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by jillmissal on 21 September 2020 - 16:09

Defenders of my epileptic dog's breeder like to ask why I and others don't villify the breeders of other dogs in the pedigree; the answer is that it isn't those dogs' breeders knowingly repeating breedings that have produced epilepsy, and continuing to breed close relatives. Of course my dog is not a GSD but the pattern of behavior of breeders perpetuating such problems seems to be predictable.


by Sunsilver on 22 September 2020 - 08:09

Very true, jill!

It seems the Alsatian breeders have FINALLY gotten the message. More recent breedings have included outcrosses to American show line dogs.

Not that the ASL dogs don't have backmassing issues of their own (Lance and his progeny) but they don't seem to have an issue with epilepsy. I'm sure there's the odd fitter out there, but it looks like breeders have been smart enough to breed away from affected dogs and lines.

by Marilyn on 22 September 2020 - 12:09

I certainly don't blame the breeders of my epi-lad as they did their best with the information available to them out there. I just wish breeders in the past were more pro-active by making the breed community aware that there could be a potential issue and then future breeders could ensure that the breeding will be compatible and not exacerbate the issue.

by Marilyn on 08 October 2020 - 12:10

You know, I am really disappointed by the lack of knowledge being shared by our European breeders who know of epileptic dogs / bitches which have been pulled out of the gene pool due to either being fitters themselves, or producing fitters. They all know who they are and in my opinion they are not being helpful to breeders of the future. Most of the GSD breeders state that they have the welfare of the Breed at heart but their actions prove otherwise.

Unfortunately, this will make purchasers of GSD pups distrustful of all breeders and the ones who care will be castigated along with the breeders who make out they do, but obviously don't. Good breeders will research they lines way back to see if their is anything nasty lurking back there which could raise it's head. But they can only work on the information made public and some breeders reputation is obviously more important than the health and welfare of the breed.

I don't know if some of you breeders know, or even care that a fitting dog has on some poor unsuspecting buyer!

Come on people, it is time you all stepped up to the plate as only with transparency and honesty will we get to the dog that von Stephanitz envisioned.

by ThatWasClose on 08 October 2020 - 18:10

Holy cow, this has been an interesting read.

My Black Mouth Cur house dog has grand mal seizures. He is kept at the house, as I figure the ranch dogs possibly could pack up & kill him if he had a grand mal in front of them.

Most probable cause for the Cur's seizures is a drunk driver came off the road & hit him on my property. Opened his face down to the bone. Seizures started about 6 weeks later.

I did tell the vet to put him down. Vet insisted the young dog could be saved. His even bringing the argument out into the packed lobby, with the vet loudly shaming me about my wanting to KILL my dog. I gave in. A $25 puppy I pulled from the dog pound, six years later, I now have literal thousands of dollars into via vet bills.

While I see diet has been mentioned, here are a couple of other things ponder that I have no scientific proof of:

A national talk radio host has a Neo mastiff with seizures. He said using the old style Incandescent light bulbs is better, due to the flicker rate the bulb gives off; verses the flicker rates of the various newer "energy saving" type bulbs. I can buy into this belief, as look at all the persons that have flicker rate issues with video & arcade games, or even specific kids cartoon shows that were forced to be pulled off of TV, due to flicker rates inducing seizures.

Secondly, this past summer, someone mentioned to me about giving a dog honey during a seizure to help end it. I later read up on this & there is some truth to this, IF the dog is seizing because their blood sugar is out of whack. I can buy into this also, as what does one do for a diabetic human that goes into shaking fits? They are given something sweet. There are a lot of diabetic dogs in the US, so I wonder how many dogs that are seizing are actually having diabetic reactions?


by Sunsilver on 08 October 2020 - 19:10

I would NEVER give a seizing dog anything by mouth. There is a very good possibility it could go down into their lungs, as they have no muscle control during a seizure. This could result in aspiration pneumonia or even death.

Brain injuries can definitely cause seizures. After my husband had a stroke, he developed epilepsey 7 months later. Strokes are a fairly common cause of seizures, affecting about 9% of people who suffer strokes. The happen as a result of scar tissue forming in the brain, and disrupting the electrical pattern. That's probably exactly what happened to your dog.

by jillmissal on 08 October 2020 - 20:10

 There are a lot of diabetic dogs in the US, so I wonder how many dogs that are seizing are actually having diabetic reactions?


If you mean how many "epileptic" dogs are actually diabetic, I'm guessing actually none, because diabetes is easy to diagnose. Epilepsy on the other hand is quite literally a seizure disorder defined by having no other explanation. A vet will check for diabetes in the course of the screening process. 

What you went through with your dog is awful and I hope you got another vet. 


by Sunsilver on 08 October 2020 - 21:10

Agree with Jil - as a retired nurse, I can tell you seizures due to diabetes are very rare, and happen only as a result of very low blood sugar. These are NOT epileptic seizures: 




by Koots on 08 October 2020 - 22:10

The vet gave us liquid valium to give our seizing dog if he has cluster seizures (occurrances of multiple ones within 24 hrs). The last time he seized, he had 3 within 24 hrs, so we gave him the valium and they stopped. Not sure if they had just 'run their course' or if valium actually stopped re-occurrance. The valium could have been administered rectally during an episode or orally after - I chose the oral route.

by ThatWasClose on 08 October 2020 - 23:10

Oh please people, nothing here has changed has it?! Little wonder I walked away for a couple of months.

Perhaps rare for you, as you got to see a higher percentage of people most likely with health coverage?!

I am not a retired a nurse, so thus according to you, I obviously have seen far more than my fair share of diabetics going into full blown shaking from their blood sugar being out of whack. WalMart & church.

Be sure to let this one fully sink in for you, of the diabetic episode at a food bank I used to train a young service dog at. An ambulance was immediately called for her, though her family had to refuse transport as it was a bill they could not afford.

Welcome to America where the poor & the elderly eat poorly as they cannot afford a decent diet; live in so called food deserts; & far too often cannot always afford their medications.

I used to go there with the farm truck loaded with hay & sometimes pulling a buggy too. Yes, hay, this cattle country. Not everyone that raises livestock is privileged enough to get subsidies off of Uncle Sam. Small farmers are truly screwed over in the country.

Going even more off topic, food banks can be wonderful places to train dogs due to the colourful, aka outright bat chit crazy, folks one encounters there. The throngs of children with next to zero in parental supervision, that are overtly interested in the dog. Great teaching place for both the dog & the kids. The dogs learned patience & the kids learned about "helper" dogs.

Interesting Thread in that I have learned even some of the so called most respected GSD folks behave differently than one would think appropriate/ethical.

Enjoy your Thread as I am done with it.


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