How Has an Epi Dog Changed Your Life

Share your story, questions, concerns.

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ShilohsMom
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: How Has an Epi Dog Changed Your Life

Post by ShilohsMom » Tue May 13, 2014 3:39 pm

I noticed when Shiloh was on Phenobarbital he seemed to be more ataxic. However with him it's hard to tell how much is med related. Back in July his walking had become worse and the vet took x-rays of his back legs & hips. They looked really good so he sent us to get an MRI. They did one to rule out brain tumor and another of part of his back. They found that he has type 1 intervertebral disk disease at T13-L1 on the second MRI (could he be any luckier?). Basically he walks like a drunken sailor (no offense if there's any drunken sailors out there :D ). He has become worse since then so I built a ramp (he weighs about 70 pounds so to build stairs would of taken too much room) so he could get on the bed, but he didn't want to use it and would jump over the ramp. That was disappointing considering I thought the ramp was a masterpiece! Keeping him off the bed wasn't very successful, so I removed the ramp and took the slats off my bed and put the box spring on the floor between the bed frame so he doesn't have to jump so high. Sometimes I have to help him in or out of the car and I notice that he doesn't always lift his leg really high when he pees. Thankfully he's not much of a jumper, mostly he'll put his front legs up, then his back.

I'd have your vet check Maggie out to make sure there isn't anything else going on just to be sure.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

beaglemum
Posts: 74
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:49 pm
Location: Australia

Re: How Has an Epi Dog Changed Your Life

Post by beaglemum » Tue May 13, 2014 6:58 pm

Regarding hind leg weakness. My beagle, Saxon, gets it occasionally. He is on Phenomav and Zonisamide, however it seems that when his weigh drops slightly, the ataxia kicks in. It is gradual onset, as he slowly loses weight and then takes a few weeks or so to rectify as I encourage him to put on more weight - being a beagle that is not hard :D .

His 'episodes' involve extreme back leg weakness. At first we thought it might be back problems, etc as meds had been stable for a while, did all the expensive tests with nothing to show for it, and now (and the vets concur) it appears that his dosage is borderline for his weight. We can't lower the dosage without risking seizures, however if his weight fluctuates too much (prone to happen, when I start feeling guilty about his barely visible waist) then the ataxia kicks in. Resigned myself to living with an overweight dog with reasonably good hind leg control. It is a trade-off.

So yes, Phenomav does cause ataxia. It is supposed to wear off as the dog adjusts to the medication, so give it a few weeks. If it is still a problem then perhaps talk to your vet, it might be back problems.

I hope you have success in resolving this complication.
Roxanne & Saxon (beagle)
2 Nov 2004 - 1 Mar 2015
1st Seizure 9th August 2008
Last 21st Feb 2015
100mg Phenomav BID
200mg Zonisamide BID
7000mg milk thistle

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: How Has an Epi Dog Changed Your Life

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Thu May 15, 2014 2:40 pm

I haven't been posting lately because to be honest I couldn't. Even though we've been dealing with this stupid disease for 8 years sometimes it still kicks me in the behind and I just break down. I see this beautiful dog that we adore beyond words and I just don't know why this is happening to him, or to any of the beautiful dogs here. I've seen so many loose the battle, but there have been so many successes too. Sometimes I just have to stop thinking about it so that I can find my feet again.
What a group we have here. I'm thankful for every one of you!

Lynne

ShilohsMom
Posts: 818
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Re: How Has an Epi Dog Changed Your Life

Post by ShilohsMom » Thu May 15, 2014 2:58 pm

Lynne,

I'm sorry that you're going through a spell and completely understand. I think the days where we have strength far outweigh the days we don't, but when we're going through the tough spells, it can be extremely depressing.

Hope you're starting to feel better, in the meantime here's a couple pics that I hope will make you smile. The first is a 3 lb container of potato salad that I had put in the sink to deal with later, cause I didn't want to mess with throwing it down the disposal before I left for work. You can see what I came home to at lunch. The second picture is a what was a beautiful flower that I was going to take a picture of, until Shiloh decided to eat it.

Image Image
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 925
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: How Has an Epi Dog Changed Your Life

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Thu May 15, 2014 4:03 pm

Yes, it can be rough at times. Mostly I get overwhelmed when I think of how much Jake has been through for as long as he has and how I would give anything for him to have as few seizures as possible for the time he has left with us. I know that's exactly how everyone here feels. I really am grateful for the small victory's we've had. It just really gets to me once in awhile. Then I think of his strength and how hard he's fighting to stay with us and I shake myself off.
I'm so grateful that I can come here and I don't have to explain every little thing because everyone here knows what I'm talking about.
Thank you for the pictures! Our Aussie's might have epilepsy but that doesn't keep them from being mischievous!
Lynne

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

Re: How Has an Epi Dog Changed Your Life

Post by cesullivan » Wed May 21, 2014 10:11 pm

Hi,
I was going to answer the how has an EPI dog changed your life, but then I read the seizure bout you went through. Having a cluster dog, I know all to well what you are going through. In less than 2 years, Cali had 66 seizures, as many as 13 in her cluster. 3-5 minutes of pure hell each time, every 2 weeks. We tried so many meds. At one point she was on Keppra, Zonisamide, Phenobarital with Keppra injections if she seized...and still required many ER visits.

One day at the neurologist, she told me every once in a while she gets a dog like Cali who she can't get under control. She explained Clifford the big red dog who she put on Potassium Bromide and it was the one drug that worked. I was at the end of my rope, having clusters every 2 weeks was heartbreaking. We put Cali on Potassium Bromide and weaned her off all other meds. 7 months seizure free...then a 10 cluster day...added back in Phenobarbital, we are 3 weeks shy of ONE YEAR seizure free.

I went from thinking she wouldn't make 4 years old to thinking, wow, can we go a full year seizure free. Still crossing Paws and fingers.

Friends and family are great help. Some don't get it, but others are great. I do wonder about the dosing of the Keppra twice a day. If it is the Extended release, that seems right, but regular Keppra is three times a day, dogs process it very quickly.

Hang in there...It really can get better, no promises, but to my surprise, my baby is still here.

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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