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mokipono
24th May 2008, 05:22 AM
My cav is 7 years old. When he was 3 he would have episodes once a year for a few seconds and he would come right back around. Lately his episodes have been more frequent. I took him to our vet who charged me close to $900. for tests. The last test was a sonogram. She said he had an enlarged heart with erratic heart beat. But, the sonogram was good for a cav with heart disease. She gave me some heart meds and told us we would prolong his life, and it will get the episodes under control. This was last week. Last night my cav had the worst seizure I've ever seen him have! It was horrible. I call them episodes, or seizures, but the vet called it fainting. What happens is he will be walking and fall over because he can't use his back legs. With the more dramatic episodes his front and back legs are stiff in front of him and he has a seizure, but it doesn't always escalate to this. Can someone help me? I am sitting here crying as I type this post.

Bridam
24th May 2008, 05:27 AM
I'm very sorry about all this. It must be horrible. Our Madison has had two seizures in her first few years. Both of them involved her starting to bob her head and then she kilted over. Did he have a head bob? Did your vet discuss anti-seizure meds with you? If so, was there any reason he couldn't take anti-seizure meds?

Maybe you could keep a video camera handy (I know this would be hard) to try to catch it for the docs?

mokipono
24th May 2008, 05:36 AM
Hi Bridam,
Thank you for your quick reply!
The vet said she will put him on seizure meds, and to stay on the heart meds. This will mean 4 new pills a day. I'm hesitant because it seems like the vet doesn't know what's wrong with him. I don't want to continue with the heart meds because he NEVER had as bad a seizure as last night. He usually falls over and tries to walk with only his front legs. He realizes it's not going to work, so he will lay still for a minute, and then comes right out of it. He doesn't tilt his head or anything. I feel like a bad mom because I didn't give him the heart meds today. But, why should I take the chance of another episode like that?

WoodHaven
24th May 2008, 05:44 AM
Hi Bridam,
Thank you for your quick reply!
The vet said she will put him on seizure meds, and to stay on the heart meds. This will mean 4 new pills a day. I'm hesitant because it seems like the vet doesn't know what's wrong with him. I don't want to continue with the heart meds because he NEVER had as bad a seizure as last night. He usually falls over and tries to walk with only his front legs. He realizes it's not going to work, so he will lay still for a minute, and then comes right out of it. I feel like a bad mom because I didn't give him the heart meds today. But, why should I take the chance of another episode like that?

This sounds so much like episodic falling-- google episodic falling cavalier and see if that fits what is happening to your dog.

Bridam
24th May 2008, 05:44 AM
You shouldn't and you're a good adoptive parent for being so caring! For reference, we were prescribed phenobarbital for seizures after she had decompression surgery from sm.

I personally don't know if it's a seizure or something else. My only experience was with my doberman that had "wobbler's disease," which was a degenerative condition involving the loss of ability to control hind limbs. don't know if cavs can get that.

Bridam
24th May 2008, 05:47 AM
You shouldn't and you're a good adoptive parent for being so caring! For reference, we were prescribed phenobarbital for seizures after she had decompression surgery from sm.

I personally don't know if it's a seizure or something else. My only experience was with my doberman that had "wobbler's disease," which was a degenerative condition involving the loss of ability to control hind limbs. don't know if cavs can get that.

Bridam
24th May 2008, 05:48 AM
http://www.chetbacon.com/wobblers.htm

Bridam
24th May 2008, 05:49 AM
http://www.episodicfalling.com/symptoms.html

with videos

mokipono
24th May 2008, 07:22 AM
Thank you sooo much Birdam, and WoodHaven for your kind replies! I am very grateful for this forum. I watched all the video, and my cav's episodes seem much less severe than what I saw on the videos. One thing I didn't realize is during a seizure there is a loss of consciousness. I hope I understand that right? My cav has absolutetly no loss of consciousness what so ever, he looks scared, but always looks me square in the eye during the whole episode. I pick him up and hold him for a few minutes and then he's fine. Last night was the first time I wasn't able to pick him up because his seizure was so strong. Last night was also the longest amount of time during an episode.

Bridam
24th May 2008, 07:32 AM
i'd see a neurologist pronto and try to take a video but--I have no idea what I'm talking about! - good luck

lady and amber
24th May 2008, 09:54 AM
Hi did you have a look at this site http://cavalierepisodicfalling.com

It sounds just like the episodes that my dog Amber has

mokipono
24th May 2008, 01:56 PM
Hi Lady and Amber, Thank you for your post. I didn't think my cav had episodic falling until I saw the video of Thistle. I'm almost positive that's what my cav has. He doesn't tilt his head or roll over but the leg extension and everything else looks the same. I'm so glad I found this forum! My vet wants to give him anti seizure meds, along with 2 different heart meds. She assured me that it would stop the seizures. But, it did just the opposite. I just didn't feel good about that and I didn't fill the last Rx.
WHAT CAN BE DONE???? IS THERE ANY MEDICATION THAT CAN HELP THE FALLING????

Mary
24th May 2008, 02:03 PM
Please visit the Episodic Falling Snydrome Board and email to Dorothie. She will help you. My little girl has EFS but has had no seizures since she was about 10 months. It comes in varying degrees of intensity. Sassy's seizures or myoclonic episodes were brought on by excitement or play it seems. She was never on medication. After she was spayed and I stopped giving vaccinations she never had another episode so not sure if it was just outgrowing it or the other things that had a positive effect.

Good luck.

lady and amber
24th May 2008, 02:49 PM
Hi Lady and Amber, Thank you for your post. I didn't think my cav had episodic falling until I saw the video of Thistle. I'm almost positive that's what my cav has. He doesn't tilt his head or roll over but the leg extension and everything else looks the same. I'm so glad I found this forum! My vet wants to give him anti seizure meds, along with 2 different heart meds. She assured me that it would stop the seizures. But, it did just the opposite. I just didn't feel good about that and I didn't fill the last Rx.
WHAT CAN BE DONE???? IS THERE ANY MEDICATION THAT CAN HELP THE FALLING????

Email Dorothy at cavalier episode falling she will give you lots of advise, She was very friendly and helpful when I contacted her.
I don't have Amber on any medication but had to change a lot of things we did with her, Amber`s is brought on by exercise, so we can only do short walks and never when its hot,

WoodHaven
24th May 2008, 09:56 PM
I've owned two dogs with seizure disorders-- a cocker we rescued from euthanasia that started having them right after being neutered. The second was a cavalier that had major head trauma and had hydrocephalus. They had grande mal seizures, total loss of consciousness, urination, drooling, defecation. They exhibited certain behaviors before an episode (hiding, spacy acting) and afterward they were frantic and exhausted.
I hope you get some answers for your cavalier.

Karlin
24th May 2008, 10:26 PM
I agree that this really sounds like episodic falling. It would be very difficult for most vets to spot this -- it is rare, and pretty much affects only cavaliers. Dogs with EFS do not generally lose consciousness -- they often do just what you are describing.

I have some information here:

http://board.cavaliertalk.com/showthread.php?t=8883

The board on the EFS site has been discontinued but you can read what is archived. There are some medications you can try. Given that the seizures seem worse you will definitely want to try to address this. One of the EFS website contacts should be able to steer you to what to do next -- probably see a neurologist, either way. There's no test that can verify EFS, it is basically diagnosed on the basis of the episodes, so if you can video one or two, that would be helpful. Good luck and I hope you can quickly find what is going on and address it.

mokipono
25th May 2008, 12:20 AM
Thank you folks for all you wonderful, and informative posts! I am grateful for all your input. I was afraid it was going to be some kind of "mystery diagnosis" where I would have to drag my poor cav from one vet to another to find out what's wrong. The more I read about episodic falling the more I can see he fits the category.
His episodes don't come on from exercise but happen merely when he's walking around the house.
Thank you again!

molly
25th May 2008, 12:33 AM
EFS isn't always exercise induced and there is usually no loss of consciousness during episodes. And unless the episodes are so frequent that they impact her quality of life, they dont' usually prescribe anything for it. Check with your breeder and see if there are any other pups in her lines that have EFS. Also notify her that your dog may have it. It is important to keep her cool especially if she also has a heart condition.

mokipono
25th May 2008, 02:00 AM
I guess I should have been more suspicious when our breeder skipped out of town!