First Grand Mal (sorry long, first post)

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First Grand Mal (sorry long, first post)

Post by BobMichaels » Fri Oct 11, 2013 12:24 pm

Hello. This is my first post after several weeks of procrastinating. Hopefully if anyone has any similar experiences or recommendations they can chime in.

My Collie 'Graham' began having an odd behavior at about 1-year of age. He would blink and dip his head every 2-3 seconds for about a half hour. This would occur every month or two. As he got older, they became more pronounced and would last for up to 45 minutes. Last October he had one that left him really agitated for several hours later and I took him to the vet. He referred us to a Vet/Neuro specialist who diagnosed it as partial epilepsy. We started him out on generic Keppra and after a month it didn't seem to have any effect. We then doubled the dose and added Zonisamide. Still no real change - he would have one event approximately every 10 days. He was taken off the Keppra and left on the Zonisimide. It seemed that it caused each seizure to be shortened to about 10-20 minutes (instead of 30-45 minutes), but he may have two or more on that day (still about every 10 days).

By January he was weaned off the Zonisamide and started on Pheno. His blood levels were checked and we got him up to around "27". He continued to have his typical seizure lasting about 25 minutes every 2 weeks. KBr was added in May and that seemed to extend the time between events to around 3 weeks. I had been waiting for the full effect of the KBr since it is said to take quite a while to get to full effect.

Well, last night I awoke to the sound of what sounded like vigorous scratching on the floor in the room Graham sleeps in. I walked in and saw him lying on his side frantically paddling and breathing deep and fast. Since he had never had a "full blown" seizure I had no idea what had happened - if he had stroked or what. I held on to him and he eventually stopped flailing about after about 5 or so minutes. He was disoriented and breathing like he was scared to death (that's how I felt). He then attempted to get up, but his legs were like rubber and he was uncoordinated. After several minutes of this I helped him to his feet and held him up. At that point he began blinking and bobbing his head, similar to what he had always done in the past. Over the span of about 15 to 20 minutes he began to snap out of it and regain his coordination and control. It took him a couple of hours to finally settle down and get to sleep (about 2:30 a.m.). He got some sleep and was pretty tired this morning. The vet said my description was very typical of a grand mal seizure.

Here are some questions:

1. Has anybody seen the head bobbing/blinking partial seizure? I saw one on youtube titled "possible partial seizure". I have posted videos of Graham having them with private links. If interested, I can post them. Until last night I thought maybe it could be something other than epilepsy.

2. Is it common for a partial seizing dog to evolve into full grand mal? Do they typically become all "big ones" or sometimes partial, sometimes grand mal.

3. Is it KBr that causes him to sometimes just wander around and act lost?

4. When is gabapentin used and how successful has it been?

We already had an appointment set up for his regular yearly visit and the vet says it would be good to check his blood levels and evaluate (possibly add the keppra back in).

I think the partials were harder on me (particulary when he hadn't had one for a while and I knew it was about time for another to strike), but the grand mal had to be the worst experience of his life. I know everybody here has had as much or more experience with this condition, but it really is mentally taxing!

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

Re: First Grand Mal (sorry long, first post)

Post by Carolyn » Fri Oct 11, 2013 2:01 pm

Wish I had some answers for you. KBR can definatly cause ataxia, causing wobbliness. I also belong to another support group there's a little more activity there.
Hang in there, I know how frustrating it can be.
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

Posts: 140
Joined: Tue Nov 15, 2011 1:32 pm

Re: First Grand Mal (sorry long, first post)

Post by cesullivan » Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:34 pm

The KBr can make your pup very took Cali 2-3 months until she got her sea legs on. After Cali's grand mals, she is aimless for a few hours.

My non-seizure dog had a head bob thing going on with muscle cramps and we found it was a reaction to medication for her auto-immune disorder.

My neurologist said that gabapentin is not very effective for dogs. If I remember correctly, they process it to fast and the half life is extremely short.

Chris & Cali
Cali 4YO female Lab/Chow mix
Cluster Grand Mals
Last Seizure: June 10, 13
Pheno 64MG 2x/day
Kbrovet 1,650MG 1x/day

Foster Dog Jim 3ishYO Lab
Pheno 140MG 2x/day
KBrovet 1,000MG 2x/day
Keppra XR 500MG 2x/day
Zonisamide 200MG 2x/day

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