The Mighty Roscoe

Share your story, questions, concerns.

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

Re: The Mighty Roscoe

Post by ShilohsMom » Tue Aug 12, 2014 8:11 am

Wow, I'm so proud of you for getting to the place of being able to appreciate your good days without the worry. That's huge to get there!! Glad you've been able to have this week and will pray for many more.

I understand about the nervousness of adding something new. It is scary when you're not sure what, if any, affect if will have. It's all about the baby steps!
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

Princesca
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:40 am

Re: The Mighty Roscoe

Post by Princesca » Tue Aug 26, 2014 4:02 pm

Well... we made it... 23 days seizure free on Keppra XR. I was actually starting to hope that his seizure was circumstantial, just a fluke. I'm sure everyone goes through that. I was consciously reminding myself, as soon as I'd think that, that that probably wasn't true, but some small part of me did hope.

I came home from work and as soon as I came inside, I sensed something wasn't right. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I think that ALL the time now when I come home, because I worry. But anyway... I let him out of his crate (which thankfully seemed to keep him safe) and he had thick white foam on his mouth/chin/front paws. He was very disoriented, so I'm thinking it happened not long before I got home, and then he drank a ton. He's still stumbling around, but doesn't seem any the worse for wear otherwise.

It still brings me to tears, though. My ordinarily vibrant, vivacious five year old dog, who is very much still a puppy at heart, is rendered feeble as a kitten after these things. It's just horrible.

I am trying to take solace in a few things:

1) He is okay.
2) He is not pained by these.
3) They are much more disturbing to me than him.
4) We have many more good days than bad.
5) His crate, which I was hesitant to leave him in, has kept him safe so far.
6) 23 days without seizures is a blessing, and this seizure was not nearly as bad as his first, as far as I can tell... so even if he's had a breakthrough seizure, the Keppra is succeeding in toning them down a bit, I think.

But still. Time to buy more tissues.
Proud mama to Roscoe, mixed Boxer/Tibetan Mastiff/German born in 2009
Keppra XR 2000mg every 12 hours, 7.5mg Prednisone daily, Zonisamide (dose TBD), monthly Percorten injection
First Seizure: 8/3/14
Last Seizure: 5/31/15

Princesca
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:40 am

Re: The Mighty Roscoe

Post by Princesca » Tue Aug 26, 2014 5:16 pm

One question... after his seizure today, he doesn't seem to want to eat. He drank plenty, but does not seem tempted by his dinner or cookies or anything. Is that normal?

Also, I presume that just because he had a seizure I shouldn't move up his Keppra dose... I should keep it at the same time. Right? At this point, I am just watching him to make sure he doesn't cluster, and will only take him to the ER vet if he does cluster, or if he has a seizure longer than five minutes.
Proud mama to Roscoe, mixed Boxer/Tibetan Mastiff/German born in 2009
Keppra XR 2000mg every 12 hours, 7.5mg Prednisone daily, Zonisamide (dose TBD), monthly Percorten injection
First Seizure: 8/3/14
Last Seizure: 5/31/15

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

Re: The Mighty Roscoe

Post by cforecatsmeow » Wed Aug 27, 2014 10:33 am

Sorry he had a seizure. I would not increase the Keppra XR or give it earlier at all without discussing it with your vet. It is different than the regular Keppra and with the slow release I'm not sure if that is ok. You may want to discuss Valium tablets with your vet. I give that to Winston after any seizure and then once or twice a day gradually lowering the dose over usually a 2-3 day period if he does not have any more seizures. I also have rectal Valium if he does cluster and that has saved us a lot of moolah in ER visits. I use generic Keppra and will give a 1/2 tablet of that as well if he does seize but, again, the XR is different.

Wishing you guys the best of luck. I know it's hard. We've gone through long stretches without seizures and when they come around again, it's very disappointing. But, we do what we have to do. Hug your babe for me and let us know how it's going.
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

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

Re: The Mighty Roscoe

Post by cesullivan » Thu Sep 04, 2014 11:12 pm

Sorry bout your pups seizures. Both of my seizure pups are starving after their seizures, but they are all different. If the foam was still thon Roscoe's face, you probably just missed it.

And yes, we are the ones who need the valium ;) Hang in there. All we can do is the best we can do.

Chris, Cali, Jim and Bandit (the non seizure pup)
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

Princesca
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:40 am

Re: The Mighty Roscoe

Post by Princesca » Sun Sep 28, 2014 3:59 pm

Just thought I'd pop in and give an update...

We still have Roscoe on Levetiracetam ER, 1000 mg at 7:30 AM and 1000 mg at 7:30 PM.

This time, he went 33 days without an incident. He had what seemed to be an odd pre-ictal event this morning, now that I look back on it... though I'm not sure if that's what it was. He woke me up at 4 AM with really high-pitched, frantic barking. I went to let him out of his crate, and found that he'd lost control of his bladder. He was also very jumpy acting, but he wasn't showing any of his other usual signs of seizing, so I assumed that he'd maybe had a dream or been startled by something, and just hadn't peed the last time he was out before he went to bed. So I calmed him down, washed his bedding, and sat with him awhile, then went back to bed. Came down at 7 AM to let him out, gave him breakfast, his meds, let him outside... everything was fine. Went upstairs about 8:30 to have breakfast and a shower, came back down, and he'd had one. Turner and Hooch-worthy drool everywhere, all over his face, his chest, his kennel. Of course, he was very lethargic for awhile, stumbling around and bumping into stuff and getting stuck in corners, easily startled. Tried to manage all that as best I could. He did seem to bounce back a little faster than the last one he had in late August, and seems normal now, eating and drinking.

In terms of triggers, both have happened on or around the new moon. The only thing different I did with him yesterday was we were a half hour late on his meds (the neurologist said it wouldn't be a problem, and last night was unavoidable), and I gave him a Pedigree dog chew, but he'd had the other one in the package months ago with no problems.

This is a horrible disorder. It makes me so angry... not at him, of course. And that's maybe even the worst part - there's no one to be mad at. I can only be mad at the stupid brain disorder and hope they find a cure soon. As horrible as this is to go through with a dog, I can't imagine going through it with a child. To be honest, I was on the fence about having kids and this has pretty well pushed me into the '95% sure I can't handle it' column.
Proud mama to Roscoe, mixed Boxer/Tibetan Mastiff/German born in 2009
Keppra XR 2000mg every 12 hours, 7.5mg Prednisone daily, Zonisamide (dose TBD), monthly Percorten injection
First Seizure: 8/3/14
Last Seizure: 5/31/15

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

Re: The Mighty Roscoe

Post by cesullivan » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:35 pm

Sorry about the seizure :(
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

Princesca
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:40 am

Re: The Mighty Roscoe

Post by Princesca » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:15 pm

Hey all... things were good for awhile but in November, Roscoe was diagnosed with Addisons Disease. His medication costs have skyrocketed. Percorten shots every 25 days, daily Prednisone, and an increased Keppra dose. Unfortunately I think we fall into the group of dogs that Keppra stops working for after 8 months or so. In april, he had the worst episode yet... three so close with no recovery time and I thought we'd lose him before we could get him to the vet. That was when they put him on daily Prednisone. Last weekend he had a very similar episode. Now he's on eight Keppra a day, 1.5 prednisone, and they are adding zonisamide now. His Percorten alone is 200 a month.

I am terrified to be alone with him. It breaks my heart. I live in a constant state of anxiety and can't seem to shake it no matter what I do. I find myself being relieved when they want to keep him at the ER vet, despite the expense. I have found myself thinking about euthanasia but that seems so cruel when, between seizures, he's such a happy and vital dog. We have completely rearranged our lives around his meds and that's okay, but the constant barking (I think from the prednisone) means we don't sleep well and the constant anxiety is overwhelming.

I really feel at the end of my rope. You know things are bad when you start wishing for undeniable signs of suffering because you'd then feel more justified in euthanasia. It sounds horrible to say, but there it is.

I hate this. For him and us.
Proud mama to Roscoe, mixed Boxer/Tibetan Mastiff/German born in 2009
Keppra XR 2000mg every 12 hours, 7.5mg Prednisone daily, Zonisamide (dose TBD), monthly Percorten injection
First Seizure: 8/3/14
Last Seizure: 5/31/15

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

Re: The Mighty Roscoe

Post by ShilohsMom » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:32 pm

I am so sorry that you're going through this. It's absolutely horrible just dealing with the seizures but to add something else to the mix, I just can't imagine.

I appreciate your honesty and feel pretty sure that while we love our hairy babies more than anything, those thoughts can creep in when we're at our wits end. I know I've been there. It's so incredible difficult on the best of days and when you're exhausted, it's unbearable.

Do they plan on keeping him on the Prednisone long term? Are the side effects temporary?Shiloh is one of those dogs that Keppra didn't do much for him and I eventually weaned him off and haven't noticed a difference. If you don't think it's helping you might ask the vet if you can wean him off. Are you able to use a prescription discount card like goodrx.com on the meds? When Shiloh was on Keppra it saved me a bunch of money. Not as big on the Zonisamide, but every little bit helps.

You're in my thoughts and prayers.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

Princesca
Posts: 22
Joined: Mon Aug 04, 2014 8:40 am

Re: The Mighty Roscoe

Post by Princesca » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:48 pm

Hey SM,

I did ask the vet about weaning him off Keppra, and he said maybe eventually but for now since he's been struggling so much lately, they thought it best to get all the support for him that they could. We found a local source for Keppra that isn't too bad, financially. It's the Percorten shots that are killer... $200 every 25 days is nuts. I bought some on sale at a discount from Valley Vet, but he had those clusters and I cancelled the order because I feared he wasn't going to make it and I dreaded being stuck with a $600 bill for meds I didn't need.

We are having to give him Prednisone every day. According to the vet, he needs this daily as stress support since his body doesn't make any cortisone anymore. Right now, they are thinking he might possibly have an insulinoma - they've sent the glucose tests out but we won't have them for a couple of days.

We'd thought for awhile his Addison's was causing hypoglycemia, which was causing the seizures, and it was so nice to know that his epilepsy wasn't idiopathic. But his seizures seem to be getting worse, and haven't improved since the Addisons meds. Not saying he doesn't need them, but they aren't preventing his seizures.

On top of the rest of it, we're moving, so that's additional stress for him AND us. Not far, but it's going to be a big change for him, and I'm worried how it will affect him. Stress continues to precede his seizures - it's almost always been that way. Always a vet visit, or boarding, or some unusual event, about 24-48 hours prior to an episode.

It's hard. If I knew he was suffering, honestly... I wouldn't hesitate to let him go, at this point. But he isn't suffering. I am. My job is. My marriage is. I know this is mostly my fault for not being able to calm myself and set better boundaries, but I've tried, and I just can't.

I want to be enjoying our lives together. And I do, most of the time. But the time between events is getting shorter, the events are getting worse, and in between is a lot of expense and worry.

Thank you so much for your kind words. I feel like a poor puppy mommy sometimes. :cry:
Proud mama to Roscoe, mixed Boxer/Tibetan Mastiff/German born in 2009
Keppra XR 2000mg every 12 hours, 7.5mg Prednisone daily, Zonisamide (dose TBD), monthly Percorten injection
First Seizure: 8/3/14
Last Seizure: 5/31/15

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