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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all!

It has been a long time since I have been active here but maybe some of you remember our little Parisian basset, Harvey. He is now 4 years old (how time flies) and doing well except for some mysterious tremors.

I'm turning to you since I haven't gotten much help from the vet and I'm starting to get really worried. :(

I have sometimes noticed Harvey tremble before, usually after a bath or a rainy walk so I figured he was cold and some snuggles wrapped in a blanket usually helped. About 6 moths ago he suddenly started to tremble a bit more often but then it stopped as suddenly as it had started. Now, maybe 2 moths ago he started to tremble every time he got home from his walks at the park (for the past year he has been going to a half a day romp in the forest with a trainer and his doggie buddies). He was clearly feeling discomfort and after it had happened three weeks in a row I took him to our previous vet whose brilliant advice was to "keep an eye on it". Frustrated by this and a few other things I finally took the decision to go to see a new vet who gave Harvey a more thorough check up and suggested that it might be either emotional or food related (ie. eating too much too fast after the walk) and suggested different feeding methods and things to 'evacuate some emotional energy'. This seemed to work because Harvey started to tremble less after the walks and after two weeks it stopped.
Unfortunately since then he still trembles now and then and I cannot for the life of me figure out what triggers it. Sometimes it's still after a walk, sometimes after a bath and sometimes just out of the blue (which made me rule out emotional trembling). Sometimes it goes on for 10 minutes sometimes less. It also varies in degree, sometimes it's a few shivers sometimes he seems too uncomfortable to properly lay down and even drools excessively. These tremors in varying degrees happen about once a week but sometimes there is a longer intervall.
We are going to see the vet in any case but I just thought maybe some of you here would know from experience what this could be. I'm really worried for our little guy and feel really helpless because I know he might be suffering and I can't do anything to help him until we figure out the cause. Our new vet seems a lot more on her game but in Paris finding a vet with basset experience is impossible so I'm worried she might miss something "breed specific".

I'm sorry for the long, rambling post but the situation is confusing and hard to describe. Thank you in advance for reading all of this and for any advice or help you can give!
 

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I may have missed this.......whole body trembling??

One of ours has head tremors that I initially thought were seizures. They start and stop randomly.

complete work up at vet showed nothing. mikeyt posted a tread about benign tremors in dogs and the clip was exactly what she had.

She is "with it" during the episodes vs not 'with t' with a seizure. (that is she responds to her a name, a treat, etc.. during the episodes)

vet suggested I video it. I hope you get a quick resolution.

Nice to see you back, sorry for the circumstances
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for your replies!
I've videoed it so I can show our vet exactly how it looks, thanks for the tip! At this time I think it's probably pain related (the only reason I think that though because there is no common nominator to the circumstances in which he shivers). But I just can't figure our where it hurts, if it's his back, paws, tummy, etc. I've tried to manipulate his limbs etc a bit but nothing seems to pop out. When these episodes happen the poor guy just looks really helpless and wants to cuddle. I don't think it's seizures since he's completely lucid through the episodes.

If you or someone else can think of anything else I should look into or talk to the vet I'd be enormously grateful!!
 

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I would consider a possible minor disc injury. When Kermit started trembling, the first vet diagnosed it as in intestinal upset. When he spent time in his crate, he felt better, when he was more active he would be trembling. Second vet diagnosed a neck injury. We put him on crate rest and anti-inflammatories for a few weeks and the problem was solved.
 

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For skeletal concerns the first person I go to is their Chiropractor, her hands are proven to be better than any x-ray & then I know where & what we're dealing with.
 

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Small smile with this one. Fact is Bassets are inclined to 'tremble'. Dogs shake from
1. Fear/stress
2. Cold
3. Pain
4. Neurological problems.

BUT with the sensitive Basset, it's quite possible he shakes from anything he sees as 'stress'. And for sure, if they have illness - pain. If mine occasionally did/do this, I cover them up with a blanket and it soon stops.

If your vet can't find anything to indicate pain then I'd tend to go with it being an extra sensitive hound. Drooling too - can indicate stess, but have you had him in for a dental? Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you so much for your replies! You're already making me feel better!

@Soundtrack: It's something like I'm afraid of! Seeing your comment I actually remember the vet saying that Harvey was reluctant to bed his head all the way back but she wasn't sure if it was because of discomfort or because he was in general fussing about and turning every which way! I'll talk to her about the neck when we go in.

@Vectisvagrant: That is actually a good idea! I'll talk to my vet when we go see her and ask if she can recommend a chiropractor!

@FranksMum: Harvey definitely is an emotional hound! His emotional responses are sometimes a bit disproportionate to the situation at hand, especially towards the happy extreme. My vet did suggest it could be emotional shaking after seeing Harvey so overjoyed for being at the vets ;) And he definitely calms down with a blanket wrap and cuddles. It honestly could be a combination of some discomfort and emotion!
 

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When I mention Chiropractor it's always taken that I mean adjustments, no, with our chiropractor who's known both since very early on, her experience, knowledge & amazing hands have been able to tell me where & what the problems have been.
She's still 'slightly piqued' that I subjected Lucas to a M.R.I some years ago when he suffered his second ruptured disc, her diagnosis was £1,150 cheaper & exactly the same but without pictures!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello all!

Just thought I'd update a bit about our Harvey. It's been a while but unfortunately Harvey hasn't been the only member of our family who has been sick.

We took Harvey to our regular vet who after examining him and looking at a video I had filmed of Harvey during one of his episodes recommended we take him to a neurologist because she said the tremors resembled spasms. We had our appointment yesterday and the neurologist did a bunch of tests on the spot and after those and listening to me telling about the episodes diagnosed Harvey with localised epilepsy. He took some blood samples and we should get the results by friday to start figuring out the reason for this seizures. He is on medication now to see if we can control the episodes and to make sure they don't become more frequent or generalised. The lucky thing is that he said the he doesn't think there is a lesion or a tumour causing the seizures because Harvey did well in all his tests.

I'm still a bit shocked by the diagnosis but at the same time I hope we're finally getting to the bottom of this. If anyone has any advice experience with a hound with mild epilepsy I'm definitely open for advice!
 

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Can't say much about mild forms but lost one at three years old to a status seizure and almost had her liver destroyed earlier by anti-seizure medication. She had seizures for a 1 1/2 that were never controlled.
 

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So sorry to hear your news, have no experience of it in dogs only humans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes we are gonna have a liver control after he has been on the medication for around 6 weeks and then at regular intervals to make sure there is no damage.

Apparently this type of epilepsy is less common and less known. Instead of having the electric shock fire off in the entire brain like in "regular" epilepsy in this localised form it only happens in one part of the brain. In Harvey's case that is what is causing the shaking. The only trouble is that there is always the possibility of the seizures becoming more frequent and less localised so they could turn into full blown epilepsy. The medication is supposed to prevent this as well as reduce the frequency and duration of the seizures.

The poor guy is feeling the side effects of the medication now. After taking the pill, especially in the evening when the dose is bigger, he gets a bit wobbly and he is really sleepy all the time. :( The silver lining, if you really wanna see it, is that I'm on sick leave from work so I'm home with him all day and can keep an eye on him. And of course cuddle as much as we can!
 

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Not sure what you are using Phenobarbital can cause liver damage, Bromide we used Potassium bromide with the one lost aliquid can take quite some time to buildup to therapeutic level. Sailor was taking I believe sodium bromide a tablet but has been weened off if it. All anticonvulsants can cause "mental" side effects confusion , disorientation etc. In Sailors case the were fairly pronounced be he also suffer from dementia. As we say Sailor live in his own little world but he seems to like it there.

You might want to consult with the vet about using Milk Thistle a a liver protectant.

When ask and giving advice the one thing I would do differently insist on having liquid valium that could be administered anally if the need arose. The dog wee lost was to a status seizure ( a seizure lasting more than 5 minute) after 10 minute it can be life threatening. that occurred on a sunday with the closest emergency vet 40 minutes away. Give they are only partial siezure it is unlikely you can convince a vet to prescribe but I will provide a link for it anyway
Dr. Thomas' article - Rectal Diazepam for Cluster Seizures in Dogs
 

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Epilepsy in Bassets

If Dudley is only 4, then the possibility of this being epilepsy is, I suggest, greater - and would have me very concerned. Later onset fitting can be caused for any number of reasons and wouldn't say epilepsy to me necessarily. You are obviously being advised about all of this but can I please ask you to, if possible, let his breeder know about this development because it is around in the breed and the combinations that produce this, need to be known so that particular breeding combination isn't repeated.

A hound we used for our last litter started fitting at around 8 (long after we'd used him), which again because he was older, could well have not been epilepsy. However, some checking told me that his mother went the same way at around his age (both were pts because it wasn't possible to control the fitting, sadly) and again looking further into the pedigree, there was enough in hounds on his dam's side to suggest this may well have been hereditary. I wish I'd known before I used him. But fact is I ended my bloodline, refused any enquiries to use the male we'd kept, at stud and had his sister spayed without taking a litter from her. As it happened, both lived to the end of their lives without fitting - cancer, both, got them in the end (different cancers). Both were in their teens however. There was a connection between our bloodlines and those on the sire's side of the male, but not on the dam's side. I didn't hear of any fitting in any of the puppies we'd sold from that litter - and I would have!! But I felt the buck had to stop somewhere. And true epilepsy can skip generations.

I hope you can get the fitting with your boy under control. It can be done, but may take time to get the dose right.
 

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as frankmons has said onset of idiopathic (no known cause) is usually 1.5 - 5 years of age the later the onset the more likely it is to have a distinct cause.

Even it is a distinct cause does not mean it is not Hereditary, for instance brain tumor can be hereditary. And just because there are multi generational involvement does it mean it is hereditary it could still be environmental causes .
 

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Grand Mal Seizures start as partial seizure but the seizure activity quickly overwhelms the rest of the brain. this occurs in seconds. Every seizure lowers the threshold for have the next hence the importance of controlling seizures because untreated they will become more frequent if you don't , and yes it is a legitimate concern that partial seizure can be come a grand mal now referred to as tonic/clonic seizure .

PARTIAL OR FOCAL SEIZURES
Partial seizures: Partial seizures are also called focal seizures and as the name indicates, the electrical storm is affecting only a part of the brain. A partial seizure may stay localized or it may expand to the whole brain and cause a tonic-clonic seizure. Because the seizure starts in only a part of the brain, an underlying disease or injury is highly suspected. A partial seizure may remain localized or spread to other parts of the cerebral cortex producing a sequential involvement of other body parts.
Partial seizures are classified as simple focal seizures when consciousness is preserved and as complex focal seizures when consciousness is altered. Any portion of the body may be involved during a focal seizure depending on the region of the brain affected.

In a simple partial seizure, the area of the brain that is affected is the area that controls movement. Usually the face is affected, resulting in twitching or blinking. This is usually limited to one side of the face. If the seizure spreads, other parts of the body on that same side will be affected. The dog is usually alert and aware of his surroundings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you for all the advice! The side effects of the medication have almost disappeared now (a bit over a week on the meds) and he hasn't had any seizures either. It had already been a little while since his last one when we went to the vet so I'm slightly optimistic here.
The blood tests the vet took came back normal so no biological cause found. We are waiting to see how the treatment works and depending on the results might opt for an MRI later on to make sure everything is okay in there.
Other than that he seems to be doing good though the meds are still making him a bit more sleepy than usual. We have a three month prescription for the meds but will also see our vet before that to asses everything. I will keep you posted!
And yes I thought about contacting his breeder as well. We occasionally see him when he comes up to Paris for shows. I think I will wait for the diagnosis to be confirmed though because I don't want him to get worried over nothing.
Thank you again for the help and support! Harvey and I appreciate it a lot! :)
 
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