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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 28400
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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my border collie aged 8 is fit and healthy , in the last 18

Customer Question

my border collie aged 8 is fit and healthy , in the last 18 months he has had 3 "funny turns" where he did not know what was happeningand did not seem to recognize us he also seemed very frightened. these episodes always happen at night and when we have been on holiday after long strenous hill walks he always has lots of water to drink. My vet has proscribed pixion and i am not happy with this as i do not think his symtoms are epileptic fits and i do not want him on medication for the rest of his life unless it is absolutly necesary . What do you think. ps these turns subside over a period of 10 or 12 hours. he sleeps on his bed near me and i would

have woken if he had any kind of convulsions , he did not..

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
Hamish is exhibiting the symptoms of a complex partial seizure (also called psychomotor seizures). Partial seizures used to be called petit mal and are represented by focal or asymmetric sensory or motor activity. Seizures need not be generalized (previously called grand mal) in which bilateral motor activity ("convulsions") with loss of consciousness is seen.
Most of us will allow one mild seizure monthly before considering anticonvulsive medication such as his Pexion. If his "funny turns" last less than 10 minutes, he doesn't lose consciousness, he doesn't become incontinent, and there's no thrashing about, you may elect not to treat. I am concerned, however, that his post-ictal (after seizure) phase lasts 10-12 hours. Many dogs will normalize within 1-2 hours.
Seizure activity that becomes more frequent - clustering, for example, which is defined as more than one seizure within a 24 hour period - or more severe - more typical of a generalized seizure than a partial one - should be addressed with anticonvulsive medication and if a seizure doesn't stop within 15 minutes, my patient needs to be seen promptly to be heavily sedated or anesthetized. Status epilepticus is diagnosed when seizures don't abate. This is a life-threatening event.
Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

many thanks

when I say his symptoms last 10 to 12 hours he functions normally

but still seems anxious for some time. I do not want to go down the medication road but is there something other, simpler than pexion that he could take on a less regular basis , also could it be brought on by excessive tired ness?

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
You're quite welcome.
Mild post-ictal behavior is tolerable. There aren't any anticonvulsives dosed less frequently than once daily. Benzodiazepines such as diazepam (Valium) and clonazepam (Klonopin) can be administered less frequently and may suffice to at least minimize the frequency of his seizures. Ideally, you would administer such a drug when you detected that a seizure was imminent; otherwise, it would be trial and error to see what the least frequent dosing might be to be effective for Hamish.
Yes, stressors thought to induce seizure activity include excessive tiredness as well as sights, sounds, odors, conflict, and both intracranial (inside the skull/brain tumor, e.g.) and extracranial/outside the skull disorders (a failing liver, e.g.).
Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 2 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it.

I'm going to check back with you in a few weeks for an update. Please feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.

Please disregard the info request.

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