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Thread: Cortical Seizures "Fly biting"

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    Senior Member Ken Archer's Avatar
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    Default Cortical Seizures "Fly biting"

    Scott Thomas of the Transportation Security Administration called me today asking if I knew anything about Cortical seizures, sometimes described as "fly biting". According to Scott, they now have their second litter with pups affected by this disorder. I've never heard of it before so I told him I would ask here on the forum.

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    There is a lot of information on the canine epilepsy websites

    Kris
    BLACKTAIL LABRADORS

    "I never feel bad for myself" - Charles Barkley

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    Senior Member frontier's Avatar
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    I had my first experience with this about 18 months ago. I found all my information about it on the canine epilepsy website. Scott has emailed me before..I would be interested to know if the field lines were similar. I don't know that I still have his contact information, so please P.M. his contact info as I would like to compare experiences.
    Terrie Tomlinson
    Frontier Retrievers
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    Senior Member okvet's Avatar
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    I would be curious if the pups were affected for life, just while young, or were they put to sleep?

    I had a client with a litter of pups (terriers) where a couple of pups started the "fly biting" seizures. Both of the dogs ended up having congenital hepatic shunts. The shunts were corrected surgicallly and both dogs lived a normal life and the "fly bite" episodes disappeared.

    good luck
    todd

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    Senior Member SloppyMouth's Avatar
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    Our bulldog has had siezures. Sometimes suddenly and other times "fly biting" would occur a day or two beforehand. Have never been able to put any rhyme or reason to it or to detect a pattern of any sort. He'll be 8 years old in June, which is starting to get up there for a bully. If anything the siezures seem to have gotten less intense with age. When he was younger, he'd sieze up (clenched jaws, fall over with legs straightened) and then recover after a few moments. He hasn't had a grand mal siezure in the last couple of years, but now he has "head tremors" from time to time. If there has been one thing that seems to be somewhat consistent, the head shakes seem, possibly, to occur in the days following an application of Frontline or other flea/tick topical treatment. Not sure if there's a possible connection or not and have never heard of one, but it's just something we've possibly noticed.

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    Senior Member frontier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by okvet View Post
    I would be curious if the pups were affected for life, just while young, or were they put to sleep?


    good luck
    todd
    Todd, the dog I purchased with this undisclosed condition was an older Lab female. She started the fly biting and mindless pacing from one end of the airing yard to the other the moment she stepped off the truck at my home. We treated her with phenobarbitol which lessened the symptoms but they never went away. Except, the weird thing was she was totally non-symtomatic during her heat cycle which she came in within a couple of weeks of arriving. She was spayed, and placed in a pet home, but she became much worse and her quality of life was severely compromised, and the difficult decision was reached by her new owners to euthanize.
    Last edited by frontier; 03-29-2008 at 04:58 PM.
    Terrie Tomlinson
    Frontier Retrievers
    HR Five Star Winning Sue SH
    Young Guns: Frontier's True Grit With a Cause "Rooster" and Frontier's Gossip Girl With A Cause "Gabby"
    Boykin Spaniels: Max, Scarlet, Rummy, Jewels, Bella

    In Memory:
    HRCH Frontier's Cherokee Rebel MH (5-9-2000 to 12-6-2011)
    Moonstone's Little Girl Found MH (3-20-1998 to 5-2-2008)
    Calebri's Take the Money and Run JH (3-3-2008 to 6-20-2012)

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    Senior Member Illinois Bob's Avatar
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    Our first malamute would get those head tremors.Her head would just start to quiver.No pattern but it happened through out her life.The vet could never tell us why.It never got beyond the head shaking and was usually just mild shaking.The wierd part was that we found by accident that giving her bread always made it stop.Only bread worked for this.I think there was something in the chewing motion that would get her to snap out of it.Maybe somebody can explain what the chewing did.

    And no,she wasn't just shaking her head to get a piece of bread.(I know somebody is thinking that) She was a manipulative old snot but not smart enough to learn to quiver her head on purpose.

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    Senior Member SloppyMouth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Illinois Bob View Post
    Our first malamute would get those head tremors.Her head would just start to quiver.No pattern but it happened through out her life.The vet could never tell us why.It never got beyond the head shaking and was usually just mild shaking.The wierd part was that we found by accident that giving her bread always made it stop.Only bread worked for this.I think there was something in the chewing motion that would get her to snap out of it.Maybe somebody can explain what the chewing did.

    And no,she wasn't just shaking her head to get a piece of bread.(I know somebody is thinking that) She was a manipulative old snot but not smart enough to learn to quiver her head on purpose.
    While the bulldog's full-blown siezures have turned to head tremors, the head tremor episodes seem to have grown more intense with age. We found that feeding him would help snap him out of it (scatter treats, etc) but couldn't figure out why, which made me think perhaps it was something with blood sugar. However, it seemed more to do with concentrating; if he was focused on something it would stop but the second his concentration broke it would continue. He doesn't really seem bothered by it, but what started with just a mild tremor now turns into a shaking, lip-flapping head tremor that doesn't really stop when he concentrates on it. I continually wonder if it will get progressively worse and eventually impact him to the point that we either have to put him down or it does him in. Right now it's still an occassional thing and there's no consistent pattern or diminished quality of life.

  9. #9
    Puppy Guy
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    I would like to thank everyone for your input.
    The first litter had 2 out of 6 pups affected and both dogs discontinued the episodes at 11 months of age without any treatment. The second litter has only had a single puppy affected so far and we will continue to monitor the condition. Sire of the first affected litter was the son of the sire of the second affected litter. The common ancestor pedigree analysis shows traces back to a HOF dog that is common in a lot of pedigrees, if it were genetic we should be seeing many affected dogs. I will have my genetic expert take a shot at it, but she already says they have had a hard time finding the genetic sources of epilepsy. This liver shunt thing intrigues me, I will toss that out to the veterinary staff today. Thanks again!!!

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    Senior Member canebrake's Avatar
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    My "heart dog" Henry is a 9 1/2 year old yellow lab that was diagnosed with "idiopathic epilepsy" at 1.5 years old. He had series of 4 witnessed severe grand mal seizures in a two week period. He was begun on Phenobarbital at the time and has been on this all of his life (1/2 gr per day).

    He was born third puppy to a eclamptic mom via emergency c-section. The first two puppies were dead and he had severe oxygen deprevation at birth. Although I personally feel that this was related to his epilepsy, cannot prove 100%.

    When I began research on canine epilepsy, I saw the video on the CEN site about fly biting and realized that he had been having these episodes all of his life as well. As he ages, he is extremely terrified of flying insects especially horseflies etc and still has occasionals bouts of "imaginary flying objects".

    Henry, his dad, mom and a sibling were enrolled in canine epilepsy research program at University of MO. (none of his family afflicted but him) I urge your friend ESPECIALLY that has multiple litters affected by any of the symptoms to submit samples for research so that we can hopefully find a genetic link and cure for this awful affliction.

    Here is a link to the site

    http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/

    BTW- Henry has led a relatively healthy life other than this. He retired from competition last October not related to his epilepsy.

    Have a Great Day!
    Martha
    Canebrake High Hopes Henry CD RA AX AXJ AXP AJP CGC TDI TN-N NAC-V (officially retired

    Please Donate to Canine Epilepsy Research
    -Martha Veatch

    Lab crew from KY Breeze and Wilson

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