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My goal is to share my experience and resources with other pup parents that are on the canine epilepsy journey. I'm not a doctor and my content should not be mistaken for medical advice. 

  • Jess

The First Visit to the Neurologist To Explore Canine Epilepsy

When we decided to go to the neurologist, it had been a little over a month since Bear's (my Maltese) first seizure. We were in denial, and hoping that the seizures were just a freak accident. If you're reading this, I have a feeling you may know how this feels . By now, he had a handful of seizures.

I was entrenched in research, which led to me wanting to explore a neurologist for canine epilepsy. I kept reading that a neurologist could be helpful (which didn’t surprise me much, since I've heard that humans often use a neurologist for epilepsy), so I began my search. I found two or three canine neurologists in my area. And, when I say “in my area”, I guess I mean under a 2 hour drive. 

I looked at the first doctor and he had gotten decent reviews. When I called, he had a bit of a waitlist. I hung up the phone and I looked up the second neurologist that I found. Luckily enough, this neurologist had great reviews. She only had about a 3 week waitlist. I took it and knew that I’d have to hold my breath for a few weeks, and use urgent care (again) if I had to. 

Epileptic dog before a Neurology appointment
Bear before his appointment

The day of his first appointment came. I don’t know who was more nervous, me or Bear. I put him in the car and realized that he was shaking a bit. I was confused because Bear had always loved car rides. Then I realized, the last few times I put him in the car, it was to take him to urgent care. If I were him, I’d be nervous too. He eventually settled down halfway through the ride.

Since this was still during Covid, the vet techs had to come out to my car to get Bear. It was so hard not going in with him. I knew that this added to his anxiety. I knew for sure that it added to mine.

I waited… and waited…

The doctor called me while I was in the car. She said that Bear had looked great and she didn’t find any concerns. His bloodwork came back with a high liver level, but it wasn’t too high where she thought that the seizures could definitely be a result of it. However, it was something that she wanted to monitor.

She proceeded to explain that he could be having seizures for many reasons, including a tumor, liver disease, or so many other possibilities. The doctor explained that some people don’t want to know the cause, and others do. I needed to know. I totally understand some people not wanting to know- that makes sense too. Not to mention that these tests are so pricey! For me, I felt like knowing would help me, help him. I hoped that knowing the cause would help me be a little proactive with supporting him. I also felt as though maybe knowing would prepare me if there was something terminal going on.

I told the vet that I wanted to try and find the root cause of what's going on. From here, she suggested doing a CT scan and a spinal tap. The spinal tap made me so nervous, but she ensured me that he would be asleep and wouldn't be able to feel a thing.

I made the appointment, and went home holding my breath, hoping he didn't have any more seizures.

**Please note that my goal is to support and provide resources to other epi pup parents. I'm not a vet or doctor and my content should not be mistaken for medical advice.


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