My dream puppy, so sad - update Page 3

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Windrider, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Windrider

    Windrider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    I am so sad after an incident this weekend and I just want to commiserate with people who will understand and maybe give a little advice.

    After messing around in competitive dog sports with various rescued Shelties and my current breeder-reject Collie, I finally decided to get serious and acquire a Sheltie puppy from well known show/agility lines. Her sire and dam are both champions (with many ROMs and BISS further back in the pedigree), both OFA tested Excellent (hips and elbows), CEA clear, and tested clear for a few other inherited Sheltie problems. Some related dogs have earned MACHs and OTCHs. In other words, the owners of both sire and dam are very responsible, well-respected breeders who are serious about their breed's health. They also considered Windy the pick of the litter and only let her go because it looked like she was going to go oversized for the very strict size limits on show Shelties.

    Windy is now 7 months old and everything I could have hoped for; incredibly quick learner, drivey as all get-out, and the body structure to stay sound and fast. My agility trainer is very impressed and says she definitely has what it takes to go all the way to a MACH. It even appears that she may stay in size for the breed ring. In fact, I was just getting Windy ready for her first Puppy Match Saturday morning when the "sad" thing happened - and we didn't end up going.

    I have had a Sheltie with epilepsy before (which is why I didn't rescue this time around), but that one had full out grand mal seizures. Windy wasn't doing that, but it did look neurological. She started bobbing her head every three seconds or so... very regularly and definitely involuntary. Gradually the bobbing got more severe, she was more like thrusting her head out and one of her front legs, too, and even snapping her teeth just a little - again every three seconds or so - then it faded into bobbing again, then back to normal. The whole episode lasted for nearly two hours. Windy did not loose consciousness at any time, but she seemed confused and even a little scared, but not in pain. Afterward she was just as if nothing had happened.

    I spent that time cuddling her and crying, and still feel very sad because I am now so afraid poor little perfect Windy is epileptic. She is going to the vet tomorrow to rule out anything else. In the meantime, there are some experienced dog people here - does anyone know what else this could be? She is very young for the onset of epilepsy, which usually appears at 1 to 3 years. She has never had any injuries or gotten into poison. No changes in food and no recent vaccinations. However, she is in heat for the first time.

    I guess I'll share a few pics of my beautiful girl, too.

    10 weeks - best stacking I could get without help. Look at that cute fuzzball!

    13 weeks - look at that attitude! Pretty nice front, too.

    4 months - big head, no fur, awkward puppy stage. At this point I was wondering when she was going to grow some neck! But she was already raring to get on the agility course.

    7 months, a couple weeks before the Puppy Match and her "episode" - she is coming together and turning into a beauty.

    Thanks for letting me share my fears for my beautiful young girl. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2011
  2. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    [​IMG] I am so sorry. I know the heartache of having such hope in a dog only to be disappointed by a medical problem or behavior issue.
  3. Windrider

    Windrider Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Thanks Jamie, I was hoping you would see this. Do you have any idea if Windy's problem could be something other than epilepsy?
  4. love-my-wolves

    love-my-wolves Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2008
    Front Royal, VA
    She is beautiful!!! I'm sorry I can't help on the epilepsy, but I'll send some [​IMG] your way.
  5. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    [​IMG] I'm so sorry your Sheltie is having health issues. She is absolutely beautiful. Let's hope she just has an infection or some other minor illness. [​IMG]
  6. Jamie_Dog_Trainer

    Jamie_Dog_Trainer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Washington State
    Quote:I really don't know. Aren't Shelties prone to epilepsy as a breed? I wish I had some answers for you. The only other thing I can think of is was her blood sugar low...meaning when did she last eat? I know that low blood sugar can cause those kind of weird convulsions.
  7. OnBorrowedWings

    OnBorrowedWings Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 4, 2011
    Lovely puppy!
    I had a young promising border collie start with grand mal cluster seizures. They were very severe...we were able to interrupt them with valium, but I resisted putting him on potassium bromide or phenobarb like the vet wanted to, because although epilepsy is common in border collies (and many breeds), I knew his parents, grandparents, great grands, all their siblings, most of the dogs they produced, etc, and there just wasn't a history of seizures in their line.
    He was already on a raw diet, exposed to minimal chemicals, minimally vaccinated, etc. But it was heartbreaking - I saw his career and possibly his life as a normal dog go down the drain.
    I did a lot of research, and had decided to try gold bead implants when he started seizing again, and I realized that both episodes were right after they sprayed the large agricultural fields behind our three acre fenced dog yard. We started looking for a new place to live (and ended up on a farm with 20 acres surrounded by hundreds of acres of cropland that is fertilized but not sprayed with herbicides.) As long as we lived in that place, I would listen for the spray truck and keep Boon out of the back yard for a few days after spraying. We never did put him on phenobarb.
    I did find out that his sire's litter sister (a trial and farm dog) had seizures, but only after the fields were sprayed.

    My dog is 14 years old now. He had a fulfilling life as a working sheep dog, a high in trial winning obedience dog, and a beloved companion. He never had another seizure after those first two episodes, although his OTCh littermate starting having seizures at age 10, and is heavily medicated.

    Some dogs just have a lower threshold....since your pup is younger than the typical onset, you may want to investigate environmental triggers, which may layer until the threshold is crossed, like...recent rabies vaccination plus lawn treatments plus??

    Best of luck, and keep us posted!
    1 elderly border collie, 1 young Irish water spaniel hooligan, 3 Pyrenean shepherds, a litter of Pyr shep puppies, 4 Lipizzan horses, and a flock of harassed sheep.
    See Pyr shep puppy pics at
    Training and exhibiting in conformation, obedience, agility, freestyle, sheepdog trials, and hunt tests
  8. punk-a-doodle

    punk-a-doodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2011
    I'm so, so sorry. It does sound like seizures (but seizures don't mean epilepsy), the most likely causes for seeing it in a pup being vaccinations, some type of toxin, or illness (even if previous). Sometimes, the cause can be found, and sometimes the type of epilepsy responds very well to treatment. If you look up "dog epilepsy", "dog petite mal", "dog partial seizure", and "dog seizure", you will get some more ideas. I think it was boxers that do a sort of head nod that often improves with age, and you may find that this improves with age or is a one time occurrence. You'll probably run into the youtube video of our dog when searching. He had Aussie in them, and the breed is highly prone to epilepsy. I'm not sure about shelties. He started with petite mals, but would also have eye blinking sessions that would span hours. The seizures themselves were only seconds. When he started having grand mals, they were only seconds long as well. The weird blinking was either in the pre or postictal phases, but I'm not sure which. His behavior would shift for days to weeks though, and the seizures themselves were very hard to notice. While he did not loose consciousness he had seizures that severely effected his mental state and awareness. Some people just encounter fly-biting type episodes (the dog snaps as if at imaginary flies), and these do not seem to negatively impact their life at all. Beautiful dog.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2011
  9. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    are you in a tick-heavy area? The first thought that came to mind was Lyme disease. My SIL's sheltie contacted that while on vacation here in AR and the beginning symptoms were head-bobbing.

    The vet can do a test to rule it out.
  10. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 31, 2008
    Quote:I am so glad you mentioned the vaccines... I had a Malamute "Tala" she was fine till she was about a year old and she started having seizures. The seizures were an exaggerated gait.. shaky knees and drooling. The vet ran every test under the sun but came back empty. The seizures slowly eased off throughout the year. The following year she has her yearly vaccines again and the seizures started again... and again tapered off.. but the following year we did NOT vaccinate her... she didnt have a seizure .. after that we vaccinated her on a modified schedule every 3 months we would take her in for a shot and watch... if all was clear we would proceed with the next round. it was a PIA yes but my dog get her vaccines and she was seizure free.

    When city officials camr round for the dog licences we had a not from the vet saying she was on a modified schedule.. and the same when it came to boarding her... we would check her titers done and had that result along with the vet note and we boarded her no problem.. and the same with the groomer. Tala lived a happy healthy life. she passed at 13 years of age.

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