Remy made it 5 months seizure free!

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featheredwyngs
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:03 am
Location: Florida

Remy made it 5 months seizure free!

Post by featheredwyngs » Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:31 pm

I know that a lot of you have dogs that have seizures more frequently than mine, but I was getting pretty frustrated and starting to feel a little hopeless the last time my dog had a seizure. He started having seizures Oct. 2011 (out of the blue) and had about 9 by Aug 14, 2012.

We had tried Zonisamide as our first line drug because of its efficacy in research trials (although outside of combination treatment it's not as clearly effective) and lack of side effects (vet felt my dog was fairly young and was boarding on the rule of thumb of seizure frequency to medicate or not). We didn't medicate until around his 3 seizure or so and tried Zonisamide for a while (75mg twice a day, and then upped to 100 mg twice a day when it didn't seem to be working). However, we couldn't make it past 1-2 months without a seizure (our goal had been to even get him to 3 months) so my veterinarian decided to start him on Phenobarb and cut out the Zonisamide in July.

He had a seizure on the Phenobarb one month in (Aug 14, 2012; right when we decided to starting tapering him off the Zonisamide), and we were pretty disappointed because his levels on it should have been stable by then. So we decided to keep him on both medications (although she wanted him on as few meds as possible, tapering the Zonisamide didn't seem worth it at that point) and the vet set a firm goal of three months. She indicated that if we hadn't achieved control (i.e., made it to 3 months) with that combination of medications, we should consult a neurologist and consider potassium bromide (the former of which is simply not financially possible for me). I kept my fingers crossed.

We made it through the holidays (which was huge, given that long car rides seem to trigger seizures for him) and somehow made it to 5 months seizure free today (1/21/13). I am surprisingly happy... I knew that the lull in seizures would not last forever (I'd feel too greedy to hope for that).... but 5 months... that could mean 2-3 seizures a year, as opposed to 9, and for that I'd be thankful.

So that is our little success story for now. I don't know where this road will take us... if we'll get another 5 months seizure free or not (and I know in the years ahead of us we may not, due to kindling), but I'm thankful today despite his seizure. We are going to get blood work done on Wednesday to check his levels and keep on going forward. If anyone has a similar story (dog with seizure every 1-2 months, then controlled for 5 months+), I'd love to hear about your experience too about how stable the medication keeps them (can I expect another 5 months or no? etc).

Happy New Year!
Remy, American Eskimo Dog (DOB 02/02/2007)
First Seizure, 10/01/2011
Last Seizure, 03/26/2013
Zonisamide 100mg twice daily
Phenobarbital 32.4mg twice daily

featheredwyngs
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:03 am
Location: Florida

Re: Remy made it 5 months seizure free!

Post by featheredwyngs » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:30 pm

Well spoke too soon. He had another seizure this Sunday (Feb 3), almost two weeks from his last one. After his seizure on Jan 21st, we tested his phenobarb levels and during his lowest level of the day (before his next dose) he was only a little below the recommended therapeutic level, so the vet decided to keep his current dosage of medications the same. This last seizure happened about an hour before his dose was due, so now we will be increasing his phenobarbital dose a little bit (to 48.6mg twice a day; so increasing it by 50% of his current dose). Should start that tomorrow. Hopefully, I can put up with the increased hunger I'm expecting. :)
Remy, American Eskimo Dog (DOB 02/02/2007)
First Seizure, 10/01/2011
Last Seizure, 03/26/2013
Zonisamide 100mg twice daily
Phenobarbital 32.4mg twice daily

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