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Max, Possible Brain Tumor

Share Your Story: Reader Stories - Your Dog's Seizures

By BeeThomas

My Dog's Name


My Dog's Age When Seizures Began

10 years

My Dog's Breed

German Shepherd Dog

My Dog's Diagnosis

Max had his first seizure on 14 January 2010. The seizure lasted for 5-7 minutes. I rushed him to the vet and the cause of his seizure is probably as a result of a brain tumor.

About My Dog's Seizures

The first seizure that I witness lasted between 5-7 minutes. He suddenly started screaming and falling over. I initially thought that he had pinched a nerve in his back, so I ran up to him and just held him and rubbed his back and legs. It was only after the prolonged period of screaming, and that once he has stopped he looked pretty 'spaced out,' that I suspected a seizure. I called my vet and told them what had happened and that I was bringing him in.

My Dog's Diagnosis and Treatment

Max was given a full medical exam. Blood was taken and his kidney & liver functions were checked. Those all came back clear. The vet said that the only other thing to check is for a brain tumor as this is more than likely what is causing the seizures. Unfortunately in South Africa, MRI's, CAT Scans etc aren't readily available for dogs and they are very, very expensive. We don't have any canine neurosurgeons here either, so between the vet & I, decided that the MRI, etc was not an option at this stage. There is nothing that could be done with regards to removing the tumor, should our suspicions be confirmed. Max is currently on a dosage of 4 phenobarb a day. He was started on 8 per day, and we have gradually reduced it. Initially on the high dose, he was a bit wobbly on his feet, but since we reduced it he is doing very well on them and hasn't had a seizure since.


  • Stay calm. It was the most terrifying thing I've every experience with my dogs, but staying calm kept everyone around me calm.
  • Get your dog to the vet immediately.
  • Listen to the vets advice, and discuss your options & feelings with them openly.
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