Epilepsy

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McCullough
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:05 pm

Epilepsy

Post by McCullough » Wed Oct 18, 2017 11:47 am

I have an Australian Shepherd 5 years old that started having seizures at around 2 years old. They put him on Keppra 500 mg three time a day. Which did not work, he was still having seizures about 1 or 2 a week. So they added Phenobarbital 100mg twice a day, he went almost two weeks without a seizure, but when he had one he started have cluster seizure sometimes 4 in a row. They then upped the keppra to 750 mg which worked for a while.
Then he started having cluster seizures one Friday around 2:00pm we could not get him out of the seizure so around 4:00 pm called Vet. he told us to bring him in they put him on Valium IV got the seizure to stop advised us to take him to the Emergency vet for the night because it was weekend and he might need help during night. The emergency vet called early Sat. morning said he was have seizure most of the night he said the best chance we had to save him was to take him to LSU Vet. school which we did. They put him on Zonisamide 100 mg 3 cap twice a day and Zonisamide 50 mg 1 twice a day. So now he takes about 12 pills a day we upped the phenobarbital to 1-1/2 twice a day and the kreppa 750 1-1/2 morning and night and we also added milk thistle once a day to help with his liver. He now has seizures every 20 to 22 days but he might have then for a couple of days in a row. When he not in seizure mode he is fine. We do have to be careful about him getting excited or scared because that could cause him to start having seizures. It has changed our life we can't really go anywhere anymore because he thinks when it gets dark outside we should be home and he gets nervous. His med routine is 5am 1pa 5pm and 9pm. My goal is to get rid of 1pm med. It would make our life a little easier. There no option to put him down until we have not choice. I guess i just want to now if anyone has had luck with cutting keppra to twice a day. And vent just a little we bought the dog from a breeder and LSU said the mom and dad must have had epilepsy for him to have it so bad. He is a beautiful dog that we love very much.

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Epilepsy

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:22 am

I'm so sorry this is happening to you and your beautiful Aussie.This disease is hitting Australian Shepherds very hard. It's hard to know whether the problems are because both mom and dad were diagnosed with epilepsy. They can carry the gene and never have seizures and still pass it on. And it's also very possible that the did have seizures and the breeder bred them anyway.
Have the vets mentioned using extra Pb, rectal Valium, Clorazepate and extra Keppra after seizures to control clusters? We used them with our Jake and it worked well most of the time. The frustrating thing is that what works for one dog may not work for another so it can be a guessing game and you may have to tweak meds regularly.
The problem with Keppra is what's called a "Honeymoon" period where it appears to be working well and then suddenly doesn't work anymore. The good thing about it is that you can adjust the mgs fairly high without side effects and long term damage. You might want to check into Keppra xr instead of regular, that way you would only give it twice a day. I wouldn't do that with regular Keppra. The downside to switching is that during the change over they can have more seizures, but it can be done with you vet overseeing it. We gave Jake regular generic Keppra 4x a day because he metabolized it too quickly and switching from 3x to 4 really helped him. You can have a peak and trough test done to see if that's a problem or not.
If you would like to know what we did for Jake please feel free to contact me personally through CEN and I'll send you the list of meds and supplements/dosing we gave him. It kept him with us for 11 years even though we never got control.
These dogs are so special and it's heartbreaking to go through this with them so if you need to vent come here. It's also amazing how resilient they can be and their ability to still have a happy life despite it all.
I hope this helps. Let us know how you're doing.

Lynne

McCullough
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:05 pm

Re: Epilepsy

Post by McCullough » Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:56 pm

Thank you so much for the info Lynne it really has helped. The reason i think both parents had problems is the lady that sold him to me never sent the papers on him and i tried calling her and she discounted her phone. Of course i did a stupid thing and meet her somewhere else and paid cash so i have no idea where she lives. But I knew we would not breed him so i was not that concerned I never dreamed he would have seizures. I had dogs my whole life and never had a sick one.

Every time I think were making progress then things change when i wrote the first time he was having seizures every 20 to 22 days. Yesterday was 14 days he had 2 seizures and tonight he just had 2. We do have the rectal Valium which we gave to him it usually takes two doses to stop the seizures. I just gave him his 2nd one about 45 minutes ago and he is resting right now.

I've had my grandkids the last two weekends and I think he gets so excited when there here, that it cause him to have the seizures plus we took him for a walk and sometimes he gets so excited about that it can trigger too.

My Vet is great he has come to my house to give him his shots because it makes him so nerves to go to the office. We don't do blood test any long because it stresses him to much.

I just take on day at a time. Thank you so much for replying to me it's just hard because our dogs our like kids to us.

Do you know how to upload a picture i wanted to share his picture

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Epilepsy

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:57 am

Your story sounds almost like ours. We found out about an Australian Shepherd that needed a good home. So we met with the woman but she wouldn't allow us near her house. Red flag number 1. Then when my husband asked about breeding him she adamantly said no I wouldn't do that. Red flag #2. Then it took several phone calls and almost a year to finally his papers. She was obviously protecting the breeder who we found out she'd sold her other Aussie's back to except Jake. I try to think that she wanted to give Jake the best chance at a good life so didn't sell him back to the breeder. I've had dogs all of my life too and never had a problem either, but epilepsy is becoming a much much bigger problem with all breeds now and has really hit Aussie's hard.
I would give an extra dose of Pb after a seizure. Check with your vet, but it's a common thing to do unless there's a problem with his liver values. The closer together they get the threat of status is greater. That's how we lost our Jake. If Pb doesn't keep the seizures to one, you can check into also giving Clorazepate.
Many dogs can seize if they get excited. It's another cruel part of this. The things that bring them joy can bring on a seizure. If you can get Bach Flower Rescue Remedy and give him a few drops 30 minutes before a walk or a visit from your grandchildren that may keep his excitement down. If you can't you can ask your vet for Valium tablets. We used 5mg tabs (which you can also use for a couple of days following a seizure to keep the cluster threat down) and if we knew Jake could get stressed we gave him half a tab and that usually helped. It could also help with his anxiety going to the vet. You'll need to get blood work done to get his liver function checked. Later in his life our vet would come out to the car and take the sample so Jake wouldn't get stressed out.
I hope this helps.
Take Care,
Lynne

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