Newbie needs support

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adajadesmom
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 pm

Newbie needs support

Post by adajadesmom » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:26 pm

Hi everyone. You have a terrific site and it's already helped me a lot. I've been researching 'til my eyes are crossed and can't find any cases that seem to be just like mine. I'm curious what you all might say.
(this will be long to give you all my details)
We adopted Ada Jade in mid-Sept, not knowing she had any problems. Two days later she had her first seizure while in our care. I wasn't quite sure what was going on with her at first and we rushed her to the closest vet which took an hour and a half. By then it was over.

(Ada is a 70 pound rottie - may or may not be mixed...another tale of BYB's. Don't get me started on that though!)

Anyway, when she has a seizure, I can tell it's hitting as she cocks her head and shortly after lays down. Within a minute or two, she'll paddle a bit. Now the most bizarre thing is that these "episodes" last an hour and a half usually. NOTE: By episode, I mean, she paddles, then stops. Then 10-20 seconds later, does it again. And then 10-20 seconds more, again. She has never lost bodily functions (pee or poo) during them and a lot of the time in those 10-20 second spurts, she seems with it. For instance, in the middle of the last one, my husband was making a sandwich upstairs and she heard the clink of the knife on glass and wanted to get up to see what she was missing. She can't though, as her back legs are stiffening up on and off. Sometimes the paddling will go on almost through the entire episode (on and off, as I said). Then, each time at about an hour and twenty minutes, she settles down and only has muscle spasms and then it's done. It's almost like clockwork! Very weird.
Most of the time when these happen, the vets are closed and by the time I call to have them meet me and then make it there, the episode is over. Because of this, the vet has never given valium or PB to stop it. Oh, and these seem to be caused from activity.

She had her 2nd exactly two weeks later and the vet put her on PB. She had 3 more that week. (I heard meanwhile that this dog had been abused and konked on the head each time she did something wrong) The vet put her on dexamethasone to keep her brain from swelling after her 5th seizure. After two weeks the vet cut down her dex dose and started her on KBR. A week later, she had her 6th. Since Oct. 26th, she's been having two days free and then a seizure, two days free, seizure. We checked her PB level, which was low and upped her dose to 1 grain BID. She continued to have them so we upped it again to 1 1/2 grain BID. We have had 2 very mild seizures where the whole episode only lasted 10 minutes. She's still having them, now it seems every other day.

When these are over, she's able to get up and it seems like nothing has happened. Only the meds have made her VERY dopey.

We don't have a neurologist in the state and two vets have told me to wait and see if the KBR will kick in and start working. We also do not have the money to get an MRI or other expensive tests. We've already put about $1000 into this.

Also, one time we did get her to the vet and just as he pulled in to meet us, the seizure stopped. He checked her temp as soon as we got in and it was fine. I'm not sure, but am guessing that is why he's not freaking out about them. They don't seem to think these are status...(not sure if that's because these DO stop on their own every time)

This is exhausting and so depressing. She does want to play with my other two dogs, one of which we are fairly sure is her sister (got her free from BYB - long story), who is in good health. But I don't dare let her play as I'm afraid she'll seize.

I'm not sure what to do. Yesterday was a seizure free day and I'm afraid to think we might go through one tonight.

The vet she's seeing is the one we've had to use for emergency. I have asked our regular vet about this too, explained in full, and he said he'd be treating her exactly the same way and HE'S hoping the KBR will kick in and told me not to give up.

Any help or comments are appreciated. Again, she's 70 pounds, on 1 1/2 grains PB BID, 1000 mg's KBR a day and .5 mg's dexamethasone BID.

I wish you all seizure free days and am encouraged by your strenths!

adajadesmom
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 pm

Post by adajadesmom » Wed Nov 21, 2007 2:36 pm

I forgot to mention that she'll be 2 in February.

Sorry so long, just wanted to give you everything I know. Thanks!

skrpio
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Auckland , New Zealand

Post by skrpio » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:02 pm

Hi there,
Did the vet do any scans or xrays for damage to the brain ? Also you may need to get her spine checked out. If she was being abused she may have had a nerve pinched. I say to all those who have 2 year olds - get a 6 panel thyroid test done. See Epi-guardian angels site for info to send samples to Dr Jean Dodds.
If you recently adopted her have you changed her food over from what she has been used to. She may be reacting to the new food. She may also be reacting to stress not knowing if she is going to get a beating.
Try using DAP or Rescue Remedy and see how that works.
It will take a while for the PB and KBr to kick in and in the mean time she will be wobbly and a bit out to it.
Start a diary and put in any differences in food and visitors etc. You may find that this will show patterns. Check out your neighbours to see if they have used garden sprays etc. Do you use air fresheners or fabric conditioners as strong smelling things like this can cause reactions.
Just remembered - check out the Epi guardian angels site for the ice pack treatment - this has helped some.
Jane
In loving memory of my special KiKi Bean
Seizure free forever now
Nov 25th 2002 - Nov 1st 2006
Dogue De Bordeaux

adajadesmom
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 pm

Post by adajadesmom » Wed Nov 21, 2007 3:32 pm

The vet did an xray before we had her spayed and said her lumbar spine looked okay, no fractures. But we did the xrays before we'd heard about the abuse. So we didn't do the skull.
It's odd you mentioned her spine, as the previous owner said he thought something was wrong with her back.

We did change her food to Blue Seal Natural 26 (which is what I've been feeding our others for years). I'm sure she was eating the cheapest food on the shelf prior to living with us. I've been wondering if I should change her to an even better food... Canadae or something?

No close neighbors, so I'm sure it's not garden sprays or such. And I only use regular laundry det. (no smelly softeners) Once in while I've burned scented candles and did have an air freshener a while back, but will make sure not to any more.

I read about Rescue Remedy...I'll check into that. Drops that you give during seizure, right? I'll also check out the ice pack treatment.
Thank you for replying! As I'm sure everyone has gone through...I've been a basket case!

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

Post by MK's mom » Wed Nov 21, 2007 4:16 pm

Welcome!!

I feel for you. All of us here understand how frustrating and heartbreaking this epilepsy thing is. I agree with the vet, give it a little more time as the KBr takes quite awhile to start working, but the Pb works quickly. Did your vet give the pup a loading dose of Pb? He might have to do that to get her up to therapeutic levels in a hurry. An MRI will tell if she has a skull fracture or brain damage, but they're very expensive and you said you can't do that right now. Some dogs are very hard to get under control, you might have to hang in there until you get the medications at the right dosage to help her along.

Please keep us posted,

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

skrpio
Posts: 1143
Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 5:34 pm
Location: Auckland , New Zealand

Post by skrpio » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:45 pm

We have dog physios here so I would assume that you would have them over there. Could you get one of them to check out her spine to see if it is out of alignment.
Also with the food you need to change them over slowly - usually two weeks. This gives their body a chance to adapt. There is a post in Diet & Metabolism about how to rate the dog food. She could be wheat intollerant.
With the rescue remedy I would give before or after but not during. Not a good idea to get too close to the sharp end during a seizure. Take some yourself too. I did ask if the vallium was for both of us but the vet did not see the funny side of it.
Do you feed treats like greenies or chinese imported rawhide. These have quite a few undesirable chemicals in them. In our National newspaper there were warning about the amount of rubbish that has been put into chinese products and have just had huge recalls on many products, including dog treats. The list of stuff that was going into these things was a ABC of toxic industrial chemicals.
Jane
In loving memory of my special KiKi Bean
Seizure free forever now
Nov 25th 2002 - Nov 1st 2006
Dogue De Bordeaux

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

Post by Dylans Dad » Thu Nov 22, 2007 6:21 am

sorry you had to join us.
seems like no 2 seize the same. and good luck finding triggers.
but lots of wonderfull suport on this board.
the ice packs do help here so try them for you.
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

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

Post by Melissa and Raven » Thu Nov 22, 2007 9:42 am

Wow, an hour to an hour and 1/2. Can't imagine.
Sorry you had to join. You have some fantastic advise already.
Keep checking in with us.

adajadesmom
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 pm

Post by adajadesmom » Fri Nov 23, 2007 9:06 am

Thank you all for the replies!
We haven't had a seizure for 3 days now, which is a record since Oct. 26th. I get up in the night to let her out (she's a little incontinent from meds) around midnight and have been saying a celebratory "yay" each time.

After reading Wed. about the ice pack treatment, I went home and am now prepared to try it.

Unfortunately, I didn't event think of the food situation when we brought her home and immediately put her on what we use. I should've thought of that but could only imagine the crap she was eating and just wanted her on better food. I'll print out the rating system and check the food we use. I have a feeling I'm going to need to change it.

I don't give her treats any more, mostly because of the sodium, but also in case I need to see what she may be allergic to. At least then, there will be only one or two things to look at as far as what she's eating. I have been cutting up stew beef into little pieces and freezing them for their treats. That should be okay, shouldn't it? I've stopped buying ANYTHING from China for them. I've pretty much cut them down to their food, the meat chunks and plain organic yogurt.

I'll have to ask my vet about any physios in our area.

Thanks again, everyone. This site, your support and information has really helped me.

adajadesmom
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 pm

Post by adajadesmom » Fri Nov 23, 2007 2:23 pm

Well, that was a bummer...went home at lunch to find her having one. Must've just started before I got there, by the looks.
A friend from Maine stopped in and was knocking on the door and I think between that and my two other dogs barking up a storm may have triggered it.
(I tried the ice pack and aren't sure if it helped or not. Didn't shorten the length, but may have made it more mild. I'll try again next time, too.)

adajadesmom
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 pm

Post by adajadesmom » Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:02 pm

Well, we've gone 6 days now without a seizure. She has done the "head tilt" thing (like she would at beginning of a seizure) twice but has laid down and rested it away. Only thing is it seems like she still has the post-ictal symptoms. Like last night, she did the head tilt (I gave 2 sprays of rescue remedy) and rested. Then she was up most of the night looking for food or just getting into things. This morning she was incontinent, and at lunchtime when I checked on her, she'd peed while sleeping.

I'm thinking about seeing another vet, but I have to wait until I have some more $. I'd also like to get her off the dexamethasone, but don't want to talk to her current vet about it because I don't think he's that experienced in this. And last time we reduced her dose, it was about 5 days later that she started having seizures every 2-3 days. (which could be coinsidence, but how do we know?)

She also pee'd on our bed last evening! (Ugh!!!) I'd like to think about using Proin or something but I don't know if that would mess with her med levels that we're trying to stabilize.

This is a VERY tough disease to deal with.

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

Post by MK's mom » Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:36 pm

How old is Ada Jade? Sometimes their age can cause incontinence or if it isn't that you may have to curtail her water intake before night time.

I think it's a good idea to change vets if you don't feel yours is knowledgeable enough. It's no reflection on him/her, it's just that we all have to put the pups first in this case.

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

adajadesmom
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 pm

Post by adajadesmom » Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:01 pm

Ada isn't even two yet, so I don't think age comes into play, but I appreciate your reply.

I have been taking up her water every night around 7 and let her have a couple sips each time I let her out so she's not too thirsty. She can drink what she wants all day long. She had just gone out not a half hour before she peed on our bed. I think the incontinence is worse though since I've seen those two "head tilts". That's why I was thinking it was a post ictal thing.

When she's due for her next blood test, I'm going to bring her to a different vet. At that time I'll see if they'll do the 6 panel thyroid at the same time.

Does anyone know how much the 6 panel thyroid goes for? (I know it will vary in different places) The more prepared I am, the better. I wish I could afford to have that done, and also see someone to find out if it's her back. It's just so hard when we've already put about a thousand out for spaying, emergency visits and meds.

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

Post by MK's mom » Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:36 pm

It could be the post-ictal phase causing her incontinence. What's going on with her back? If she has a pinched nerve I wonder if that could be causing the incontinence?

I paid about $90ish for a full thyroid panel at MSU, 2 years ago.

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

adajadesmom
Posts: 104
Joined: Wed Nov 21, 2007 12:28 pm

Post by adajadesmom » Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:42 am

The previous owner (who may have abused her) seemed to think there was something wrong with her back. He said he didn't know they were seizures she was having, thought it was something wrong with her back. So I'm not sure anything IS wrong with it. Her lumbar spine seemed fine according to the vet. He did an xray before we had her spayed. Also, she wasn't incontinent until after we started medicating her. So my guess is it's either post-ictal like you said or the meds causing it.

So much for the 6 days with no seizures, that was the end of our run. She had a bad one Friday night that lasted longer than usual. Of course, it stopped as soon as I made an emergency call to the vet. She was fine the rest of the weekend except that she's thrown up twice. Yesterday was fine and held food down okay. (today, too. so far)

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