3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

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Sarah Dawn
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 8:59 am

3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by Sarah Dawn » Tue May 20, 2014 1:08 pm

Hi all

New to this site and relatively new to epilepsy so just wanted to share our story and see if anybody has any advice.

My body (Dave) is a three year old border collie. He had his first seizure (very mild petit mal) at six months old. At first he had one roughly every six months. Always the same, he would come and find us just before going into it, they would last four to five mins and then 10 mins after coming back to us he would be up wanting to play ball again!

It was July time 2012 when they started to become more frequent and he was having one every month. Dave was referred for an MRI scan, spinal tap, liver tests, bloods etc and everything returned as normal giving him the diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy. We changed his food to grain free in the hope that this would help in someway as he has a very sensitive stomach and at the same time had to be hospitalised due to a bad bouts of colitis. This seemed to work and without AED's managed to go nearly 9 months seizure free.

Then six weeks ago the clusters started. He woke us up at 5 in the morning mid seizure and instead of coming round was immediately going straight back in to another. We ended up at the emergency vets and we were terrified we were losing him. We started him on the newer drug Pexion (300mg every 12 hours) as we were told this was as effective as PB but with fewer side effects.

After a month on the Pexion Dave had a grand mal after we came in from his evening walk. I didn't appreciate how relatively mild they had been until then. He was biting, running flat out, drooling... it was awful. I managed to use the rectal Diazepam which seemed to bring him back round and after an hour of pacing he calmed down. We were then told to up the dose of Pexion to 400mg twice daily.

Last Saturday Dave had another cluster - not as severe as the previous grand mal but he ended up in the ER overnight on an IV. We have now come to the decision with our vet to try him on Keppra. So he will be on 400mg of Pexion every 12 hours and 500mg Keppra every 8 hours with a view to reducing the Pexion.

Just wondering if anybody has any experience with this combination? We are so devastated and worry about leaving him even for the shortest time in case he clusters. Any advise would be appreciated.

Thanks, Sarah.

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

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by ShilohsMom » Tue May 20, 2014 2:07 pm

Hi Sarah and welcome to the boards although I'm sorry it's under these circumstances.

When you say Dave is clustering, how many seizures is he having in the 1-2 day period? Is each seizure still lasting 4-5 minutes?

I haven't tried Pexion, but one of the frustrating things about this horrid disease is that every dog is different and there isn't a one size fits all. What works for one won't work for another and it can be challenging to find the right combination for your baby.

Shiloh has had grand mals for almost 4 years and he's only recently stopped having the clusters and am extremely thankful for that. It's hard to leave him home when I'm at work, but am grateful I can go home at lunch and check on him to see if he's had one while I was gone. Because of his meds, I'm never away from home longer than 4 hours. The biggest thing for me is to know that I've done everything possible to seizure proof the house by looking at potential hazards and removing them. I remember early on being on pins and needles always waiting for the next one, eventually I think we get better about not being so anxious all the time. Which is not only helpful for us, but them as well.

I'm hoping that you've found the right combination for Dave and things will settle down for you all.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

Esmo
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:59 pm

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by Esmo » Tue May 20, 2014 4:13 pm

Hi Sarah

I too am very new to this site and new to this disease. Our Maggie has cluster seizures and we have had great difficulty finding the right combination of drugs to help control things. I know less than nothing compared to the people on this site but did want to add my thoughts and encouragement. After Maggie's last set of seizures we added Levetiracetam at 500 mg twice a day. I understand it is like Keppra and so far we have our fingers crossed, the next week will tell if we are getting anywhere.

I know what you mean with how horrible these seizures are to watch. It is hearbreaking when they have a Grand Mal and even worse when it seems they are having them one after another. I have our regular vet, the ER clinic and Maggie's neurologist on speed dial...

I felt so alone when this started with Maggie and it is has been a godsend to find this site and the people on here. They are all so knowlegeable and full of encouragement.

I will keep you and Dave in my thoughts...

Esmo
Esmo and Maggie
Dachshund/Beagle Mix
Rescued 12/16/13
First seizure 1/31/13
Last seizure 9/23/14
48 mg of Phenobarbital 2x day
150 mg of Zonisamide 2x day
500 mg of LevetiracetamER (Keppra) 2x day
200 mg of Gabapentin 3x day

Eley's Mom
Posts: 198
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:54 am
Location: Chicago, West Suburbs

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by Eley's Mom » Wed May 21, 2014 8:02 am

Welcome, Sarah! I'm with Esmo...still very new to epilepsy and have a lot less knowledge and experience with meds than many others on the boards here.

Hopefully they can come up with a good combo for Dave! The clusters are the worst. It's pretty amazing how my we take for granted when there is only a single seizure. In the beginning I thought a single seizure was the worst thing to see. Now that Eley's last two have been clusters, I'd LOVE to see just a single seizure.

You found a great place full of support. We're all in this together and each of us were new at one point.

It's very scary to leave the house once the clusters start. Eventually though, you'll get more comfortable with it. Honestly though, leaving the house in the evening is the worst. I still get a pit in my stomach until I get home and see she's sleeping peacefully, seizure-free. Early in my days on the board here, someone posted that we need to live with epilepsy, not for it. That's easier said than done though since none of us wants anything bad to happen.


~Diana and Eley
Diana & Eley
Boston Terrier (23 lbs)
DOB: 11/12/09
First Seizure 2/8/14
Last Seizure 10/9/16
Phenobarbital 48.6mg (morning), 56.7mg p.m. (night)
3 mL Potasium Bromide, once daily
Clorazepate as needed after seizures

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

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by cesullivan » Wed May 21, 2014 9:50 pm

Cali is a cluster pup as well...most was 13 Grand Mal over 2 days in the ER. Working with the docs to find the right combo can be overwhelming. It took me 2 years and finally (fingers and paws still crossed) Cali is 3 weeks from ONE YEAR seizure free. Best of luck.
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

Sarah Dawn
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 8:59 am

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by Sarah Dawn » Sun Jun 01, 2014 11:58 am

Thanks for your replies.

ShilohsMom the first time Dave clustered we called the ER after the 2nd and he was on his 5th (in an hour) by the time we were able to leave the house. Luckily he stopped seizing in the car by the time we got there so didn't have to stay in. The second time (two weeks ago) he was on his 3rd (in about 20 mins) when we called the ER and he seized on and off the entire way to the ER and even had to be carried out of the car mid-seizure to be hooked up to an IV.

He's been on Pexion/Keppra combo for two weeks now and so far we have seen no seizure activity (I'm cautious to say this as it seems as soon as we acknowledge any positive - something happens). Other then being a bit wobbly for the first couple of days he seems to have no side effects so far. We're lucky in that my partners work have been great and let him start working from home in the afternoons permanently to accommodate the Keppra three times a day which is a huge relief.

We're just keeping everything crossed for the time being, and trying not to jump up every time we hear him make a sudden move - although this is proving easier said then done!

Sarah

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

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Sun Jun 01, 2014 2:04 pm

Hi Sarah,
I'll keep my fingers crossed for you and Dave. My husband's name is Dave so I had to smile when I saw your pup's name. As far as jumping every time he makes a sound? I wish I could tell you that eventually that gets better, but I'm afraid it doesn't. What does get better is when you see that he's fine and you can take a deep breath and relax. Jake sleeps at the foot of our bed and has for the last five years because I was so sleep deprived for the first three when he slept on his doggie bed. Now I sleep a lot better, and Jake thinks he has the best dog bed ever.

Take Care,
Lynne

Sarah Dawn
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 8:59 am

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by Sarah Dawn » Mon Jul 14, 2014 2:56 am

Well.... Dave is back in the ER.

We went for our 5.30 walk as usual only for him to start seizing mid-run on the field. Luckily I carry round a rectal Diazepam and was able to call my other half to drive round to pick us up. It was a grand mal lasting roughly 7-8 mins (although I can't be sure - felt like a lifetime). By the time my other half showed up Dave was able to walk to the car and was trying to play.

Once home, he seemed fine and we kept him in the kitchen as it's cooler. That's when the second one came - only this time he managed to bite his tongue and continue to chomp on it for another 3 mins so ended up covered in blood. I gave him another dose of Diazepam which seemed to slightly help and called the ER to warn them that we could be on our way.

After 2 more "fly biting" episodes we got him in the car ready to go. He had another 2 of the same in the car on the way down and by the time she took his temp it was 104 :(

So now he's hooked up to the IV and we are waiting to hear how he's getting on. I'm beyond heartbroken... he was doing so well.

Unsure where to go from here.... Dave has already had an MRI/Spinal/liver test a year or so ago but the vet was talking about doing this again. (I can't help but think this would show the same results). In any event I need to speak with my own vet as it's a different one each time at our out of hours.

Apologies for going on... I just needed to get it all out.

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

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by ShilohsMom » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:17 am

I'm so sorry that you all are going through this. This is a great place to let it all out and just vent. We all understand to some degree what it feels like to go through this, especially after having a bit of a reprieve.

Not sure why they'd want to do another MRI or spinal tap if the one last year was good. Liver might not be bad especially if he's on med that affects his liver.

Sending good thoughts your way. Keep us posted.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

Sarah Dawn
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue May 20, 2014 8:59 am

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by Sarah Dawn » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:40 am

I know we can't understand how anything would have changed - especially as he is so young. He is on Pexion and Keppra currently which as far as we know doesn't effect the liver, but I'm not 100%.

We've just had a call from the vets and he isn't doing too good. He has had another seizure and is very twitchy despite having the max dose of Diazepam for the time being. He is also displaying strange behaviour where he is leaning back towards his left hand side and won't stay straight, which the vet is saying could be a sign of brain damage..... basically he has just said we need to wait and see but it's killing me.

He is giving him a dose of PB to see if that makes any difference as he can't have any more Diazepam.

Another option if this doesn't work is to put him under general anaesthetic to give his brain a rest.

I'm an absolute mess... I hate hate hate this awful disease.

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

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by ShilohsMom » Mon Jul 14, 2014 8:50 am

This disease really does suck. It's so hard to find the right combination of meds that will help. I can only imagine how scared you must be right now and wish there was something I could do to make it better. Last year Shiloh had a cluster of seizures and his back end was giving him trouble (weakness, scissoring legs when walking, etc). The vet suspected brain issue so Shiloh had an MRI on the brain and his back. His brain was fine, but he had damaged a disk in his back, so there could be other reasons for Dave's left side issues. It's so hard on their bodies when they have so many seizures. I really don't think the Keppra has done much for Shiloh but adding the KBr and Zonisamide while not perfect and he still will cluster, has given us some time in between and occasional single seizures. Funny what you consider a victory.

I'll be praying for all of you.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

cforecatsmeow
Posts: 225
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:58 pm

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by cforecatsmeow » Tue Jul 15, 2014 10:30 am

Winston is on a combination of Pheno (which I believe is the same as Pexion) and Keppra. It has worked thus far though we have our ups and downs. He still has seizures but they are usually isolated and we've gone as long as 47 days seizure free with little tweaks here and there. Most of his seizures are now isolated with the addition of Keppra and not clusters as in the beginning but we have had little adjustments with dosing here and there. He had a seizure this morning. Typical Grand Mal. Has only been 16 days since last one but we're keeping our paws crossed. We may have to up his Keppra ever so slightly once again. It is so hard leaving them when they are going through a rough spot. I spent an extra 20 minutes with Winston this morning and dreaded leaving but I gave him his Valium and an extra dose of Keppra so hopefully he is calm. I do have a neighbor that looks in on him which is helpful but I am still a nervous wreck when I have to leave him alone.

I hope your pup is doing better. We will keep you in our thoughts. Please let us know how you are doing.
Cynthia and Epi-Winston
Black Mouth Cur Mix
DOB: 8/2/10
96 lbs.
First Seizure 6/11/13
Last Seizure 1/2/15
Phenobarbital 97.2 bid
Keppra (generic) 937.5 bid, 1125 sid
10 mg Valium tabs as needed
Liquid Oral Valium 5mg/5ml for rectal as needed

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

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:18 pm

Hi Sarah,
I'm so sorry that Dave and you are going through this. It's so hard when we know that there is nothing we can do but pray and hope. I will definitely do both for you. I'm sorry if I missed this somewhere in your earlier post, but have you tried Clorazepate to break the clusters? We also give Jake (he weighs 55 lbs) an extra 250 mgs a day of Keppra for 5 days following a seizure. That in addition to Clorazepate has been keeping the clusters away for now. This is such a guessing game.
Let us know how you're doing.
Take Care,
Lynne

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

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by ShilohsMom » Tue Jul 15, 2014 5:23 pm

Cynthia, noticed Winston had a seizure today. Shilohs had his second since yesterday. Hope that will be the last for a while for both & we all have a peaceful night.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

cforecatsmeow
Posts: 225
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2013 5:58 pm

Re: 3 Year Old Border Collie With Epilepsy

Post by cforecatsmeow » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:38 am

Sorry Colleen! Hope you had a peaceful night. Winston was okay yesterday during the day and was seizure free overnight and we're hoping for the continued isolated seizure but as we all know it's just a waiting game. I went back to his regular dosing this morning sans Valium so we'll see how it goes today. Again, hoping you and Shiloh are doing good today, as well as everyone else :)
Cynthia and Epi-Winston
Black Mouth Cur Mix
DOB: 8/2/10
96 lbs.
First Seizure 6/11/13
Last Seizure 1/2/15
Phenobarbital 97.2 bid
Keppra (generic) 937.5 bid, 1125 sid
10 mg Valium tabs as needed
Liquid Oral Valium 5mg/5ml for rectal as needed

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