Page 1 of 1

Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:42 pm
by hamm1415
This is my first post, but I did not know where else to turn.
Two weeks ago I lost my 3 year old red Merle to seizures. I am devistated. I contacted the breeder and was told that no other dogs have reported seizures. I am clinically trained as a geneticist( it's my actual job) and I have a good understanding of inherited traits. Right now I'm just feeling confused because I find it difficult to believe that I'm the only dog owner that had a problem from these dogs. Both parents had been bred for several generations, and I just cannot see how epilepsy randomly appeared in only my dog.

Loss of my dog (mocha) was hard enough, but now I'm stuck with a couple of thousand dollars of vet bills. When I bought the puppy she came with a 2 year health guarantee. How we her seizures started at approximately 14 months. She passed away at 3 years of age.

My question relates to the breeder, is it unreasonable to ask the breeder for my monkey back? Since my dog had a problem during the 2 year window and this problem ultimately led to her death.

Also, it is really conceding to me because I reported the seizures to the breeder on the onset of the seizures, yet the breeze still bred mochas parents. This really confused me because I thought she would stop breeding the dogs if the breeder learned of the epilepsy.

These past couple of weeks have been really difficult and I'm just looking for advice.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:05 am
by Spiritpaws
I am so sorry you lost your dog. I have no idea of the legality of asking for your money back (meaning how enforceable is the contract when you didn't return the pup as soon as Mocha was diagnosed). Not all epilepsy in dogs is hereditary; seizures can be brought on by environmental factors and exposure to toxins so potentially you would have the burden of proof that Mocha had a genetic disorder.

The breeder continuing the line that possibly produced epilepsy in one of their offspring is deeply disturbing.

Again my sincere condolences on the loss of Mocha. Since you are a geneticist, you have a unique opportunity to broadcast, to campaign for more genetic testing in Aussies. Tell Mocha's story. Channel the sadness into something that may bring about change. Start a non profit for dogs suffering from epilepsy. There's an old Buddhist saying: no mud, no lotus.

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 4:53 am
by Susanhu
Welcome!

I am so sorry for your loss of Mocha. Seizures can occur for many reasons. My Border Collie-mix Chelsea had them periodically and then they ultimately went away, but even though I kept a good diary of everything surrounding her seizures, we never found the cause, nor do we know why she stopped having them.

I would contact the breeder regarding a refund, but would not have high expectations of receiving any money.

I think as Spiritpaws suggested, find a way to honor Mocha's memory that will be beneficial to other dogs.

(((hugs)))

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:52 am
by Shalako
Would you be willing to share your dogs pedigree?

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:45 pm
by nanagoat
I am so very sorry that you lost Mocha to seizures. So sad!

I bet you are already well aware of this group, the Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute, but if not the site might be of help to you. Here is the link http://www.ashgi.org I didn't check to see if there is some kind of support group around losing dogs to epilepsy, but these folks may know.

Take good care of yourself,

Nan

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 7:18 am
by RRR2012
I had a Dalmatian in the 80s who developed seizures due to epilepsy. I called the breeder and she said she'd not had any in her lines. The vet explained that often epilepsy can be brought on by brain injury, and sometimes environmental factors. There can be many reasons. Of course, it didn't make it less sad and hard to deal with. She eventually died of something else, but we managed her symptoms for 4+ years.
I'm so sorry this happened.

Take care.

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:01 pm
by hamm1415
Shalako wrote:Would you be willing to share your dogs pedigree?

Hi, My dog was from "pinehillaussies" in Michigan. Mocha's dad is named harley (here is his pedigree: http://pinehillaussies.com/harleys_pedigree), and he mother is Misty (pedigree:http://pinehillaussies.com/misty_blue)

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:05 pm
by hamm1415
Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions. I have thought a lot about the cause of Mocha's epilepsy, and I realize that I will most likely never know the cause. While "environmental issues could be to blame, I should also not that I also have a doberman that is approximately the same age as Mocha, (For their entire lives they have been exposed to the same environment/food/medication).

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:04 pm
by Cpersall
I do find it odd that she chose to breed the same pair twice more after Mocha. Breeders I know take things like epilepsy very seriously. I'm sorry for your loss. Mocha was sure a cute puppy, I saw her pic on the breeders website.

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:35 am
by Shalako
Just a glance at the pedigree and I see, like most Aussie pedigrees, several producers of seizure disorders in the background. There are no "clear" pedigrees from this disorder. The breeder should have done more to make you and herself aware of the health risks in the pedigree and allowed you to make an informed choice.

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Tue May 05, 2015 6:25 pm
by hamm1415
Shalako wrote:Just a glance at the pedigree and I see, like most Aussie pedigrees, several producers of seizure disorders in the background. There are no "clear" pedigrees from this disorder. The breeder should have done more to make you and herself aware of the health risks in the pedigree and allowed you to make an informed choice.



Thanks so much for taking the time to look at the pedigree. I don't know if the breeder made a conscious decision not fully disclose the epilepsy information (I am assuming there is a possibility that the breeder did not know). However, it would have been nice to know about any history of epilepsy in the pedigree. I don't know when I'll be ready for another Aussie, but this whole experience makes me so nervous about the any genetic disorders. That being said, there is so much I love about Aussies and I can't imagine not having another one at some point in the future.

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Wed May 06, 2015 4:39 am
by Luke1
It is not a clear and simple answer. It is most likely a polygenic gene, and if a puppy has "idiopathic epilepsy", all
the pieces have to fit. It is the cross that produces, both parents have to contribute. There are many dogs with epi laden
pedigrees have not produced. Sooner or later in the best intentions it will happen. It is not something simple. Every pedigree
has some epi connection in it. There are NO clear answers.
However, I don't agree with your breeder telling you there is no history of it in her lines. It's in all our lines.
That being said MANY things produce seizures. Often things like shunts do not respond to medication. (I had a seizure dog for nine years. For most
of his life he did well on medication).
1. Brain tumor, Head injury
2. Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
3. Distemper
4. Environment - toxins
5. Epilepsy
6. hyper' and 'hypo' Conditions
Hyperglycemia
Hypoglycemia
Hypoxia or Hypoxemia
Hepatic Encephalopathy or Liver Disease
Renal (kidney) disease
Hyperkalemia
Hyperlipoproteinemia
"garbage" poisoning)
Tick Bites
Toxoplamosis (Toxo)
7. Lissencephay
8.Reactions to "medications" ie Flea and Tick and Heartworm medications

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Wed May 06, 2015 4:50 am
by Susanhu
I don't think I would limit myself and say no more Aussies. Yes, losing them is an awful experience, but the joy and love we get from them is immeasurable. There is no guarantee that any breed no matter how careful the breeders are, will be illness-free (especially when there are other environmental issues as Luke1 stated in the mix as well). All we can do is our best to keep them healthy and happy and hope that their genetics does, too.

Re: Just lost my 3yr old Aussie to seizures

Posted: Wed May 06, 2015 9:54 am
by Shalako
All breeds have genetic issues, just like all humans do. I didn't say epilepsy in the background, but dogs known to have produced seizure disorders and that is because we don't know the history of the impacted get and as Francine noted, there can be many causes for seizures in dogs.