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I'm a Mess !!! any and all help welcomed...New to Seizures

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 7:50 pm
by loganthedog
Sunday morning began like any other in my house. that was until my 8yr old boston terrier "logan" began having a very violent seizure (Grand Mal). I attempted to hold him and soothe him as best i could. this was the most terrifying experience, and i never thought it would end. when it finally did, (3-4) min later, he was a little out of it, but seemed appreciative for the help, and wanted to sleep.

Thinking the worst of it was over, i layed down next to him and gave him love and attention.

Less than an hour later he began to have another seizure while laying on the bed. i was still beside him, and began to cradle him and soothe him as best i could. When this one subsided, (2-3) min later, i knew i needed professional help and took Logan immediately to the emergency animal hospital.

They took his bloodwork, checked his vitals and put him thru a serious checkup routine, and found NOTHING wrong with him.

Again, thinking maybe it was 2 isolated incidents, i began to regain my sanity. The hospital asked to keep him for observation for the night, and i happily obliged.

When i called to check up on him a few hours later i was informed that he had unfortunately had another seizure in their care. They were able to catch it fast and administer Valuim rectally, and apparentely he was fine. I had been frantic and manic from the start of this, but now i was really starting to lose it. i took some xanax and tried to get some sleep.

In the morning around 9AM when i called the hospital they informed me that he had experienced a total of 5 seizures in their care, most of which were short and controlled with valuim and phenobarbital. The good news was he had also been seizure free since 2AM. The 7 hours since his last seizure was the longest hed gone since the whole ordeal began.

Im proud to announce that it is now 8PM and he is still @ the hospital, but has been seizure free. Tomm they will release him, and god-willing neither of us will ever have to deal with that again, although i do fear he will be more prone to seizures now.



I WELCOME ANYONE WITH ANY INFORMATION, HELP, ADVICE OR QUESTIONS TO CONTACT ME HERE. THIS IS ALL BRAND NEW TO ME I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM PEOPLE IN SIMILAR SITUATIONS. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME, GODBLESS.

jamiefirestone@gmail.com

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Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:22 pm
by richmauer
Sorry to hear about Logan. It sounds like this is his first seizure episode. I remember Peanut's first and it is very frightening. What you have to ask the vet is "what caused the seizures?" There are many causes and the vets should be able to somewhat pinpoint the cause after testing. He may recommend meds for Logan or suggest waiting to see if it happens again. One thing for sure is you have found the most wonderful resource here. Additionally, very caring owners with the same problems. Good Luck and keep us posted.

PS don't put your hand anywhere near his mouth during the seizure. I've been bit and it hurts,

Posted: Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:37 pm
by loganthedog
richmauer wrote:What you have to ask the vet is "what caused the seizures?"

thank you so much for the words of encouragement. Yes this was the 1st seizure, and it was scary beyond words.

I asked the vet "what caused this" after they ran blood tests and had observed him for quite some time. They said since the blood work was fine and his vitals were fine, they didnt have an answer for me.

I am very apprehensive about starting him on seizure meds daily due to some of the things ive read about side effects.

this forum is a goldmine, and has really helped me to not feel alone in all of this.

thank you, and godbless

PS: fwiw, when it first happened, i thought he was gonna swallow his tongue and i shoved my hand in sideways to his seemingly locked jaw. Got my hand tore up prety bad in retrospect. I found out later from the vet that dogs dont swallow tongues and to jus let him ride it out. i prefered to hold him and soothe him, which the vet also said was acceptable.

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:19 am
by skrpio
Hi there. What you have experienced is typical of all of us. There are several things you need to do.
1. Keep a diary of the seizure dates, time and length
2. Check for strong smells ie cleaning products air fresheners etc that you may have started to use
3. When did you last use flea/tick or heartworm treatments?
4. Have you given any rawhide treats from an asian source lately?
5. Have you changed food to another brand?
6. Anything different happening in the family?

Do not delay in the addition of AEDs. There is a thing called kindling where the brain gets used to having seizures.
Write down questions for your vet as when you get there questions are forgotten. Work with your vet BUT if they are not willing to listen or discuss the problem look for another vet. Many are not used to dealing with epilepsy and will want you to take the easy way if you get the drift..
Do not fret too much about the PB and the KBr. The PB gets a bad reputation and if the blood work is kept upto date then any liver problems can be dealt with. Many dogs are on both PB and KBr to control the seizures and do not have any problems - however until the meds reach theraputic levels you will still have to deal with the seizures. In most cases they will not stop the seizures but get them under control to an acceptable level.
Read as much as you can on this site and also visit the Epi Guardian angels site as there is a lot of helpful information there. Check out the icepack treatment as many have said that this helps with the seizures.
Do not be afraid to ask questions - everyone here will do their best to give you all the help you need.
I know it is a silly thing to say in these circumstances but you need to stay calm. Stress can make things much worse for your dog. He is having a hard enough time trying to understand what is happening to him as well as worrying about what is making you freak out too.

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:11 am
by adajadesmom
Hi Jamie,
I'm sorry you're another one having to go through this but you've definitely come to the right place for support and information. I am new to this since mid-September and know MUCH more thanks to everyone here.
Jane is right, it does help to stay calm. It's EXTREMELY hard to, I know, but realize that he's not in pain and do your best to stay calm for him. I too, give my Ada lots of lovin' while she's having an episode. I do what I can to keep her from smacking her head on the floor and keep her safe. Make sure there isn't anything around him that can fall on him or hurt him when he's having one. And be careful as the sudden body movements can hurt you as well as teeth. I've had my lip split by Ada's head suddenly jerking toward me.
It's helpful to do a one word search if you are curious about anything in particular here. There's a ton of info. And as Jane said, start keeping track of any seizure activity. It's very important for the vet to know what's going on.
I wish you the best and hope that was your only episode.
Logan's a cutie, by the way.

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:19 am
by MK's mom
HI and welcome!

I agree with Jane, go to the Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels website, it is a font of useful information. There's a link there that tells you what might cause seizures at particular ages in dogs. Your kid being 8 years old can mean something other than idiopathic epilepsy and your vet might suggest an MRI and/or spinal tap. I'm not trying to scare you, but I do think this is what your vet will suggest. Have you had your dog since he was a puppy? You're sure he's never had a seizure before this?

As you have learned already, never put your hand in the dog's mouth during a seizure. They won't swallow their tongue, but they WILL hurt you! :D You can't do much other than try to keep their heads from banging on something hard. YOu CAN put an icepack on their spine between the thoracic and lower lumbar area or you can try occular compression, which helps stop the seizure at times.

Vivian

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 9:45 am
by KeelysMom
Welcome to this great forum! I think most of us can relate to how scary it all is - especially when you have no idea what's happening. Our ordeal started on November the 8th. My husband was a bloody mess after Keely's first seizure, as he, thinking she was choking or something, was attempting to open her mouth (bad idea).

And I agree with what others have said regarding the PB and KBr.....Keely takes both now. Our vet started with KBr, and she was still having seizures every couple of days. The day before Thanksgiving we had to take her to an animal ER, as our vet was closed, and she had four seizures in one day. They put her on PB right away and she's been seizure-free ever since. I just had her blood levels checked and she is on the low end of therapeutic doses for both drugs (KBr 1.6 ml twice a day and PB 60 mg twice daily) and this seems to be doing the trick. (She's a 60 lb Golden Retriever) The side effects were pretty tough to watch the first couple of weeks, but now she has adjusted and is her normal goofy self, racing around like the 2 year old that she is and generally just acting very normal.

I wonder if any of us will ever get the same sort of deep sleep that we once did - or if we will always wake up when we hear our dogs move around at night? I know I am still very aware of where she is at all times, and just sleeping more lightly these days but so far so good.

Good luck to you - there's tons of good advice here!

Logan Update.

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:09 pm
by loganthedog
I got the phone call from the hospital that i had been waiting 2 days for. Logan is ready to go home, and has been seizure free for over 36 hours in their care. I will be picking him up after work today with my fiance' so i can keep him as controlled as possible.

I am still very scared, apprehensive, and traumatized by the whole ordeal. I have yet to attain the ability to stop my eyes from tearing up at even the slightest thought of the situation. I am aware that i have invested too much emotionally into my relationship with Logan, but its the only way i know how to love/care for something.

Although i'm not sure what Meds they will prescribe Logan, i am apprehensive to put him on them after some of the things ive read (side effect) wise. The Meds really scare me.

I guess in my perfect world he would come home and just be fine, like it never happened. But since thats probably a pipe dream, i need to prepare for the unknown future.

Are there instances where a dog can have a total of 7 seizures in a 12-hour period, and not ever have another one for the rest of his life?? I sure hope so, but either way this forum and its members have taught me alot in a short period of time.

To anyone kind enough to have replied to this thread with suggestions and words of comfort....THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART !!!

i will respond after Logan comes home tonite. Jamie


PS: the random dog picture is of "Piper", my other dog. Piper is a Brussels Griffon and is almost a year old. She really misses Logan too.

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Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:23 pm
by MK's mom
My friend had a dog who injured his neck and was cluster seizing and needed to be hospitalised. they put him on Pb and he never had another seizure for the remainder of his life. The vets were afraid to take him off of the meds and to this day she thinks the seizures were secondary to a neck injury, but there's no way of knowing for sure.

If your boy has idiopathic epilepsy and continues seizing, you will HAVE to put him on meds or risk losing him. I hope for your sake it's something other than that, only time will tell.

Vivian

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 3:52 pm
by skrpio
Do not be scared to put him on the medication as it may be better in the long run. I was the same as you not wanting to start the meds and put it off until KiKi had a real doozy of a session for three days and I had no option to or lose her - up umtil then it was two seizures every 14 days. By this time her brain had learnt the kindling process.
There are side effects to a lot of things and AEDs are no exception. That is why the vets must take blood samples to determine if the dogs system is setting up a reaction.
Remember the AEDs your dog is getting are exactly the same as human AEDs. Consider if it were your child or partner - would you not give them the drugs that can help them - your dog is no different.

Logans back home in daddy's arms...

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:18 pm
by loganthedog
I Picked Logan up from the hospital around 6PM EST today. The doctor was in surgery so i didnt get a chance to speak with him/her. Logan was presctibed PB 64.8. He is supposed to take 1/2 a tablet twice a day, but i really have no clue what to expect.

TBH, i expected him to look alot worse than he did when i picked him up. He was certainly a little more sedated and reserved than usual, but seemed to be happy to be going home. Upon arrival home he spent about 10min sniffing the house (every inch), and drinking large amounts of water (vet said this was normal effect of the meds).

When we ate dinner Logan was in his usual place by the table (he's a beggar), and ATM he's snuggling my fiance on the couch.

I'm not sure I'll ever be able to handle this disease emotionally, but having my boy back makes it a lil bit easier.

Posted: Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:59 pm
by skrpio
You will find that after a seizure they forget everything. It is normal for them to have to check everything and everyone out no end of times until they register again.
He will need plenty of fresh water as the meds do make them thirsty and thus extra out times for toileting.
I would suggest that snacks from the table are discontinued as they do have a tendancy to put on weight with the meds. Do not cut down on the normal meals - just cut out the snacks and table scraps.
It is important to make sure that the meds are given at the same time every day. PB has a short life in the body and needs to be administered regularly - no more than 12 hours inbetween.
It will take him a while to get adjusted to the PB and he will probably be a bit wobbly and quieter than usual. This will get better but will reappear if the meds have to be tweeked upward which is not unusual.
It is a horrible monster that has to be dealt with but you will be able to cope with it better after a while. I cannot say get used to it as you don't - you just learn to cope.
We have a saying here started by someone not long after I joined - We live with epilepsy NOT for epilepsy.
Do not live your life waiting for the next seizure. This puts too much strain on everyone. Accept that your furkid has it and deal with it as best you can. We are here for whatever support you may need.

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:35 am
by MK's mom
Jane is 100% correct when she says you'll do what you have to do where Logan is concerned. None of us wanted this mess for our babes, but it happened and now it's onward and upward!!! You're stronger than you think you are!!! We all do what we have to do for the pups, they cannot take care of this on their own, Logan needs you now.

Did Logan get a loading dose of Pb at the vet's? If not, it can take a couple of weeks for the pill for to kick in.

It's utterly amazing how our dogs can look like nothing at all happened after a seizure and post ictal phase passes. I don't think they're aware of what's happened to them, but they're probably wiped out from the episode.

Hang in there, you have LOTS of company and everyone on this board CARES!!!! We've all been of help to each other and it feels great to know there's others out there coping with the same problems as ourselves.

Vivian

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 8:52 am
by adajadesmom
I couldn't say any of this better than these wonderful people already have.

I have one more suggestion though...make sure you're aware of what post-ictal is, too. Right now my Ada is having a harder time picking herself up as she had an episode on Monday night. Sometimes the after effects are worse than others. And sometimes, she pops right back to her normal self.

You really are stronger than you think.

Posted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:51 am
by Dylans Dad
so sorry you had to join us.
I remember Dylans very first, I was on the phone screamming at my vet before it ever stopped! his second one came 3 hours later, I had him in my car and on phone to vet before that one stopped. and trust me when I tell you, a 50lbs seazing border collie is not and easy thing to carry!
I hope it helps to tell you we have all been there,done that.we do understand.
starting on the drugs is some ways worse, the time untill they adjust is very ruff. but most do adjust, and continue on.

but the drugs rarly stop all seizures, just make them fewer and farther between.Dylan went 3 days short of 11 months.

we are here if you need us