find a copy for a long time.

As another little point of interest, it was stated in passing at the American Border Club's 2004 Health Seminar that the scientists are very close to a DNA test for Labradors for HD!!!

Regards, John
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Hi John,

Thanks for that info.

I'd just like to ask your opinion on when to consider putting Charlie on medication. I still feel the best course is to keep watching him at the moment - keeping as detailed notes as possible of his fits/seizures and with luck, getting a video of one in action.

Two final questions:

At what frequency and severity of fitting would you consider it appropriate to use medication?

Is Charlie suffering any brain damage every time he fits?

Cheers John.

Regards,

Leigh.
 

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Mmm, the $64000 question!

Lets take the second question first.

Is Charlie suffering any brain damage every time he fits?
As I've said, the late Pat Chapman helped me so much when Beth was around. When I told her I was not using any medication her comment was, "You do realise she suffers a little brain damage every time she fits, don't you." I have to say this did not cheer me up!!! But what I will say, in the case of Beth she never materially changed during her life. She did seem to know when a fit was coming on, and in later years seemed to lack a little confidence around strange dogs at that time. At all other times she was exactly the same at 13 years old that she was at 3 years old.

My own thoughts, for what they are worth, is that if the situation is not changing, the fits are not getting more frequent (Allowing for the fact that the spacing of the fits appears to vary anyway.) and the attacks are not getting more severe, is that there cannot be any great damage being done.

At what frequency and severity of fitting would you consider it appropriate to use medication?
This one is difficult!!! Great strides have been made in veterinary medicine over the years, due in no small part to the money made available through vet insurance. The drugs are much kinder these days so I think it fair to say that I would probably recommend medicating earlier now than in the days of Beth. As a thought for you. When talking to Pat, she told me of a herbal medicine which she swore by. Unfortunately I never made a note of it because I felt it did not need it at that time, and I could always ask her again later if ever the need arose. But then of course, sadly she died. It might be worth ringing the help line at Dorwest on 870-733-7272. their web site is:-

http://www.dorwest.co.uk/index.htm

I think the answer is, can you cope? Is it getting worse? Is the frequency getting worst?

Sorry, I don't think there is any one answer.

One last point. There does often seem to be a regular cycle. A couple of fits close together may both be part of the same cycle. In Beth's case, and in the case of a friend's Flatcoat cross, the cycle was around 6 weeks. It was possible for her to miss a fit, or even two, in which case the spacing would be 12 or 18 weeks, but it could always be traced back to the same 6 week pattern. This was the reason for me suggesting a diary.

Very best wishes, John
 

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Hi Leigh and Mari,

Valarian and Scullcap is one herbal remedy that is used for seizures... I use this with Sherpa ...unfortunatley i didn't know about it before he was started on his Epilease... It's a liquid and he has 7 drops daily in his food.. It's 1 drop per 5 kgs of weight and it has a long shelf life too... :D

Wish i had known about it before having to go down the prescribed medication route but it's herbal and very safe to use if you are worried about Charlies seizures becoming more frequent etc... The other herbal remedy i use after a seizure is Bach flower Rescue Remedy i give him 4 drops on some kibble after a fit ..this helps keep him calm and stress free ( i also give myself 2 drops of this!!! as i'm stressed seeing him go through it..so this helps me remain calm afterwards and stops Sherpa feeling he has to comfort me!!! )

HTH sending Charlie big hugs again,

Trizia and Sherpa x
 

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Discussion Starter #28
Hi Trizia,

Thanks for that info. I'll keep a note of that for potential future use, but we'll just see how Charlie progresses for now.

I already have some of the Bach rescue Remedy in the house and will use that if he fits again.

Once again, many thanks for your help and advice,

Leigh, Mari and Charlie.
 

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Hi! I'm a first-timer at being in a forum, but found your site when I was looking into info on a "seizure" that one of my labs, Cooper, has had since he was 4 mos. old (he's 4 years old now).

Despite taking him to two different vets, with endless changes to his medication, I was still convinced that he did not have normal epilepsy. I used to work for a vet years ago and saw epileptic seizures and this is not the same. His were just as you described for Charlie, and also seemed to occur when he got excited. I even gave a video to our one vet, who sent it to his college professor. Both discounted that it could be a "movement disorder", like CECS.

I won't go into his whole history, but Cooper has been on meds since he was a year old and has been prescribed as much as 8 Phenobarbital tablets and 20 ml. per day of Potassium Bromide per day, which sedated him to the to the point that at times he could barely walk. He was finally able to go about two months without a "seizure", but then had liver failure from the Phenobarbital. His dosage had to be reduced, to only two Phenobarb pills and 2 1/2 ml. of PBr, but that resulted in even more frequent episodes. . . one or two ever other day.

I went back to researching and ran across another site about CECS, which included videos that looked just liked Cooper's episodes! It said that they had great success by a change in diet. I communicated with the vet associated with the website and he advised that the diet change was based on their findings that the disorder was related to the dogs' ability to process proteins. They recommended no beef proteins or chemical preservatives. We proceeded to put him on Wellness brand dry dogfood, the Fish and Sweet Potato type. I chose this one instead of a chicken or lamb type because I'd read that fish and sweet potato was good for healing the liver. He has not had a seizure since being fully switched over to the new diet - - over a month ago! And since he's on such a low dose of meds, he's also back to being as active and energetic as he was before!

I know it's very early to say this change in diet is the answer, but I am certainly more optimistic than I've been for the last few years. It might be worth a try with Charlie.
 

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Hi Maureen,

Many thanks for the information.

Fingers crossed, Charlie has been fine since I last wrote in. We've tried to make sure he doesn't get awoken and suddenly excitable as this happened both times his seizure occurred.

I seem to remember reading of issues in digesting certain types of animal proteins when I first started researching Charlie's problem, and since, have not given him any hide chews or pigs ears. He does get the occasional beef Schmacko (have I spelt that right?), but I'll reconsider this based on your info.

Since we've had Charlie (we got hold of him at 8 weeks old, and have had him 2 yrs), he's been fed IAMs, the large breed youngster formulation at first, and now large breed adult. The protein is mainly derived from chicken, egg and fish - no beef, but I'll make a note of the food you give Cooper and we may try Charlie on it if his seizures resurface.

I'm glad to read you've found a way around Cooper's problems without too much reliance on drugs, which, for the reasons you've illustrated, was something we absolutely wanted to avoid.

I'll post any news on Charlie on this topic thread as and when it occurs, hopefully this won't be very often.

Once again, thanks for your advice Maureen, we'll be keeping beef out of Charlie's diet from now on.

Leigh, Mari and Charlie.
 

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I hear you......

My almost 2 year old black lab starting having similar episodes about 1 year ago. She has always had exaggerated stretching since she was little -- thought it was cute never realized it could be the sign of something. She has her episodes when she is woken from a deep sleep. She gets a little head bob (think bobble head dolls!), looks right at me, looks like she is trying to straighten her legs but they keep bouncing back to her face. She rarely goes onto her side unless i put her on her side. She usually puts her head down and her butt up in the air as close to above her head as possible. SHe responds to everything i say. This last no more than 30 -45 seconds, usually she stretches out on the floor relaxed but stretching all of her limbs out while i pet her. i havent been able to get it on film because as soon as i go to get my phone, she tries to follow me and bumps into stuff. Not sure if this is CECS or epilepsy but i don't want to put her on meds unless i have to. I do notice that this seems to correlate with dehydration, so i have taken to making pedialyte ice cubes and give her one everyday -- she hasn't had an episode for over a month since i have been giving her the cubes. She is extemely athletic so i worry about changing her food as this has been the best balance i have found. Have you found out or gotten a better diagnosis for you dog?
 

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This is a very old thread!!

My seven year old lab was diag with paroxysmal dyskinesia several years ago. CECS is thought to be a form of paroxysmal dyskinesia. This is a link to a video clip of one of his episodes - though what you describe does sound slightly different. He remains fully conscious and responsive throughout. He's been collapsing since he was two.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdifQO2qevg

If you see any similarities, or if I can help in any way, please get back in touch.

Incidentally dietary changes have not improved the frequency of these episodes.

Oooops - edited cos I forget to add the link :oops:
 

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This is a very old thread, and things don't stand still. Fresh medications are now available, (though in some cases hellishly expensive!! Keppra and Gabapentin are two.) But in the main Phenobarb and or Potassium Bromide are still the drugs of choice, with the newer meds really developed to treat dogs who do not respond to those original drugs. Keppra

Then there is a third condition, Paroxysmal Dyskinesias which gives the appearance of Epilepsy! Life gets harder rather than easier!

Another development is to question CECS. Does it exist as a separate condition, or is it simply a form of Paroxysmal Dyskinesias ? Certainly Prof. Ned Patterson in America has moved towards this thinking.
 
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