7.5 good weeks

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SpencerBhumi
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

7.5 good weeks

Post by SpencerBhumi » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:45 am

We've just had another 7.5 good weeks, for which I am grateful.

However Spencer had a fit at 5am this morning. No great things out of the ordinary, but two minor things. Saturday evening he stole a good portion of supermarket roast chicken. No signs of bowel problems (bones/obstruction/diarrhoea/vomiting) and Monday morning I found one of his three KBrom tablets near his food bowl (likely from Sunday night). (Oh, and Heartguard 11 days ago).

The grand mal was short (about half a minute/around two minutes unconscious) and his recovery was quick with almost no post ictal problems – just the increased quest for food which is still exaggerated 17 hours later. I gave him 10mg oral Valium with half a breakfast serve & some Rescue Remedy once he was out of the fit, then a full serve & medicine at 8am. He is a bit wonky on the dawdle but has no problems on the run and wanting to play ball.

Its bed time now so they’ll get their snack and some more Rescue Remedy tonight.

Here’s hoping for another good run without any problems.

Wishing everyone else good health too.

Trevor & Spencer
Grateful for the good days, weeks (months).

SpencerBhumi
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by SpencerBhumi » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:56 pm

Sadly, we just had another fit 6am today. Same story.

seebr5640
Posts: 222
Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:34 am

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by seebr5640 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:39 pm

Hang in there Trevor & Spencer! It happens.

Maybe it was the good chicken eating :) or the missed dosage that ended up near the food bowl that caused the S monster to visit.

Here's hoping that the Spencer goes another 7.5 weeks seizure free!

Barb & Sampson

SpencerBhumi
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by SpencerBhumi » Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:28 pm

Thanks, Barb.

Today is day three and all is well.

So many what ifs…

I was more concerned with Spencer eating the cooked chicken bones & all of those potential consequences than an upfront effect on his epilepsy. Still, so far so good.

Sunday night I saw him drop his KBr sandwich but he quickly sniffed around and gobbled it up before Bhumi could get it. I had a good look around and could not see any left-overs. It must have dropped out of his mouth some time after, probably when he was inhaling his dinner.

If one missed tablet will let him fit, he must be borderline medicated. We don’t do bloods on anything other than Pheno so that remains a mystery, and I am not convinced that just one tablet would cause this (200mg missed/400 given & 600 12hrly otherwise).

I am still suspicious of Heartguard, but after 11 days it is not a convincing cause. And I am not willing to compromise on heartworm prevention.

I suspect it was a collection of small events over the weekend that added up to these fits. Like I wrote in my last post – this disease sucks, and one cannot become complacent in any aspect of its management.

I am most happy he has not gone on to cluster. 1 or 2 fits ever couple of months is better than many stories I read here, so…

Grateful for the good days, weeks (months).

All the best to you and Sampson too.

Regards,
Trevor & Spencer.

beaglemum
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:49 pm
Location: Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by beaglemum » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:41 am

Hi Trevor,

I feel for you. My beagle is a terror for taking advantage of the slightest opportunity to overeat. I have discovered that when he has gorged himself, particularly when it is close to medication time, that a few hours later he will fit, even if he does still take his medication at the regular time. My theory is that there is already so much food in there, that digestion is slowed down and his meds just aren't being digested in time.

In our case though, he is also on Phenomav and Zonisamide as well as the bromide. I don't worry about a missed dose of bromide as it is meant to take 3-4 months to be effective in the blood stream at the best of times. The last time Saxon raided the food container (and I still don't know how that happened, perhaps the cat helped open the pantry :? ) I gave him liquid Keppra (we keep it on hand for when he clusters, as it seems to stop the initial seizure turning into a cluster if I give it early enough). Coincidentally, or not, he didn't seize. My guess being the Keppra was absorbed quickly as a liquid and starved off any seizures until the more effective Zonisamide could be absorbed. (I will make the note, that until the introduction of Zonisamide to his regime, nothing stopped his clusters, except IV diazapam.)

I don't know how much similarity there would be to your situation, except that Spencer, obviously really enjoyed the chicken and I know that Saxon would have as well.

Hopefully things are peaceful for you and Spencer for a while.
Roxanne & Saxon (beagle)
2 Nov 2004 - 1 Mar 2015
1st Seizure 9th August 2008
Last 21st Feb 2015
100mg Phenomav BID
200mg Zonisamide BID
7000mg milk thistle

SpencerBhumi
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by SpencerBhumi » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:17 pm

Just had a good 6.5 weeks.

7am this morning I heard Spencer fitting in the front yard, after letting the dogs out a 6am. (Soon after I found evidence of another recent fit, and then suspicious evidence of an even earlier one – yesterday maybe). I gave his breakfast, regular medication and additional 10mg oral diazepam. 8am he had another grand mal. His post ictal is minimal, a bit tripsy-over and he doesn’t look before turning his head so he bangs his nose on things. 3hrs later and he is diazepam dozy but, so far so good.

This week we are having a heat wave. Wed 31C, Thurs 39C (with a morning trip to the beach), Fri 46C (inside all day with toilet breaks, put out at sunset to unwind), Sat 33C (+ cool breeze - outside most of the day), today predicted 37C (will stay inside until sunset), Tomorrow predicted 41C. (Cool change forcast for next Saturday but by then I’ll have 2 dogs & 2 cats stir-crazy from being housebound).

Last evening Spencer looked a bit ‘sus’ of having had a fit but there was no evidence (until this morning when I found a grand mal dust angel in the yard). He did steal a half serve of cat food last night. Apart from the heat wave and some cat food, there is nothing out of the ordinary – the beach was 4 days ago so I discount that.

Once again, there seems to be no reason for these fits.

But I am grateful for the good days, weeks (and this month & a half).


-- Hi beaglemum, Spencer's really bad clusters I think were a build up of several day's mis-medication for which he required IV valium and IV pheono re-laoding + total re-tweaking of all of his drugs. These little breakthrough events seem to be controlled with 10mg oral diazepam. His post ictal is really minimal and "3" per episode is usually the cluster pattern in the last 6 months. I got off the 8hrly Kepppra but if things decline I will consider looking into the liquid Keppra for cluster management. Yes, I have to be so vigilant to prevent Spencer from stealing food (off benches, out of bins, from my daughter, cat food - you name it). He was bad enough before epilepsy and pheno, now he is just downright dangerous to himself.
By the way, who is your cheapest Zonisamide supplier, and where do you get the liquid Keppra? I have the Chemist King & Chemist Wharehouse who do Zoni c$98/112capsule 100mg. (Also, I had contacted the Therapeutic Goods Administration re specially importing KeppraXR but just the cost price out of the USA/Canada is prohibitive for me. I'm dreaming that one day it will be brought into Oz & subsidised but a colleague has informed me that the Keppra sponsor does not intent to bring the XR in any time soon).

Wishing everyone good management and happy times with their beloved dogs.

Regards,
Trevor & Spencer.

beaglemum
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:49 pm
Location: Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by beaglemum » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:00 pm

Hi Trevor

My Zonisamide supplier is Chemist Warehouse as well and the cost is same as yours. It was $94 for the 112 capsules 100mg, but I think last time I went, the price had gone up by a few dollars. I get the liquid Keppra from them too, but as I only give it in liquid form at the first seizure and then move to the generic tablet form, the one bottle has lasted me well over a year. (It was the Chemist Warehouse pharmacist that let me know that there Keppra in generic and tablet form was actually available, not to mention a fraction of the cost - it was a surprise to my vet when I told her over a year ago.)

I've noticed since being on Zonisamide, his tendency to steal food has decreased marginally, but not the need to monitor my every move, particularly if it is towards the kitchen. or perhaps it is the aging process, as he is quick to take advantage of spills, etc.

We've taken Saxon off the bromide now as he was showing increased signs of toxicity after the last gastro upset and putting him back on lower doses wasn't working for him at all. I will be interested to see how that affects him long term in seizure management. Already noticed that he has got very itchy this holiday period - first time in 8 years, to the point that the vet has put him on delta-cortef for a few weeks to try and get it under control. Do not need him developing another health problem.

Hope you get another long break between seizures.
Roxanne & Saxon (beagle)
2 Nov 2004 - 1 Mar 2015
1st Seizure 9th August 2008
Last 21st Feb 2015
100mg Phenomav BID
200mg Zonisamide BID
7000mg milk thistle

SpencerBhumi
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by SpencerBhumi » Sun Jan 06, 2013 5:31 pm

Thanks, beaglemum.

Spencer had another fit at midnight and another at 6 am, with yet another grand mal dust angel from probably last evening. He was quite ratty after the midnight fit and we did not get much sleep, but this morning he is mostly back to normal. I'll sit on him today but we are probably heading for a vet visit.

Thanks again for the Keppra info.

Trevor.

SpencerBhumi
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by SpencerBhumi » Tue Jan 08, 2013 12:00 am

Three more fits witnessed at 5am this morning with really bad post ictal behaviour - actually, I don't think he had finsished one fit before going into another, with that post ictal being semi conscious fitting. Anyway, in the one & final period of unconscious recovery he got a dose of rectal valium - followed by some oral to extend the cover. That was 7 witnessed fits with 5 strongly suspected over 48hrs. We have just returned from the vet. All normal bloods are unremarkable and drug levels should be back tomorrow or Thursday (The Pheno is processed in Adelaide but the Bromide goes to Queensland).

Grateful for the good days, weeks (months - which hopefully we will get a few more of).

Trevor & Spencer.

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

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:14 pm

Hi Trevor,
I hope that you are able to get Spencer's seizures back under control. Are you able to get Clorazepate? We use it for Jake and it has helped control his clusters.
Let us know how you are.

Take Care,
Lynne

SpencerBhumi
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by SpencerBhumi » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:43 am

Thanks Lynn.

Today was a much better day and things now look to be getting back to normal.

Yesterday afternoon finished out with a strange one: I had to go out quickly but came home to find Spencer sitting on the front lawn. His hind legs were curled/cramped up off the ground, front legs standing with his shoulders up high and his head just oscillating. Although he appeared alert he was non responsive. As I headed for the rectal diazepam he went into another violent grand mal followed by an unconscious period – much easier to insert the syringe now. That was 8 witnessed and likely 5 other fits over three days. He woke up well and although limping was OK. I gave 20mg oral diazepam late in the evening to cover him overnight, and 10mg for breakfast this morning. Today was much better but he got another 10 of Diazepam for supper.

Pheno levels came back normal. Still awaiting Bromide results. For now, any future fits we’ll give 20mg oral diazepam plus any follow up or rectal as necessary.
Our vet is investigating the liquid Keppra for breakthrough, as used by beaglemum. Again I am grateful to our team of very proactive vets.
*My initial searching indicates Clorazepate was taken off the Australian market many years ago, but we have many similar alternatives if the increased Diazepam does not work.

Then we’ll treat my paranoia. What did I miss/neglect, what did Spencer steal: too much salt water at the beach, new treats, missed tablets, the hot days? So many little things - maybe they all just added up. Perhaps my cats are colluding with beaglemum’s cats. Maybe it is just this horrible disease and it was going to happen anyway.

Hopefully this episode is behind us and we can move on with vigilance. Spencer is already improving, moving in with the licks and kisses, less pacing and more climbing on my lap, and a far improved attention span. The ol’ pup is re-emerging.

Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions.

Trevor & Spencer.

Looking forward to good days (weeks & hopefully months).

SpencerBhumi
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by SpencerBhumi » Fri Jan 11, 2013 6:36 am

Three days fit-free now and overall much improved, apart from some limping after first getting up - this limping settles out with activity.
The bromide levels came backs as sub-therapeutic so we will increase the KBrom from 600mg to 800mg twice daily and hope he tolerates this increase (keeping both the Pheno & Zonisamide at 300mg each twice daily).

Trevor & Spencer
Grateful for the good days, weeks (months).

beaglemum
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:49 pm
Location: Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by beaglemum » Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:15 pm

Hi Trevor,

So sorry to hear that you have had such a bad run with Spencer. I am glad he seems to be pulling out of this episode and I hope you have a nice long run seizure free.

I sympathise with the paranoia, we got to a stage where if there was a public holiday, it seemed that we would have a bad cluster that ended in hospitalisation. And we are a family that doesn't do anything, particularly over long weekends, no going away, no extra entertaining, no extra activities (usually because we would be dealing with a cluster). It has taken a year of reasonably well controlled seizure episodes for me to relax enough to even consider finding someone to look after him while we try and take a holiday, of course that could all change in a blink of an eye.

I have to ask, have you noticed a change in Spencer's appetite while he is on Zonisamide? It is very subtle, with a beagle, but it seems as if the hanging out in the kitchen and looking for scraps is now more of a habit rather than being driven by real need to eat. He used to take all his pills in a slice of bread & watch your fingers, now we have to use canned dog food as he turns his nose up at the bread and he is not quite so snatchy.
Roxanne & Saxon (beagle)
2 Nov 2004 - 1 Mar 2015
1st Seizure 9th August 2008
Last 21st Feb 2015
100mg Phenomav BID
200mg Zonisamide BID
7000mg milk thistle

SpencerBhumi
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Location: South Australia

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by SpencerBhumi » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:30 am

Hi beaglemum,

Thanks for your thoughts.

The paranoia is really just frustration because I have no identifiable cause or trigger. When all is well we get on with life. When it goes bad I wonder if I was complacent or negligent when we were enjoying the good times. Of course a few bad days will unsettle any routine but otherwise I try to include the dogs in all of our activities where possible.

Changes: It is coming up three years with epilepsy and we have progressed so much in adding and upping drugs, it is hard to remember exactly what & when little things changed during this time.

Spencer has always had a nose for food and would steal at the drop of a hat. Before epilepsy, the first bite out of our wedding cake was courtesy of Spencer.

When we commenced Pheno his hunger (quest for food) skyrocketed (consuming a disposable nappy & soiled clothes which likely precipitated major cluster events). When KBrom was added the thirst escalated. Next came the Keppra - I do not recall any changes then because Spencer was zombified & totally dysfunctional for 2 to 3 weeks after a bad cluster. Then we added Zonisamide & weaned the Keppra but again Spencer was zombified for several weeks during this time.

Somewhere during these times the exaggerations & excesses of thirst and hunger have settled to normal – acceptable. But Spencer is still a counter shark, circling the kitchen is search of anything vulnerable.

When Spencer rouses from a fit, his nose is the first thing to wake up. Once up & running he will head directly for an actual food source. This really is an outstanding, supernatural, extrasensory moment – tracker dogs could learn a lesson.

So, yes, Spencer’s extreme hunger & thirst has abated. Both he and his mother will scour the house for food but he is far more active & aggressive to achieve success. Therefore I keep a tight reign on food and snacks for weight control and potential-trigger control. They get breakfast (Advance) & medication at 8am & 8pm with select snacks & treats during the day, and a Dentastix with drops of Rescue Remedy for bed time. Plenty of carrot snacks (cold ones on hot days).

Notes: After Spencer has a cluster (even just 3 or 4 fits) he seems to have trouble eating/swallowing for a day or two. He lolls the food around like he can’t get the food to the back of the tongue, and he will stick his head to the bottom of the bucket and blow bubbles as if he’s forgotten how to drink. In hindsight, he was doing a little of both, here & there last week but I did not connect the two or otherwise suspect that he had fitted. Perhaps this is prelude behavior also - something I will be careful to watch in future.

It is so good to to again have my loving dog with wet nose kisses and drooly licks.
I hope everyone gets plenty of these too.

Regards,
Trevor.

Grateful for the good days, weeks (months).

cesullivan
Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:32 pm

Re: 7.5 good weeks

Post by cesullivan » Fri Feb 22, 2013 1:15 pm

My neuro said that salt intake would dramatically effect the Potassium Bromide levels in Cali and recommended that she not go to the beach as she will drink the ocean water and to watch her around my pool stopping her from drinking it. She also recommended keeping consistent levels of salt in her diet. Example, keep away from the treats that have that jerky/smoked flavor as they are high in sodium.
Cali 4YO female Lab/Chow mix
Cluster Grand Mals
Last Seizure: June 10, 13
Pheno 64MG 2x/day
Kbrovet 1,650MG 1x/day

Foster Dog Jim 3ishYO Lab
Pheno 140MG 2x/day
KBrovet 1,000MG 2x/day
Keppra XR 500MG 2x/day
Zonisamide 200MG 2x/day

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