RallyFrEe class promised to be a good one. Gimme is responding well to a new supplement for her false pregnancy, so I expected she'd be a LOT better focused in class. She was better, but not a lot better. Since I had her on the floor checking out the area, we were volunteered to go first in the course Kathy had set up for us. The plan was we would walk the course (which I'd already done), do the course with our dog, individually walk the course again with feedback from Kathy - particularly about timing and smoothness, and then do the course again with our dogs.
Gimme did okay, though she was distracted here and there and some of her turns were wide. Still there were other spots where she did a beautiful job. I was sure she'd do better on our second turn together. Gimme was in her soft crate and I was watching the second team, thinking how much better Gimme did, when she suddenly started flailing around in her crate.
It was like she was chasing her tail (which she's never done), while flopping over onto her side and swimming part of the turn. I immediately got my hand in the crate to calm and steady her while trying to figure out what she was doing... she kept falling into my hand and trembling and I realized she was having a grand mal. I yelled to the instructor about needing help and directions to a nearby vet. The whole class sprung into action... I brought Gimme out of the crate and she was still very unsteady on her feet and clinging to me. Within a minute I was given a hand-drawn map to a nearby vet and we headed out. By the time we got to the car, she ignored my attempt to help her and jumped in on her own.
The vet got us in right away, but there was nothing to see. Gimme seemed perfectly normal and was her usual kissy face self. There was no evidence whatsoever of illness. They took blood for lab work and it was normal, other than a very elevated WBC count at 20K (normal range is 5-16K). We were unable to collect urine since Gimme had peed both when we arrived and on the way out of the training building. The doctor felt a WBC count so high indicated some infection, which might be the cause of the seizure, especially in combination with the stress of class. Gimme had been pestering me to go out MANY times the night before - so I thought it could be a UTI. When it was happening I hadn't thought too much about it because Gimme often rings the bell to go outside in an attempt to get me off the computer.
Gimme had also been picky and uninterested in her breakfast, but this isn't unusual when breakfast comes early and especially if I'm rushing about, so I paid it little attention. In hindsight I think differently. Of course, since she had her evening soup very early Wednesday night and ignored it Thursday morning, she might have been slightly dehydrated. Severe dehydration can cause seizures because it throws off electrolyte balance, which the first vet checked and found within a normal range. Still subclinical dehydration can cause vestibular syndrome, so I'm not ignoring the possibility.
We did get a urine sample analyzed, but it was normal - with just a little bacteria, which our regular vet thought was from contamination routinely seen with free catch samples. He poo pooed the idea of high WBC count indicating an infection which could cause a seizure. However, since then I've talked to my chiropractor, who has a dog with a seizure disorder - he said seizures can be caused by a high WBC count, as well as seizures causing high WBC count. I've confirmed this by information on several different websites.
I've also considered her atlas vertebrae might be off, so have scheduled her for a chiropractic adjustment. I know when my atlas is locked up I get migraines. My chiropractor agreed a misaligned atlas could be a contributing factor for a seizure, but also said it wouldn't be the only cause.
So right now we don't really know anything and I am in wait-n-see mode. In most cases, if you can get through six months without another episode, there is a good chance it was a one time occurrence. Of course, this is not a guarantee and there are many exceptions to the rule. My chiropractor said many times dogs (and children) will have single event episodes which are never repeated - he referred to it as a "perfect storm" of different factors which together cause "disorganized and sudden electrical activity in the brain".
Needless to say I am on pins and needles... while Gimme thinks a large dish of vanilla ice cream every day would prevent a recurrence.