Full Moon

Getting started with the CEN discussion forum.

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jocasey
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:57 am

Full Moon

Post by jocasey » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:18 pm

Hi - Some of this is from a reply I made but then I decided to start a new topic...

I'm brand new at this. My shepherd mix started seizing about 6 months after I got him as a rescue, at 5 years old. We're coming up on 2 years this March. Some people suggested I take him back to the rescue, but I could never do that.

The first seizure seemed like a one off, but Riley has ramped up to clusters about every 4 to 6 weeks since November 2017 to present.

We started extended release levetiracetam, 1.5x, 500mg pills, twice a day and are up to 4 pills twice a day (4000mg a day - I have to hide the pills in velveeta). I have learned NOT to crush the pills and how to sleep with my ears opened on those cluster days. I found an app from the Royal Veterinary College in London, which helps to keep track of seizures (though I can think of a few improvements, it still helps. I WISH the compiled report would be more comprehensive and easy to manipulate).

We have not plateaued yet.

I have tried CBD oil, up to 300mgs twice a day. But while I have heard great stories for everyone else, it does not seem to work for us. I thought for a time that maybe it was working, but I really think that it was wishful thinking. I would like to see a more standardized way to give CBD and I wish that the Feds would back off this research. I suspect that CBD can be VERY helpful for some. I just think that Riley needs very LARGE doses. I do still give it to him as after care hoping it helps. He does not like to taste it so I have to give it in food.

Riley has very violent seizures. Lots of foaming saliva and thrashing and slamming into the floor. He looses control of his bladder and staggers around drunkenly as he is recovering. He becomes clingy, often very hungry, and active - circling and checking everything in the house. The most he's had in a cluster is about 8 (I'm never sure if I miss any) over 3 days.

But this last time he had a moment where he did NOT know me as he was coming out of the seizure. He was scared of me - which is a first! Within 10 mins he'd crashed to the floor again for another full seizure. And then he responded "normally". We had 4 more over 3 days... not the worst, but not great (obviously).

After this last cluster I have begun to think that the moon is a trigger... He had seizures over New Year's and then just last Sunday through Tuesday. I keep meaning to look up the dates I have in my record to see if there were any other full moons - I am sure that other people notice the littlest things and think they've found a trigger just like this. But every time I think I have an emotional handle on things I fall back down the rabbit hole again... *sigh* :roll:

I have managed to get video of some of the seizures, though never the starts - I've only ever seen 2 begin and one of those I didn't have my glasses on. He seems to start yawning and then grimacing, almost as if there is something in the back of this throat, which shows his teeth, but not in a menacing way. Then he crashes and slams into the floor or planter, or chair or whatever... He's usually asleep when they start too! Though not all the time.

Box40Rin
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:42 pm

Re: Full Moon

Post by Box40Rin » Fri Feb 09, 2018 6:39 am

Good morning,

Wow what a saga. I'm a retired veterinarian and one of the moderators of this blog. You talk about facial changes just prior to a seizure. I think this is an aura.
also you mention phases of the moon, which if I remember correctly has been thought to have an effect in humans. I, personally think barometric pressure has an effect. I'm also confident in my own mind that DBD does help.
I can't think of anything else for you to try but will keep thinking and researching Please keep posting. We are all interested. box40rin

SpencerBhumi
Posts: 213
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

Re: Full Moon

Post by SpencerBhumi » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:03 am

Hi jocasey,

Welcome to the forum although I am sorry you need to be here.

I am encouraged by your decision to keep Riley and not just discard him because of this disease. It is a tough disease to go through: stay patient and love Riley for all he is worth, he will love you unconditionally and he will be a joy more than a burden.

Just clarifying a point you wrote – (you have learnt not to crush the Keppra XR)... this also mandates not cutting it in half although I note you are now giving full doses anyway.

Clusters and violent seizures...
Apart from general health & wellness and safety management during a seizure & the post-ictal period, it is of utmost importance to try to prevent cluster seizures, to minimise the kindling effect which can spiral the seizures into uncontrollable and worsening clusters (or worse, status epilepticus). You might have read here of cluster busters – our aggressive treatment after the first fit to avoid second or more fits.

A one-off fit for Spencer would usually be mild leaving him a bit out of it for a couple of hours. If he progressed into a cluster, each subsequent fit would be worse and his overall recovery period would be extended lasting from days to weeks (more severe post-ictal behaviour and more anti-seizure drugs to wear off).

Spencer was maintained on Pheno & KBrom. After a fit – as soon as he was able to safely eat (and finding food was always his first mission on rousing) I would give a dose of valium (or more if another fit occurred) and a big 3 day dose of regular Keppra (20mg Valium + 1500mg Keppra ASAP, followed by 500mg Keppra 3 times a day for three days for a 22Kg dog. This would leave Spencer a bit slow for 3 or 4 days but he’d quickly recover. He would usually fit about every 2 to 3 weeks and the best stretch we had was just over 7 weeks fit free). I also kept a dose of Valium liquid to administer rectally should he go into status. Where you described Riley as being confused for 10 minutes and then having another serious seizure, I would have been preparing that rectal dose. In our seven years of epilepsy, I resorted only 3 times to rectal dosing, and on principle, this mandated a visit to the vet for a thorough check up.

Valium & Keppra worked for us. We travelled a lot so I kept an emergency/travel kit with everything necessary should a seizure get out of hand – anywhere, anytime. Other members here use different medications & regimens.

I recommend that you discuss with your vet an emergency cluster busting kit/regimen to reduce the incidence of clusters.

The moon a trigger... I never knew what triggered Spencer – I could have included everything and excluded nothing. At the end of the day, controlling that first fit was most important. All of your other descriptions of jaw wrenching, frothing, discoordinated recovery etc all happened here or there in greater & lesser amounts with Spencer. There was never any ‘one’ story to describe Spencer’s disease and I suspect you will experience the same "nothing is ever the same". Be patient, be strong and love Riley as best you can.

I hope some of this will help you manage Riley a little better, or hopefully just let you better understand what might be happening.

I wish you & Riley well and I will keep you in my prayers. Let us know how you get on.

Regards,
Trevor.
In memory of Spencer 7-12-05 – 22-8-2017

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