I remember posting to some dog groups on Facebook in the weeks after Odin had his first seizure, trying to find information about people who had been through this and what their experiences were with diagnosis and treatment. I just looked up those posts and found that I had lots of questions, so I’m going to try and address some of those here.
The conclusion of idiopathic epilepsy is based on a diagnosis of exclusion. This means that vets test for other known causes of seizures and if they don’t anything they label it idiopathic. The Oxford Concise Medical Dictionary defines idiopathic as “denoting a disease or condition the cause of which is not known or that arises spontaneously”. There are many things that can cause seizures: brain tumours, low blood sugar, head trauma, some vitamin deficiencies, sleep deprivation, exposure in the blood stream to certain venoms or parasites, and high fever just to name a few. What’s left once we’ve ruled all of these causes out? There may be some disease we haven’t yet discovered, or there is the possibility that it is passed on in genetic material. There’s research going on in Finland right now trying to look for specific genes that may be responsible for epilepsy in some breeds.
Diagnosis is a time consuming process involving testing blood samples, neurological examination, and possibly a spinal tap and/or MRI. After Odin’s first seizure, we had to wait a couple of days to see our vet GP. (First seizure was a Saturday morning, not Sunday like I said in the last post). On Monday the GP did some blood tests, referred us to a vet neurologist and gave us liquid rectal diazepam to use in case of emergency. Then we waited. We waited for the results of the blood tests and we waited to get an appointment with the specialist. I did not appreciate that these things take time, as I felt that we had little of that to waste. By the time they’d managed to fit us in for a neurological consult and examination almost 3 weeks later, Odin had already had another seizure. They still hadn’t prescribed any medication besides the one to use in an emergency.
Given his age and history and results from...(story continued in comments ⬇️)
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Incredible large humpback whale surprise in Skjervøy, Norway😳🇳🇴 Who would you go on a arctic safari with?
Did you know a fully grown humpback can weigh more than 5 adult elephants? That equals around 30 tons!
#Norge video by @mornehardenberg