Speckles is doing well

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ezod52
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:36 am

Speckles is doing well

Post by ezod52 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:28 am

I have been away from the forum for quite some time but I wanted to share an update about our experiences and ask a question.

My Pomeranian, Speckles was in horrible trouble for almost 3 years (ages 2 through 5). Progressively worse and worse clusters to the point where she was having 50+ seizures per month. It was torture. She was on 5 meds, all high doses. We thought we were out of options, but about 1 1/2 years ago our neurologist suggested we double her evening Zonisamide dose. Most of her seizures were at night. It was a huge help and there have been very few seizures since this modification - I think only 1 in the past year :D. We have removed and reduced some of her other meds. I was very reluctant to post in the 'Success Stories" section for fear of jinxing our luck, but I wanted to let the community know that sometimes things work out. In our case, Zonisamide+Pheno+KBr was the final combination that worked.

Now for my question. Several years ago, Speckles teeth started to get pretty bad. I asked the neurologist if it was OK to sedate her for a cleaning. The response was a depressing, but honest "I wouldn't risk it at this point". At the time I wasn't convinced Speckles would survive more than a few months. Yesterday we had Speck in for some bloodwork. The vet said her teeth are in dangerous condition. She badly needs a cleaning and likely a couple of teeth pulled to prevent the risk of dental abscess and related problems.

I'm terrified about sedating her. But if we don't take care of the teeth I fear she will develop complications that could spell disaster in the near future.

How many of you have had your epileptic pups sedated for tooth cleaning/surgery or otherwise?

Many thanks for the support and advice from this forum. My thoughts go out to all those suffering with a sick pet. I hope 2015 brings you all good fortune.

Take care,
Joe

ShilohsMom
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ShilohsMom » Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:16 am

Thanks for the update and so glad to hear that you're having success at getting some control over Speckles seizures. I understand about the reluctance to post a success, but it's always nice to hear the stories.

I'm in almost the same boat you are with Shiloh's teeth. While he isn't dangerously close, he does need to have some teeth removed that he broke during seizures and they could use a good cleaning but they are reluctant to put him under as well. He was put under about a year ago to have a tooth removed that had broken down to the gum line and had to come out. Thankfully he handled everything fine and my worry was for nothing.

Was the vet able to offer any alternatives or newer sedation meds that might have less of a chance to cause seizures? If she was given a dose of Valium prior would that help keep them from putting her under so deep? It's so hard to know what the right thing is when there really is no cut and dried answer.

Let us know how it goes.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

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

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:43 pm

Hi Joe,
I'm so glad to hear from you and to hear that Speckles isn't having many seizures anymore. If there was ever a metal handed out for a very tough little pup it would be her. I can't say enough about how happy I am for you.
As far as sedation goes, Jake has had four surgeries to remove "foreign objects" and he made it through without a lot of problems. The last time he started throwing up because the hospital didn't catch that the drugs they used didn't go well with Clorazepate. He'd had a seizure and was only supposed to take it for one day and instead was on it for two. I caught it and he was home within 8 hours. So I would say have a good discussion with your vet about what interactions could happen and what they will do for her if it should. Other than that, if you trust your vet, and it sounds like you do, they will also want the very best for Speckles. I can't tell you not to worry because I think as epi parents we've invented the word, but I do think she'll be fine.
Again, I couldn't be happier for you. I know how hard and how long you struggled to find the right combination.
As far as jinxing it... I've decided that occasionally we have to be happy for our successes with this stupid disease. We have to put the positive out there too. Besides, you've earned the right to scream it out loud!!
Let us know how things go.
Take Care,
Lynne

ezod52
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:36 am

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ezod52 » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:23 pm

Thank you both for your kind words and for sharing your experiences :).

I'm encouraged by hearing that you both have had your pups sedated with minimal issues.

We're waiting for her liver and thyroid bloodwork results... if they come back good, I'll have a more serious talk with the vet about my options for dealing with the teeth.

This past year I started brushing her teeth at home but I think it was too late - they were already in terrible shape and I don't think I'm helping much. I wish I would have started years ago. Colleen - I don't know if Shiloh lets you brush his teeth, but it may be something you want to look into. Speck's gums are in terrible shape now :(. Taking care of it at home sooner might have slowed/prevented her issues. It can't help with his broken teeth, but it could keep his gumline in shape.

I will let you all know what happens.

Thanks again,
Joe

ShilohsMom
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ShilohsMom » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:46 pm

Shiloh is one of those dogs that his teeth seem to get worse quicker than my other dogs. It was interesting that I had 3 dogs all the same general age & weight and the difference in their teeth. They all ate the same stuff & received the same care.

One of the great things about Shiloh is he's so laid back and let's me do anything to him. He has to wear boots on our walks because his damaged disc causes him to drag his back feet. He just stands there while I put them on. He recently started wearing a muzzle when outside (if it's on the ground he'll eat it), he just looks at me and goes on. I have brushed his teeth, but if you don't do it at least once a day, it doesn't do much and to be honest, that is one area I'm not good at doing consistantly. I sprinkle Proden PlaqueOff on his evening food and that has helped some. It has seaweed and no additives or chemicals. You shouldn't give it to a dog with hyperthyroidism though.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

ezod52
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:36 am

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ezod52 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:52 am

That's really great that Shiloh is such a good dog :)

Speckles really doesn't like it when I try to brush her teeth. I spoke to the vet yesterday and he said I'm probably not doing much good at this point and it's stressing her out, so I'm going to stop trying until after we get her a professional cleaning / surgery. Her bloodwork came back good overall. Slightly low thyroid level, but the value was measured at her trough time (shortly after her morning pill) and she shows no outward signs of thyroid problem so we're keeping her current thyroid pill dosage for now. Also one elevated enzyme associated with being on KBr (I forget which one)... but it was much reduced since last measure, likely because we reduced KBr dose since then.

February is dental cleaning month at our vet and they offer a discount for cleanings. So we'll probably set something up for Speck next month to take care of he teeth. Not looking forward to that stress.

Our mastiff just tore his ACL, so that will be the focus of January. Poor guy :(

Take care everybody,
Joe

ShilohsMom
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ShilohsMom » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:36 am

Glad to hear that Speckles blood work looks pretty good and you don't have that concern. Do you feel a bit more at ease about the dental cleaning after talking with the vet?

Will your Mastiff have to have surgery to repair the ACL?
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

ezod52
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:36 am

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ezod52 » Wed Jan 07, 2015 9:43 am

Actually, Colleen, I feel a bit more at ease about the dental work after hearing from you and Lynne :D . Many thanks. I had no idea of how risky it was for epileptic dogs to be sedated and it seems you both have had very limited issues in your experiences. I'm still pretty nervous though.

Thor (our Mastiff) is scheduled for surgery in about a week :(. We read conflicting opinions. Some say hold off on the surgery and see how he progresses. Others say delaying the surgery can cause further damage to the surrounding tissue as he tries to use the leg or even worse, lead to an injury on the other leg which would be a complete disaster in a dog that's too big to pick up / carry. Our vet said he thinks it's probably a total tear of the ACL. Thor wont even put his foot to the ground most of the time the last few days and his mood is depressed so he's probably in pain. I'm open to advice if anyone has dealt with this situation.

Thanks a lot,
Joe

ShilohsMom
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ShilohsMom » Wed Jan 07, 2015 10:02 am

Glad we could offer a bit of hope and optimism. It's always hard when there isn't a guaranteed outcome and our hairy babies add extra issues into a routine procedure.

One of the great things about the internet is the information at our fingertips, one of the worst things about the internet is the information at our fingertips :D It can be so scary reading about the successes and the horrors when what we're really searching for is everyone telling us what the best solution is. (I ran into this when looking for canine epilepsy information). My niece had a Mastiff several years ago that tore it's ACL and she had the surgery done. The dog made a wonderful recovery. I can only give a best guess that if you were to leave it, that it would make sense the other leg could be impacted because of Thor not using the bad leg and it putting more stress on the good one. It's not like he's a 10 pound dog! :D

Best of luck with all!
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

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

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by beaglemum » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:22 am

Hi Joe,

Glad to hear that Speckles is doing well. We were in a similar situation last year, where my beagle, who is now well controlled with his seizures (touch wood) really needed his teeth done, including an extraction or three. My vet, was very encouraging saying that the anesthetic that he would use also works as anti-seizure medication, so no real chance of seizing whilst under. Poor Saxon really needed his teeth done. He was drooling all the time, the other dog was cleaning up his jowls for him, kind of sweet in an icky way.

Saxon came through the procedure swimmingly with no after effects. In hind sight, he must have been in a bit of a pain, but he is never good at communicating that to us.

I am sorry to hear about your mastiff with the ACL. They are such big heavy dogs that keeping their weight of the healing leg would be a challenge. Years ago, I had a British Bulldog that did that, to both legs over time. I could just lift her to get her up and down stairs for toilet breaks, etc.

Good luck with everything and I am very, very happy to hear that Speckles is doing so well. We do need more of those stories to encourage us all.

Cheers

Roxanne
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

ezod52
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:36 am

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ezod52 » Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:02 am

Colleen - very encouraging to hear your niece's mastiff recovered well, thanks.

Roxanne - thank you for the feedback about the teeth cleaning. I am very nervous about it, but it needs to be done.

Thor is scheduled for surgery next week and by all accounts it will be a very long recovery. It's sad that it happened to such a young dog (will turn 2 next month) but it might work to his advantage in healing quicker.

Take care everybody,
Joe

Eley's Mom
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:54 am
Location: Chicago, West Suburbs

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by Eley's Mom » Thu Jan 15, 2015 11:20 pm

Eley was just sedated last Thursday. She had two mast cell tumors removed. My vet assured me they would be careful to use meds that would not interact negatively with her pheno and KBr. She went through the surgery and was just fine. Even in the days after, no complications other than trying to get her to lay around. She was up and ready to tackle the world as if she wasn't just sliced open at all. lol

And just for reference, Eley is 5 and besides the epilepsy (and now the MCT) she has always been in tip top shape.
Diana & Eley
Boston Terrier (23 lbs)
DOB: 11/12/09
First Seizure 2/8/14
Last Seizure 10/9/16
Phenobarbital 48.6mg (morning), 56.7mg p.m. (night)
3 mL Potasium Bromide, once daily
Clorazepate as needed after seizures

ezod52
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:36 am

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ezod52 » Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:40 pm

Good to hear Eley did well with the sedation and procedure. Thanks for the info. February is 'dental month' at our vet and they give discounts for cleanings so we will probably try to schedule something then for Speck.


Side note - we took our mastiff Thor in for surgery on his leg this week, but after a long discussion with the specialist (an hour maybe?), we decided to postpone the procedure. She said recovery without surgery can be fine if the supporting scar tissue builds up correctly around the knee joint. To my amazement he has started walking much better in the last few days. We are going to restrict his movement for 2 more weeks and see how he progresses. We may still have the operation but it's more invasive than I thought and we're worried about putting him through it. Sad thing is, we're hearing these ligament tears are due to degeneration of the tissue itself inherent in certain breeds and there is a 50-70% chance he will tear the other one - likely within a year or two :(

On a positive note, since this is the Success Stories subforum, I will say that this week is my birthday and I'm thrilled that Speck is doing so well. Exactly 4 years ago on my birthday we took Speck for an MRI and I was convinced we would find a brain-tumor. I didn't think we would have her much longer. MRI was clean, but we still had 2+ years of struggling to get her to the point of stability she's at now. I'm very thankful for everyone's support and the dedication of the doctors who research these problems and help take care of our little furry buddies.

Thanks,
Joe

ShilohsMom
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ShilohsMom » Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:10 pm

Joe,

Belated happy birthday. I hope you were able to enjoy your day.

Glad to hear that Thor's leg seems to be doing better without the surgery and prayers that he'll continue on the healing path. I think it's great your vet told you that instead of insisting on surgery.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

ezod52
Posts: 71
Joined: Mon May 09, 2011 11:36 am

Re: Speckles is doing well

Post by ezod52 » Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:43 am

Thanks Colleen :D

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