Hello everyone! May I have some advice please?

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Lou
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:42 am
Location: Suffolk, UK

Hello everyone! May I have some advice please?

Post by Lou » Mon Jan 04, 2010 12:41 pm

Hello to you all,

This is my first experience of canine Epilepsy & I would really appreciate your advice please!

Over the past year my 6 year old Weimaraner, Vinnie has had 3 minor episodes, then on New Years day he had a Grand Mal that lasted about 20mins. It took him about 24hrs to recover. So far we have seen the vet on call on New Years day who gave us rectal Valium & today (Monday) we saw the vet & Vinnie has had full blood work done - tests to be received on Weds.

My questions are;
What tests do you recommend before any medication is prescribed?
Is it ok to proceed straight onto Phenobarbitone without any tests other than full blood work?

We go back to the vet on Wednesday & I want to be certain that I am starting Vinnie's treatment correctly & that I am more informed. I have read so many articles that I don't know which way to turn!

Thank you for taking the time to read my message, I look forward to hearing from you!

Astrid
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 4:12 pm
Location: the Netherlands
Contact:

Post by Astrid » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:06 pm

Hello Lou,

welcome on this forum. It is wise to do a full thyroid panel before starting with pheno. When they are on pheno there will always be a false outcome of the blood results.
Regards,
Astrid.Image

My forum: http://epilepsiebijhonden.actieforum.com/forum.htm (which means epilepsy in dogs) and my (Dutch) weblog: http://epilepsiebijhonden.hyves.nl

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

Post by MK's mom » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:09 pm

Welcome! Sorry you had to join us!

here is a link to the Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels website that has a lot of very good information.
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-ang ... izures.htm

The first link will tell you what may have caused the seizures according to age, the link below offers a lot of information that will make you feel overwhelmed, but worth reading and will give you tons of useful information.

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-ang ... te_map.htm

Most of us have learned that it's beneficial to us and our dogs to learn as much as we can because the regular vet doesn't always know enough about epilepsy to help the dogs who are in their care.

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

Lou
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:42 am
Location: Suffolk, UK

Post by Lou » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:27 pm

Hello Astrid & Vivian,

Thank you for your help! The vet didn't mention thyroid tests, I will certainly ask about that on Wednesday. I will also take the time to view the Guardian Angels website. Thank you both very much!

I've read lots of negative comments about Phenobarbitone & that has added to my worries.

Other than the epilepsy, at present Vinnie is a very healthy boy & we kept saying how good he looked. He has had lots of other problems in the past & we were congratulating ourselves as he looks the best he's ever done - I won't do that again!

Thank you again!

Lou x

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

Post by MK's mom » Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:36 pm

What types of issues has your boy had in the past? Not all seizures mean that the dog has epilepsy, often times the seizures are secondary to another problem and your boy being 6 years old is out of the 'normal age range' for epilepsy.

Did he have vaccinations prior to his first seizure? Having the full panel thyroid test is one of the first things that are done here in the States, so Astrid was correct in recommending that test. FULL PANEL though, not just a partial one. I'm sure it's cold where you are right now, but was he exposed to any toxins such as weed killers, bug killers, cleaning agents, etc>? Some pups react to those things, 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

Astrid
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 4:12 pm
Location: the Netherlands
Contact:

Post by Astrid » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:36 pm

Don't worry to much about Pheno. Check those levels every 6 months and also his liver values. Pheno can cause liver damage, but only on a high dose. My girl is on it for almost 4 years and the last 2 years on a high dose. Her liver is still okay.

Vivian is right about the local vets. The best thing you could do is visiting a Neurologist.
Regards,
Astrid.Image

My forum: http://epilepsiebijhonden.actieforum.com/forum.htm (which means epilepsy in dogs) and my (Dutch) weblog: http://epilepsiebijhonden.hyves.nl

Lou
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:42 am
Location: Suffolk, UK

Post by Lou » Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:28 pm

Thank you both again for your replies!

Vinnie has been very poorly in the past but due to chronic bloat, we nearly lost him 3 times to that. He spent 10 days in intensive care at the Royal Veterinary College. He was just skin & bone when we brought him home & that's why we are so pleased about how he looks now. It took such a long time to gradually put weight back on him with a low protein/ low fat diet & he looks fantastic at last.

I don't think that he could have ingested anything toxic, as his fit happened first thing in the morning as we let him out to the toilet - that really woke me up!!!

I'm so pleased to be on this forum, your advice & kindness is really helping to put my mind at ease. Thank you again!

Lou x

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

Post by Mandypop » Tue Jan 05, 2010 3:19 am

Hi Lou

If you get referred to the Royal Veterinary College for Vinnie's epilepsy episodes, they have an 'epilepsy clinic' for dogs/cats.

Please don't worry too much if Vinnie is put on Phenobarb. My dog has now been on this for over 3 years - as long as you have regular blood/liver tests done.

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

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

Post by MK's mom » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:47 am

Lou,

As Astrid and Mandypop stated, Pb (phenabarbitol) get a bad reputation. It CAN and DOES cause liver damage, but not always and if you have to use it to keep Vinnie's seizures under control then you don't have much choice. some people use milk thistle to aid the liver, but you don't have to do that just yet. Six years old is halfway thru Vinnie's life, so if he would have been a pup that had to be put on Pb at a very young age, then I'd be more concerned because of the duration he was taking that drug.

That's good info that Mandypop gave you about the Royal Vet College. If they have an epilepsy clinic, that is where you'll need to go because with Vinnie starting to seize at 6 years old, it may be caused from something else.

Bloat is as bad as epilepsy, I feel for you. I had an Irish Setter that was a bloater and it's very scarey to live with because you never know when it will strike. (just like epilepsy) It seems if a dog has one neurological problem, they'll have multiple neurological problems.

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

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

Post by MK's mom » Tue Jan 05, 2010 8:02 am

I just thought of something regarding the bloat. Has any of the vets recommended medication for gastric motility? Not knowing why Vinnie is bloating, did the vets indicate that it might be that the peristalsis isn't moving the food along correctly? That's what was told to me just before my Irish passed away (at 12.5 years of age) and I wish I had known that before so she could have been on some sort of medication to help prevent the bloat episodes. I know bloat can be caused from other things, but wanted to throw that idea out there just in case that is what's going on with your boy.
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

Lou
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:42 am
Location: Suffolk, UK

Post by Lou » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:44 am

Dear Mandy & Vivian,

Thank you for your help, it's just brilliant to be in touch!!!!

I don't know what was causing Vinnie's bloat, but I imagine it was a combination of stress & the way a kennel owner was feeding him. Just over 3.5 years ago we lost our house due to fire after a lightning strike. Vinnie experienced the panic & stress of the fire & as we were homeless I had no alternative but to find a place at a kennels. I have never put a dog in kennels & always said I wouldn't, it broke my heart to leave him. He stayed there for a month & got thinner & thinner. I took him numerous times to the vet, but they said nothing was wrong. Meanwhile the kennel owner was worrying about his weight & was giving him more dried food.
Anyway, due to all of this he developed Chronic bloat where the stomach is continually enlarged. That is why he ended up at the RVC as it wasn't a straightforward bloat, as the stomach wasn't returning to normal size after treatment.
So it has taken all this time for him to look good again & here we are today.

I think that out of everything that happened, losing the house & all our belongings, the worst part was visiting Vinnie at the kennels, he stunk & was sooo thin. He was so pleased to see me & so sad when I left him. I used to cry when I drove away.

I hardly dare say that bloat has stayed away, he has a double gastropexy & I keep my fingers crossed!!! I couldn't bear to lose him.

Writing this has brought a lump to my throat but a problem shared is a problem halved, or so they say.

Thank you again for your continued support.

Lou x

claires friend
Posts: 194
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:49 pm
Location: California

Post by claires friend » Tue Jan 05, 2010 1:18 pm

You have gotten great advice so far. Just was wondering if he had been given heatworm meds any time before his Grand Mal. 20 minutes is a VERY long time for a GM, I would get him on something soon. Good luck and please stay in touch
Susan Marie
Morgan -Foster Golden, now ours FOREVER !!
First seizure Aug 16, 2006 @9 months old ,very low thyroid
She has been with me since the end of July 07
150mg PB BID
.5 soloxine BID
400 Kbr BID

Lou
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:42 am
Location: Suffolk, UK

Post by Lou » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:44 pm

Hello Susan,

Vinnie hasn't had any vaccinations, other than his yearly booster, since July 09 & presently he isn't on any medication.
I will have a good talk with the vet tomorrow & see where we go from here. He's fine now & back to his old self again.
I expect that everyone on here worries every time they have to leave their dog unattended, I know I do now.

Thank you for your advice, I do appreciate it!

Lou x

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

Post by MK's mom » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:52 pm

Lou,

It IS worrisome, but we have to live WITH epilepsy, not FOR it. That's a hard one to get used to, but we have to adapt that mindset or we'll drive ourselves nuts. You have to live your life and Vinnie has to live his to the fullest because we never know what is in store for any of us.
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

Astrid
Posts: 28
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 4:12 pm
Location: the Netherlands
Contact:

Post by Astrid » Tue Jan 05, 2010 2:57 pm

Lou,

what booster is this? At his age the only necessary booster is Leptospirosis.
Regards,
Astrid.Image

My forum: http://epilepsiebijhonden.actieforum.com/forum.htm (which means epilepsy in dogs) and my (Dutch) weblog: http://epilepsiebijhonden.hyves.nl

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