Dog Seizures

Discussion in 'Help with Life' started by Hanzo, Jul 29, 2014.

  1. Hanzo Chaser

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    Updated my post as you posted, just FYI. :) But thanks!
     
  2. Hanzo Chaser

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    We've been keeping a log of all her attacks, regardless if they're severe or not, and I'll post that later for anyone that may be curious.

    For now, though, she had her third severe attack today, lasting from about 1:35 PM until about 14 minutes ago at 8:10 PM. She's still getting over it and still has some things, but I'm considering it over unless something comes back up.

    This one was pretty bad and included thrashing and paddling.
     
  3. Lauriam I hope I didn't keep you waiting...

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    Yikes. I hope it doesn't get much worse than this... :(

    Our dog is on medication now. They're helping him a lot; he still has had a few seizures, but they're pretty mild and don't happen often.
     
  4. Hanzo Chaser

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    It was kind of weird. She went into convulsions (the thrashing and paddling) and then the seizure stopped pretty much right after.
     
  5. Lauriam I hope I didn't keep you waiting...

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    Huh. That is pretty weird. I wonder what happened. Do you think the medicine might have been helping to keep it short?
     
  6. Hanzo Chaser

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    I guess it can be compared to how if you get a fever during a cold, that's the climax, as you start getting better soon after.

    We had to give her the Valium twice, which did help. The first time it helped and made her sleep for an hour, but my mom didn't read the syringe measurements correctly and only gave her a quarter instead of a half, so while it did help, it wasn't enough and it started back up an hour later.

    Later I gave her some water (I had to hold her up), which seemed to help as well, and my mom took advantage of it and trimmed her. A while later she couldn't stay up and kept falling on her side, so we leaned her against a chair so she wouldn't fall completely on her side. At that point I had to use the bathroom; while I was finishing up, my mom suddenly started yelling for help because Maggie had gone into a grand mal seizure. I didn't see the thrashing, though, just the paddling.
     
  7. ♥♦♣♠Luxord♥♦♣♠ Chaser

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    You don't need to have epilepsy to have/get seizures, and the sad unfortunate truth about "treating" seizures in dogs especially is the medicine more or less destroys their liver over time. So tread lightly if you or anyone else gives an animal seizure medication prescribed by a vet regularly.
     
  8. Hanzo Chaser

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    I didn't know this, but my mom did. I think the vet may have said something about it, but I don't remember. Appreciate it all the same, though.

    But yeah, I think that's the reason why after a certain point the dosage can't be increased anymore, even if the current dosage doesn't seem to be helping. We started on one pill a day (half in the morning and half at night) and then changed it to two pills a day (one in the morning and one at night) and then changed it to the current dosage of two and a half pills a day (one and a half in the morning and one at night).
     
  9. Lauriam I hope I didn't keep you waiting...

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    While it's true that you can have seizures without having epilepsy, it's more likely to have epileptic seizures than to have non-epileptic seizures. Especially if they're reoccurring. Of course, I could be mistaken. Most of my knowledge of such matters comes from my mom, who had epileptic brothers.
    And as far as treating a dog with medication, one of the risks you are made aware of before starting medication is that once you put a dog on medication, you can't stop. Yes, eventually, their livers will have suffered damage, and yes, once you start medication, they're on medication for life. That's why regular medication isn't recommended until the seizures are so bad and so long and happen so often that the benefits outweigh the risk. So for a long time, we didn't put our dog on medication. His seizures were awful, but there was no reason to medicate him until September when it got too bad to ignore. From what Amaury has described, I would say it's the same for his dog.
     
  10. Hanzo Chaser

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    Yeah, Maggie's first bad seizure was actually after we started her on phenobarbital in September, ironically. It was in early August when she started having seizures, and she had at least four mild ones before we finally took her to the vet.
     
  11. Hanzo Chaser

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    Maggie had her fourth severe attack today, convulsions and all that, but the whole seizure in general wasn't as bad as the last severe one she had. Her breathing wasn't too bad, for example, though her temperature still rose a little.

    The only difference is that it hasn't even been a month since her last severe one, so hopefully that doesn't mean anything and it just so happened to be that she had another severe one when not even a month has passed. Her second severe one was exactly a month after her first severe one, her third severe one was a month, one week, and four days after her second severe one, and tonight's attack was two weeks and three days after her last severe one.

    On another ironic note, both the severe one tonight and her first severe one ended around 11:00 PM. Not sure if that means anything or if it's just a weird coincidence.
     
  12. Hanzo Chaser

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    Vet called my mom earlier with the results of Maggie's blood work from Friday.

    Liver is starting to show signs as expected, so the vet doesn't want to raise her dosage any more. We'll be doing one and a half in the morning and at night (it was raised by a half on Friday for the nightly dosage). Her kidneys are also starting to show signs of failure, I think it was, so Maggie will be on a special diet. However, both issues are minor at this point and nothing major.
     
  13. Hanzo Chaser

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    Just an update for everyone. I'll just copy and paste my Facebook post:

    Took Maggie in for a checkup. They don't think it's epilepsy, but they don't think it's a brain mass, either, as there'd be more issues. We're likely looking at liver and/or kidney issues, which means that the phenobarbital is only dealing with keeping the symptoms under control, not the underlying issue.

    The blood work at the end of the appointment showed that her thyroid levels were a little low, but not terribly, and her blood sugar levels were dangerously low. They're not the only reason, but they certainly play a role in her seizures, so we're now thinking that's one of the reasons she has frequent mild seizures.

    So, we've scheduled another appointment for her liver, I believe, and had her phenobarbital dosage increased from 16 milligrams to 32 milligrams. So it'll now be one pill twice a day rather than thrice a day. This vet wasn't sure why the other vet didn't want to increase Maggie's phenobarbital dosage. There's a lot of wiggle room and it looks like phenobarbital doesn't affect the liver as much as we thought, which means that her liver and/or kidney problems likely started before she even had her first seizure and we had no way of knowing.
     
  14. Hanzo Chaser

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    Another update. We got the results of the liver back the same day I last posted and those came back good. Today we got the results for whatever the second test was and it turns out that Maggie has insulinoma--otherwise known as pancreatic cancer, which causes hypoglycemia, which in turn causes seizures. It's basically a tumor, but the good news is that most insulinomas are benign, and the vet didn't sound too concerned from what I overheard when my mom was on the phone with him.

    How she got this is beyond me, but my mom is mad and my aunt is pissed at the other vet for not ordering a liver panel and that other test sooner--we could have been treating her with this new regimen we're doing sooner.. She was convinced it was a brain mass, which it isn't. She wanted to do an MRI, which we couldn't afford, and even if we could, if the MRI did find something, we couldn't do brain surgery at Maggie's age--there's a high chance it could kill her.

    So now when she's starting to have an episode, we give her corn syrup, which raises her blood sugar and snaps her right out of it. Throughout the day, we feed her small meals with protein to also keep her blood sugar levels up. She hasn't had a seizure since the convulsion on Saturday, so she hasn't one seizure at all this week yet.

    Here's screenshot I uploaded on Facebook at 12:46 AM on Monday of her totals log--it should give you guys a general idea. Also, the first time she had a seizure after beginning phenobarbital was September 17, 2014, and that's when we started logging them, but I think we started the phenobarbital back in August, but I'm not sure. My mom is going to hopefully ask that today. If there are more days, it means I will add those and the number of days without seizures will increase because, as far as I know, she had no seizures between the time the phenobarbital was prescribed and the seizure on September 17, 2014:

    11221875_985218554876378_1259285827727140230_o.jpg

    For June, I've only got June 1 and June 2 logged right now, both of which have zero seizures. Unless she has a seizure, I wait until the end of the day to add that day.
     
  15. Lauriam I hope I didn't keep you waiting...

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    Well, I'm glad everything got figured out with Maggie! :)