New Member - Alternative Treatment

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tobiejames
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:53 am

New Member - Alternative Treatment

Post by tobiejames » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:17 am

Hello
My name is Tobie and I live near London, in the UK. I have two dogs - a collie called Twiggy and a labrador x springer spaniel called Willow.

Willow had her first fit back in September which I thought was a 'one-off' as did my vet. She then had another fit in December, had an MRI scan to check for neurological reasons, but as there was nothing she has been diagnosed with idopathic-epilepsy. After disucssing treatment with my vet, as Willow's fits were few and far between, we did not give her any medication and decided to see how things went.

However, recently she has had three fits within 4 weeks and have been to my vets with Willow and they are advising to put her on Phenobarbitone but I have my concerns of the side effects of this on her liver and am wondering whether I should try the holistic approach and if seizures can be controlled this way.

I have read from this forum, many of you have found changing to a BARF diet (bones and raw food) seems to help, but I was wondering if any of you have tried any other alternative medicines and how you have found them. I was also wondering if a lower protein complete dry food would make any difference. Willow is currently on a 24% protein diet and was thinking of reducing this to an 18% protein one.

Any information would be appreciated as if I can help Willow without damaging her liver I would.

Kind regards
Tobie

Carolyn
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:08 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Post by Carolyn » Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:05 am

Please don't be afraid of the drugs. Believe me there was nothing I wanted more than to get Kiya off both pb & kbr. Today, I still wish she was off them but I fear the seizures much more than the drugs. Testing liver values and monitoring will reduce drug related problems. Granted other things like diet and herbal suppliements may help but if seizure activitiy has increased they will continue to increase without drugs.
Carolyn
Kiya 11yr Shiloh Shepherd
PB 60mg am 90mg pm, 1teas kbr 1200mg, turmeric paste
1000mg milkthistle bid
First seizure 11/27/05
Last seizure 5/21/15

tobiejames
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:53 am

Post by tobiejames » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:12 am

Thanks Carolyn
I just worry about Willow. She is 8 years old and has been perfect ever since I have had her and now I think I've let her down in some way. She's had another fit this afternoon so am feeling a bit down about it.

Is it ever possible for the drugs to be reduced eventually?

Carolyn
Posts: 440
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 12:08 pm
Location: Long Island, NY

Post by Carolyn » Thu Feb 05, 2009 11:59 am

When Kiya began her pb was 97mg. Under my vet's advice we began reducing 15mg over a course of several months. When I got to 15mg she had a seizure 2 days later, I went back up to 30mg and have stayed there for over a year. Her kbr was always 1200mg, a few months ago I started giving her less than the teaspoon and went to 1/2 teaspoon a few weeks ago. Unfortunately she broke a 10 month streak. I feel it is a result of my tweeking meds again. Her pb level was very low 8 so as much as I hate to, I have added 15mg of pb to her pm dosage. KBR was right in the middle range. Over the summer her liver values were high so I started her on milk thistle which also may have reduced her pb levels.
Another thing is most dogs start around 18 months old with idopathic epilepsy and are put on drugs, so your looking at a lifetime. At 8 years old there may be something other than epilepsy causing seizures. Most important is to try to stop the seizure activity. Do process of elimination. Did they test thyroid? I stopped ALL chemicals in/out of my house including scented candles, fabric softner, ect. Odly enough I recently started using dryer sheets because I can't stand the static electricty anymore, so I ask myself did that trigger?
Carolyn
Kiya 11yr Shiloh Shepherd
PB 60mg am 90mg pm, 1teas kbr 1200mg, turmeric paste
1000mg milkthistle bid
First seizure 11/27/05
Last seizure 5/21/15

tobiejames
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:53 am

Post by tobiejames » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:17 am

Sorry to hear about Kiya breaking her 10 month streak, but you can't blame yourself as hard as that is - funny how I can't stop blaming myself for Willow though!
Yes, Willow has been tested for thyroid and that is normal. Funny you should mention things about other factors triggering the seizures as I have thought about this to. I'm trying to think what could have changed recently to start the seizures as like you say, 8 years old does seem old for any dog to start having seizures without an underlying factor. The MRI scan didn't pick anything up either.
It is nice to know that the doseage can be reduced, but will have to take things very slowly and watch Willow very carefully.
I hope Kiya is settled back down and you have got her on the right road again.

Mandypop
Posts: 238
Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:29 am
Location: London, UK

Post by Mandypop » Fri Feb 06, 2009 7:29 am

Hi Tobie

I think others on here have tried the 'holistic approach' without success. Please do not be afraid of Pb - as long as your dog receives regular blood and liver function tests, it can work really well. The more seziures your dog has the more the brain will learn to have more 'the kindling effect'.

Have you been referred to a neurologist - it may be worthwhile as they can go through all possibilities and treatment with you.

added: Just read your post that you have had MRI scans done - so obvioulsy you are working with neurologist!

Good luck.
Mandy
Poppy - 9 year old whippet/greyhound (20 kg)

First seizure- 17th Oct 2006
Last seizure - 17th Nov 2009

90mg Pb twice daily
320mg KBr daily

hmz819
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:32 pm
Location: NC

Post by hmz819 » Fri Feb 06, 2009 1:48 pm

Hi:

I don't post here often because Maya had two seizures in Nov. (one on friday night and then one on saturday night) followed by a long post ictal period. For the following week she had lots of tremors. She went to a neurologist and they wanted to start her on meds. I opted not to start meds and I took her off kibble that night. She is on a RAW diet and receives an accupunture treatment monthly. So far we haven't had another seizure. Again as everyone says different dogs react diffently to different treatments. Good luck finding what works for your dog!
Heather, Maya, Morgan, and Sadie

tobiejames
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Feb 04, 2009 6:53 am

Post by tobiejames » Tue Feb 10, 2009 5:48 am

Thank you for your comments. It has helped to know that I can talk to people who have experience of this. My vet is superb and much more of a friend than a vet, but I'm still never 100% sure that they aren't just talking out of 'books' rather than experience.

How long does it take for the medication to get into Willow's system please?

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

Post by MK's mom » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:46 am

Phenabarbitol only takes a couple of weeks. You'll need a serum levels check to be sure Willow is in therapeutic range, then the vet will know if you need to increase the medication or perhaps add another one if the Phenabarbitone isn't doing enough.

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

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