As you read this, I will be on my way home from 3 weeks in Mongolia. I am looking forward to seeing my dogs! My 3 year old Australian Shepherd, Zeke, has been a worry for me while I was gone. In March, he had a œgrand mal  seizure – we call those generalized seizures these days. Suffice it to say that it was violent and long, and neither Zeke nor I liked it at all. I checked Zeke for all non-brain causes of seizures the next morning. This involved a full blood panel, urinalysis and liver function test, along with complete physical examination. This was all normal and he was started on anti-seizure medication. Seizures can be caused by heart disease, liver disease, thyroid problems and other œmetabolic  conditions. They are more frequently associated with problems in the brain. These can include tumors, infections, anatomic abnormalities, cysts and various inflammatory diseases. Quite often we do not find a cause for the seizures and thus call it idiopathic epilepsy. Zeke had a few more minor seizures after starting medication, so we decided to complete his work-up with a brain evaluation. We do not have access to veterinary neurologists or MRI in this area, so Zeke and I headed to Orange County for his testing. It was well worth the time and money to know that he does not have a tumor or other progressive disease. He is now in the process of having his medications adjusted to the lowest effective dose. He is doing great and I expect him to live forever!

The doctors at Animal Care Clinic are famous for their dogged pursuit of what is best for you and your pets. If you are having any troubles, come see us.

by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP