Toby

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Maysie
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:08 pm
Location: Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Toby

Post by Maysie » Wed Feb 10, 2010 9:23 am

Hello all,

I posted here a short time ago for the first time - my greyhound Toby had been having monthly seizures for the the last three months (but his first two were 11 months apart). We had been holding off on medication until they became closer than a month apart. Tonight i jinxed myself - i wrote an email to our neurologist happily reporting its been 5 and a half weeks since the last. Tonight, Toby had two seizures within 45 minutes - his 5th and 6th. They are always very violent and during the commotion, he ripped out a dew claw and ripped his bottom lip open. The house was a bloody mess. Dirung the second seizure, i thought it was time to administer the valium - the doc gave me a syringe and bottle of liquid valium to use in emergencies up his bottom. But in the panic, i couldnt get the syringe full and then i couldnt even get it in far enough to administer. Luckily he came out of the second seizure but because my valium 'safety blanket' failed, i rushed him to the emergency vet anyway, scared he would have another. He weighs 40kg so it is hard to move him when he's disoriented and to make matters worse, while two men tried to lift him into the car, he fell out and bumped his head again. He has stayed in the vet overnight for observation where they will dose him up on valium and a big dose of pheno. Which means, we have now officially started medication.

I am scared. I have tried to read a lot and we have a good doctor but im so afraid this will take away my beautiful boy. Being a greyhound, he is already lethargic and sleeps around 20 hours a day and i am worried the meds will just make him completely depressed and coma-like. How long should i expect until they really kick in and will he definatley go back to normal after a while? I have resisted the medication so far but i know i have to make the commitment now.

Although i know its important not to panic, tonight was just so much more horrifying because he's never had a cluster before. It threw me off as i wasnt expecting it and i am a mess. its 2.30am and i havent slept a wink : (

I know the meds are for the best, i guess i just need reassurance that i will have my boy back.

Thank you for reading, you all must be such brave strong people to be able to cope with this. I just dont feel like its getting easier.... its possibly one of the hardest things ive ever had to deal with :(

Maysie x
Maysie & Toby
8.5 yo 40kg fawn greyhound
My beautiful 'pointy' heart dog :)

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

Post by claires friend » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:44 am

I am so, so sorry this all happened. Morgan's seizures are one of the scariest things I have ever gone through in my life. You do get used to them a little better, but when they change , it throws you off again. Don't stress about the meds so much, if it stops the seizures he can have a normal life. Sometimes it takes awhile to get the right dosage, so hang in there. Has he had his thyroid checked? If not I would definately do it. Make sure they use a 6 panel test. Good luck to you. We are here for you both !
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

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

Post by Mandypop » Thu Feb 11, 2010 3:28 am

So sorry you had to join us.

Phenobarb worked pretty much straight away with my dog when she started on the drug, hopefully it will kick in with Toby too.

I think it took a couple of weeks for Poppy to get used to the Phenobarb, and apart from putting a little weight on, she went back to being very active.

with regards to the valium, you will get better at adminstering, I can't remember how many vials I have squirted anywhere but up Poppy's bottom - it's so hard when they are thrashing around.

Good luck and hope the phenobarb works for Toby.
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 » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:32 am

We all understand how scarey this is for you, but you have to bear up for Toby's sake.

Can you wait till the seizure ends and Toby is lying still for a minute to administer the valium?

As for the Pb, it takes a week or so as I recall and being that he got a loading dose you can expect him to be lethargic from it, but he'll be ok once it kicks in and he gets used to it. Expect him to drink more and probably want to eat more, urinate more, etc. Maybe he can get by on a lower dosage, but that is something you don't know right now so just go with what you DO know and tell yourself he's in good hands at the vet, you're trying to learn so you can help him with this and know that we live WITH epilepsy, not FOR it. Toby can still have a life and you can, too, albeit your lives are changed a bit.

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

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

Post by Carolyn » Thu Feb 11, 2010 2:42 pm

Hi Maysie, everyone's experience is different you will learn what is best for Toby. My girl, Kiya clustered in the begining and was put on meds right away. It did take a long time for her to adjust to the meds. I never used valum or any extensive testing on her, my vet told me to give her an extra 150mg of pb after a siezure. We are very fortunate to have such good control with meds. Hang in there we all understand how you feel
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

Maysie
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:08 pm
Location: Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Post by Maysie » Thu Feb 11, 2010 7:40 pm

Thank-you for your messages and advice :)

Now that i've had a normal nights sleep, i feel a bit more calm and in control! I brought Tobes home yesterday afternoon. He had an accident at the front door (after a big drink) and was very tired but i was prepared for that. Since he's been home, ive had to give him tablets twice so im getting the hang of it. This morning, he seems a lot more 'drunk' in the back legs and really cant walk well. Theres also been no wagging tail and ive had to wake him up and coax him out to the toilet and food because he's so tired (didnt get up for 15 hours!) - but again i am assuming these are normal first week side effects.

So i guess we are in a 'safer' place now we're on meds which makes me feel better. I just hope the dose turns out to be ok and he gets back to his happy self soon.

One thing that bothered me was that my Dad asked how he was and as i was telling him he's groggy and sad etc but it should pass, i could sense Dad was leading into the 'you have to do whats best for him' speech. But surely thats wrong at this point?! I mean you all have had success with meds? Ive read lots of success stories about reducing the seizures so much and going on with happy lives with less frequent seizures. It just made me very upset to think about it. I feel like i would know when it was that time and this is a temporary drug adjustment period, nothing more. I know he is probably just looking out for us and doesnt want to see either of us in pain - but i just dont think he really gets it and sees that we can manage this. Admitedly, i do need to work harder at 'bearing up' and getting tougher and having my life back. But i'm sure i can get there if you guys have.

Anyway, thanks again for your messages, helps a lot :)

Maysie x
Maysie & Toby
8.5 yo 40kg fawn greyhound
My beautiful 'pointy' heart dog :)

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

Post by MK's mom » Fri Feb 12, 2010 7:33 am

Please don't let anyone talk you into putting your dog to sleep just yet. Toby doesn't have seizures nearly as bad as some dogs do and until you exhaust all of your avenues, there's hope.

Yes, lethargy is a side effect of a loading dose of Pb, so don't despair. He might continue with a little hind end weakness from this, but I doubt it. The bromides are the drugs that are bad for the hind end weakness, Pb usually gets better once it gets into the system and the dog gets used to it.

As for medications and seizures, you might still experience seizures. I don't want to put you off, but you need to know this. Drugs have to be tweaked every now and then, so be aware that dealing with epilepsy is an ongoing learning process. some dogs DO stop seizing and I hope your Toby is one of them, but don't count on that only to be let down hard. Just tell yourself that you're doing everything you know to do for Toby and that's all anyone can do. Try to exhale and go with the flow, even though it's hard to do and we worry all the time. I'm glad that Toby has a Mom that cares for him enough to do everything she can to help him. :)
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

Maysie
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:08 pm
Location: Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Post by Maysie » Fri Feb 12, 2010 5:30 pm

Thanks Vivian :)

Yep, it will take a lot for me to give up hope. I think my Dad just doesnt see the whole picture and all those avenues - but also wants me to be prepared for the worst. But i would do anything I could for Tobes before it came to that.

I know i have to be realistic and understand we might still have them. But even if they were less than now its a good thing and i suppose this gives us a 'management' base - like you said meds may need tweaking. So at least we have somewhere to go or something to try if they keep happening - we can change dose etc.

His hind actually got worse through the day and last night, he fell of the bed trying to jump down because the back legs gave way. Ive had to help him get outside (we have 2 steps) and he has sooked a bit but i assume its frustration at not being able to move normally. I told the neuro about this and he said that could be around for a week or so. I went out and bought a new floor mattress yesterday anyway which i hope might appeal to him and get him used to staying off the bed for a while. Since the seizures, id rather he was never on the bed anyway because a few times, he has fallen off hard and hurt himself during seizure. I have to work out a way to teach him...

Anyway, thanks again Vivian for sharing your wisdom :)
Maysie & Toby
8.5 yo 40kg fawn greyhound
My beautiful 'pointy' heart dog :)

richmauer
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:21 am
Location: Morristown, NJ

Post by richmauer » Sun Feb 14, 2010 6:04 am

Hang in there Maysie, We've lived with Peanut's seizures for over 5 years and they basically are monthly. You learn to handle it and the joy she gives us, makes it all well worth the problems. We went through the difficulty adjusting to meds, the lethargy, the over-sleeping, you name it! Read as much as you can, listent to the vet (if he's good), keep reading the posts.
Some things to read up on:
1. Ocular compression
2. Extra doses when seizing
3. Ice packs on the neck
4. Taurine
It is hard at first, but believe me, you will become a canine epilepsy expert!
Precious Peanut in doggie heaven 6/25/10 - 10 years old
English Cocker female 10 y/o "Sundae"
Shiatzu Male 10 y/o "Casey"

sarahsizzler
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jun 20, 2007 10:26 am
Location: UNITED KINGDOM

Hang in there maysie

Post by sarahsizzler » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:46 am

Maysie

I have been through this for several years and believe me you are doing the right thing . My boy is called Rufus a 5 year old Dogue De Bordeaux. Your boy wont change on medication but he will if he keeps having seizures. They must be controlled before the brain becomes used to them. Rufus didn't have seizures on pheno for over a year however we decided to reduce it and he fitted every 3 weeks for a year and because we had to go even highter than before with the pheno dose he is now in our vets due to some kidney damage...... the vet just called and he is through the worse and has started another medication called Keppra which is used on humans. the pheno is now being reduced. I haven't eaten since wednesday and feel so ill with it....it;s a curse.......maysie i know what you are going through and send you a huge hug and cuddle..... your boy will be fine and is in the best hands ..... epilepsy is very treatable and he will be the same happy active inelligent dog who loves you xxx take care of yourself and email me if u like..... my name is Sarah and i live in manchester UK.... my email is sarahsizzler@hotmail.com
DOGUE DE BORDEAUX CALLED RUFUS!
5 YEARS OLD.
1st SEIZURE 19th JUNE 2007
LAST SIZURE FEB 2010

Maysie
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:08 pm
Location: Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Post by Maysie » Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:56 pm

Thanks friends :)

I have spent the last few days with little sleep but i have spent the time on here reading LOTS. Although i find some of it very hard, it is very very comforting to read that you have managed this, that you still have your happy hounds and you get through it. im not expecting an easy road - its like a door has been opened to a nasty world that i never knew existed. But now that im here, i will try so hard. Thanks for your support and letting me know i am taking the right path :) In time, i hope i can offer my own knowledge and experience to others, like you all have to me.

Positive vibes to you and your pups!

Maysie x
Maysie & Toby
8.5 yo 40kg fawn greyhound
My beautiful 'pointy' heart dog :)

Maysie
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Jan 03, 2010 9:08 pm
Location: Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

Post by Maysie » Mon Feb 22, 2010 1:31 am

Hi All,

Just checking in with an update on Tobes...

He's been on Phenobarb almost 2 weeks now. The side effects are still lurking - he's quite depressed and his back legs are still weak. Also drinking a lot and very hungry. Sometimes in the night i hear him whimper, i think because his back legs havent moved for a while and its a struggle to get up. BUT they have improved since the first few days. So thats a positive. We have just changed our routine a little - he now rides in the back seat (rather than the back section) of the car so he doesnt have to jump, he can just step in. And when we get to work, we come in the front door instead with no steps or bars to jump over.

He has seemed a bit restless, wandering around sometimes crying a bit. He also gets very upset when i leave him at home alone. I have left for short periods a couple of times, just to try and get things back to normal for both of us! But i have returned home to hear him crying loudly at the door. im wondering if this is only because he's not feeling himself and is being super clingy. My feeling is that as hard as it is for me, we will have to practice this so he gets used to it. When he first came to me years ago he suffered seperation anxiety but he snapped out of it over a month or so when he learnt i'd always come back. Seems we will have to try that training again i suppose....

Its sad to see him sad. But he still shows his old happy waggy self if i say 'Walk!' or when i come home after being out. So i do the 'excitement' test each day and take him for a few extra short walks, just so i can see him wag and trot.

Im still planning on changing him to a raw/ natural diet as it is clear that his immune system is very low and after researching it all, i think its worth a try. the dew claw he ripped out in the cluster seizures (nearly 2 wks ago) still hasnt healed and although i dont think it is infected, its still pretty swollen and red and bleedy. So back to the vet tonight for anti-inflammatories.

Im assuming these things are normal and that his body is still getting used to the medication. We will check levels on wednesday at vet and see what they think....

Thnaks again for your messages & advice :)
Hope you and your hounds are happy & well.

Maysie x
Maysie & Toby
8.5 yo 40kg fawn greyhound
My beautiful 'pointy' heart dog :)

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