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 Post subject: When to go on meds?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:53 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:24 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Genelle BC Can.
So it looks like my GSP is having seizures at a rate of 1 every 2 months or so once he had 2 in a 10 day period. At that time the vet thought I should consider meds but he went 2 and a half months with none but he had one this morning.
Does one usually medicate when the seizures are so far apart?

Grant


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 Post subject: Re: When to go on meds?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:51 pm 
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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Posts: 201
Location: South Australia
Hi Grant,

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

This is a hard question to give a Yes or No answer to. If you could be guaranteed that your GSP would only fit once every couple of months I could understand your reluctance to commence medication.

Commencing medication is a serious consideration for all the potential complications of that/those medicine/s, and for the too common fact that medication might not stop the fits but merely control them to some degree. The type of seizure may be an indicator for the need to medicate i.e. serious Grand Mal seizures V focal or absence seizures.

A great concern with this disease is its unpredictability. A fit every couple of months can, as you are aware, become 2 in a fortnight. And it is too easy for that to become 2 in a day.
Also, is it possible that your dog may have had any additional seizure activity that you are not aware of? Once the kindling effect sets in and a self-perpetuating cluster develops, it becomes 1) hazardous for your dog and 2) exceedingly difficult to break.

I am not able to advise you with a yes or no, but I will encourage you that if you do choose to add medication, you are neither failing your dog nor losing to this disease.

It appears that most vets will watch one or two first seizures but strongly recommend medication soon after. It also appears that there is no right or first drug of choice, but choice of medicine will vary between vets. Please also note that many dogs do not stabilize with one drug alone but go through the journey of trialing a combination of many antiepileptic medications, and a trial of dosages.

I will however absolutely suggest that you obtain an emergency kit to stop any Status Epilepticus events that have the potential to occur out of nowhere.
If a cluster event were to establish I am sure you will seek vet care and they will aggressively treat this situation.
If you do nothing else, at least discuss this idea with your vet (obtaining some Diazepam/other for emergency/cluster breaking administration).

I’m sorry I can’t be more definitive to help your decision making but I hope I have given you some ideas to take back to your vet to discuss further.

Please keep in touch and let us know how you and your GSP are getting on. I wish you both well.

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


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 Post subject: Re: When to go on meds?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:24 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Genelle BC Can.
Thanks for the detailed reply Spencer

You make some very interesting points that will need to be fully considered

His seizures last less than a minute he looses conscientious but comes around to 100% 5 minutes later. All of his last 3 seizures have been early in the morning after he has not eaten any food but gets onto the grass and then pukes I have been adding extras to get him to eat more in the morning but he beat to the punch this morning.

"I will however absolutely suggest that you obtain an emergency kit to stop any Status Epilepticus events that have the potential to occur out of nowhere."

We have one so far by the time we get the kit and load the syringe the seizure is over.

I don't know for sure he has not had any that were not aware of he sleeps on my bed and goes just about every where with me.

One other thing he is still intact have you or anyone else seen a study that compares seizures before and after a dog gets fixed.

Many Thanks

Grant


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 Post subject: Re: When to go on meds?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 7:45 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:25 am
Posts: 201
Location: South Australia
Hi Grant.

I had Spencer de-sexed when he was a young puppy. He started fitting at age four and is continuing into his 12th year. As for studies on the matter, I do not know.

If you are out all day and your dog fits early on, you might miss the signs of that fit. I can usually tell by Spencer’s behaviour if he has had a fit in the last few hours because he is ‘just not quite right’. His grand mals can go from 30 seconds to 2 minutes and his post ictal behaviour ranges from a few minutes of confusion to blind running, relentless pacing & much disorientation. I guess you will come to understand ‘right’ and ‘not quite right’ in your dog. It is common for us to find seizure dust angels around the place too.
(We go a lot of places together but I wish he could come everywhere with me - unfortunately Spencer has a fair bit of alone time. I need a pet friendly job).

It took me a while to adjust to and understand Spencer’s fits so I would like to reassure you to not panic during a fit. If the grand mal lasts 1 to 2 minutes and your dog wakes quickly & nicely, all is well. A one-off seizure with a quick recovery will not hurt, but it is important to reduce the chance of second and third fits kindling. I find it is the post ictal confusion phase where Spencer is most likely to injure himself – running blindly into walls/fences, tripping, getting trapped etc. Obviously if the seizure goes on or becomes many, then you need to act. Now, if I am around when Spencer fits, I protect him from banging his head & other body parts during the fit, and watch/reassure/protect him until he is reorientated afterwards. When he is awake enough to eat (10-20 minutes usually) I prepare his breakthrough tablets & a serve of food. If he is looking suspicious and does have another fit I will collect the emergency kit, then watch and wait. If he has a third fit in quick succession he is less likely to be coordinated enough to eat his tablets so then I actually open the kit and he gets a dose of rectal valium – and a trip to the vet. On two other occasions he failed to rouse between fits in quick succession so during that third fit he was getting a dose of valium – and I was getting us ready to visit the vet. I really hope you don’t get to this stage with your dog.

Times, places, triggers – that is a whole other story. It might be helpful to start a journal of your dog’s life, activities, events, peculiarities & oddities, foods, snacks, flea & worm treatments, environmental stuff (and more). Out of this you might identify a trigger and hopefully reduce them. I wish we could be so lucky. I hope you are.

Regards,
Trevor.


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 Post subject: Re: When to go on meds?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:24 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 27, 2017 12:24 pm
Posts: 8
Location: Genelle BC Can.
Hi Trevor

"If you are out all day and your dog fits early on, you might miss the signs of that fit."
I am lucky to be retired so the only job I have it to go fly fishing every day the dogs get a boat ride and help me land the big ones.

Looks like I will have to look deeper into the web for more studies.

Times, places, triggers – that is a whole other story. It might be helpful to start a journal of your dog’s life, activities, events, peculiarities & oddities, foods, snacks, flea & worm treatments, environmental stuff (and more). Out of this you might identify a trigger and hopefully reduce them. I wish we could be so lucky. I hope you are.

I have noted the times and dates the only trigger at this time seems to be the puking.

Thanks
Grant


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 Post subject: Re: When to go on meds?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 02, 2017 10:13 am
Posts: 4
Location: Stockport UK
Hi Grant and every one

John is my name and I look after 2 German Shepherds a boy (Simba) aged 5 now and a girl (Amber) aged 7,
Amber started having Grand Malls at 6 months old while on exercise, I had been around people who have epilepsy so I knew what was happening but my partner and other dog walkers were in total shock of what was happening to her. I too took her to the vets who were not to worried at the time, however again 4 weeks later the same thing happened again whilst on exercise. again a visit to the vets were a blood sample and urine sample were taken we discussed starting Amber on 30 mg of Epiphen twice a day of which I was not happy as I new once she went on them it was for ever so I declined. and felt it wise to wait until the tests from her blood and urine came back, Amber had 2 more GM 4 weeks apart so it was agreed by all to start her on the medication and for me to carry Diazapam as the seizures were very intensive, and as Trevor has advised we kept a journal of Ambers actions and found that she would start pacing, wetting her bed and staying close to me. she had 1 GM about every 4 weeks until 6 months ago, and touch wood she has been free of them ( by the way all her seizures have happened during the day and on exercise) we do not take Amber out during the day as she would froth at the mouth a lot. but she loves the early morning walks on the vale. Amber has had many other problems with her health over the years. She continues to have Myclonic Jerks through out the night or when she nods off in the day so I wonder if any one else has come across this problem. she has at the moment having problems itching and I will be getting some coconut oil for her as one of your members suggests . The only other point is I used the Diazapam once when I thought she was going to cluster and regretted it as it put her into a daze for days. But I consider my self very lucky That Amber is not as bad as some of the other members pets. so hopefully they will be few and far between for your GSP

Regards John


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