Another Newbie

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Sharon F
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:07 pm
Location: Arizona

Another Newbie

Post by Sharon F » Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:25 am

Hello! I am so glad to have stumbled across this web site and forum. I wish it wasn't under these circumstances however :-(

My black lab mix is Hercules. He is 1 1/2 years old about 82 pounds. He was a stray that found us when he was approxiamtely 6 months.

We witnessed Hercules' first seizure 3 weeks ago on 10/06. He was treated at the local animal 24 hour hospital. Last Wednesday night he suffered 4 cluster seizures back-to-back-to-back-back. (That looks so funny writing that out!) There was nothing we could do other than let him go through the seizures and then comfort him afterwards. Then he went through the seizures all over again. By the time hubby & I got Hercules a little bit more stable it was after 11:30 pm, so I got him back to the animal hospital where he had a 5th seizure shortly after midnight.

So my boy stayed in the 'hospital ward' until he was discharged on Friday morning. Hercules was found to have 'tick fever' from the blood work back on 10/06 and is on doxycycline. The vet believes it is something he picked up from the lake. He is on 97.2 mg of the phenobarbital and will go for follow up blood work on Nov. 9th. The diagnosis for now is idiopathic epilepsy. We are still planning on making an appointment for a neurological work up to see if there is something else going on in that doggy brain.

In my discharge consult, I was informed of the side effects which I am definately seeing. Hercules is not at all himself. He's doped up, crashing into things, and stumbling. He casually walks into the yard instead of racing all over the place. I think the meds are temporarily making his constipated. I was warned about the increased appetite too and to offer plenty of fresh water. It's so sad to see my boy in this state. The fire in his eye is still there but his body doesn't want to work. I know this will eventually level out and his body will get accustomed to the meds.

Well I do apologize for writing a long book here. I guess I just needed to write everything out. I have spent the past few days reading and learning everything I could about canine epilespy.
'Mom' to Hercules
My rescue black lab mix
First witnessed seizure 10-06-07
5 cluster seizures 10-24-07

MK's mom
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 am
Location: Michigan

Post by MK's mom » Sun Oct 28, 2007 8:41 am

HI Sharon and welcome.

Does your vet plan to send you to a neurologist so they can do a spinal tap? I know those are pricey, but that is what will show if there's a tick borne disease or something else going on, such an immune problem. There's perhaps other tests for ticks, but i"m not up on that kind of thing.

The Pb will make Hercules groggy for a short time, but his body will adjust and he'll do fine. My boy was ravenous at first on the Pb, but now he's much better and hasn't gained weight. Don't leave the food out for him to free feed, just give him his 2 or 3 meals a day, however you feed him, and when he's done that is all he gets. Take it easy on the dog biscuits if that's something you give him for treats. I and other folks on the board give our dogs baby carrots or other veggies they might like and they seem happy with that.

Keep us up to date with Hercules's status. We all learn from each other here, so we're always welcoming new people and their situations so we can learn from them, too.

Vivian
Nathan
3.5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 7/26/2013
Last seizure 3/24/2014
__________________________________
MK
5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 1/25/06
Last seizure 9/4/2009

Aug 17, 2004- Sept. 22, 2009
May the shamrocks fall softly sweetpea

Sharon F
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:07 pm
Location: Arizona

Post by Sharon F » Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:24 am

MK's mom wrote:HI Sharon and welcome.

Does your vet plan to send you to a neurologist so they can do a spinal tap? I know those are pricey, but that is what will show if there's a tick borne disease or something else going on, such an immune problem. There's perhaps other tests for ticks, but i"m not up on that kind of thing.
Thank you for your warm welcome Vivian. The consult for the neuro will be to discuss which diagnostic to begin with: CAT scan, MRI, or spinal tap. Obviously all are pricey and we will just take one step at a time.

The bloodwork is also checkng for Valley Fever, which is prevalent in this part of Arizona (Phoenix/Sonoran Desert area).

One thing that I just read about elsewhere in the forum is to continue to exercise. So about 15 minutes ago I told Hercules we were going for a walk and he perked up! The first few houses were stumbly, but then he started to walk normally. By the time we got over to the neighborhood park area he was his old self. Then out of the corner of his eye he spotted a bunny and he ran! Certainly not full speed, but enough to where he caught me off guard and pulled my arm. I let go-bunny got away of course. Hercules gave good chase and it seemed like he was craving the exercise. He drank a lot when we got home and he's resting now.

Well, back to reading everyone else's stories!
'Mom' to Hercules
My rescue black lab mix
First witnessed seizure 10-06-07
5 cluster seizures 10-24-07

Dylans Dad
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2006 5:12 am
Location: SE Iowa
Contact:

Post by Dylans Dad » Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:31 pm

sorry you had to join us.
the phenabarbitol does make them very dopey for awhile. Dylan would fall when he lifted his leg to pee. but after you reach a theraputic dose they adjust.
good luck with the other tests
Wags & Slurps
Debby & Dylan
6 yr old Border collie
1st aug 7 2006
last 7-18-08
375 MG kbr twice a day
1 47.5 pb twice a day

High_Voltage_Head
Posts: 193
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:00 pm
Location: Minnesota

Post by High_Voltage_Head » Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:36 pm

Hi Sharon, i'd just mention that it's possible that some of those drug side effects you're seeing are actually after-effects of the multiple seizures. Either way, they'll probably get better with a little time. One reason i think it might be from the seizures and not the drugs (yet) is that i think Pb side effects usually take more than 1-2 days before you see them, and am i right that you started Pb on Friday?
Me: Kurt
Dog: Jackson the 6 y.o. Standard Poodle 55lbs
died March '08

Sharon F
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2007 3:07 pm
Location: Arizona

Post by Sharon F » Mon Oct 29, 2007 2:33 pm

High_Voltage_Head wrote:Hi Sharon, i'd just mention that it's possible that some of those drug side effects you're seeing are actually after-effects of the multiple seizures. Either way, they'll probably get better with a little time. One reason i think it might be from the seizures and not the drugs (yet) is that i think Pb side effects usually take more than 1-2 days before you see them, and am i right that you started Pb on Friday?
Thanks for your feedback. I am starting to see some improvements in Hercules' coordination. He actually began the Pb Thursday at midnight with a loading dose injection. By the time I got him to the 24 hour animal hospital it was clsoe to midnight and he had a seizure in front of the vets. It was explained to me that the loading dose was more concentrated than the tablet form. He was discharged Friday morning at 7:30 AM and now on Monday afternoon, he is starting to be somewhat less dopey.
'Mom' to Hercules
My rescue black lab mix
First witnessed seizure 10-06-07
5 cluster seizures 10-24-07

Melissa and Raven
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 8:10 pm
Location: Barrie Ontario
Contact:

Post by Melissa and Raven » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:47 am

Hello Sharon and Herc

Raven and I are new here as well. Raven is also a rescue. Funny...as I read other stories it seems 50% of them are rescues. Disregarded as if they are less of a dog because of a condition that may be so easy to treat/manage. (fingers crossed really tightly)

I'm sorry you too had to join. But if any dog can get through this, a dog named Hercules is sure to be the dog!

Cyber Hug.

M.

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