Seem to have a totally blind dog, is there hope?

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Looks4Path
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:05 pm

Seem to have a totally blind dog, is there hope?

Post by Looks4Path » Thu Sep 25, 2014 9:29 pm

My 6 yr. old golden retriever "Bumper" has been having seizures for about 3 yrs. Vet did not feel it necessary to place him on medication since he seemed to only seize on an average, every two months. Some months he would go for 3, the longest has been 6 months. Sometimes he would seize one day, and then seize again the next day. This past Monday night though, he had one seizure at 10:40 pm, another at 2:00 am, and then woke me the next morning at 8:00 with another seizure going on. All the seizures were around a minute and not the cusual post ictal lenght that usually happens afterwards. Because this was a change, I called the vet the next day and she thought it time to go on meds now, and was kind of alarmed he had 3, so I made an appt. to bring him in the next day. Later (of course after the vets office is closed) at 5:10 pm he had another seizure. After he seemed to have gone thru the post ictal stage I took him into the emergency vet, they gave him a shot of Pheno, and a prescription of pheno, plus two loaded rectal valium (emergency) to start him and told me to get blood work done at my regular vet the next day.

The big problem is my boy has never seen well, he was born with plaque across his retina's that cannot be removed, he see's peripherally, almost like having a fist in your face and seeing around it. It has never stopped him in the past. Usually when he would have a seizure, he would be blind during the post ictal stage, but his limited vision would come back. After this last seizure of 4 he now seems totally blind and his sight has not returned. It is 4 days now, and I am very concerned. I am not sure if the pheno he just started is affecting him, and the vet yesterday tried to tell me he thought he had lost his sight totally before this and just had memorized the furniture, but nothing has changed with furniture here and he is bumping into everything! After giving him the pheno tonight he tends to wander around, he seems very unsure of himself. I know he is different now then he was 4 days ago. Is there any shot of his limited vision returning? I love this dog dearly, and do have to go out eventually for doctors appts. and to work. I am afraid to leave him alone with all the walking into walls etc. He has never been crated, and I am afraid this would just make him crazy especially with being totally blind.

thanks,

LaDonna

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

Re: Seem to have a totally blind dog, is there hope?

Post by cforecatsmeow » Fri Sep 26, 2014 10:38 am

Sorry to hear about Bumper. This is such a difficult disease. It took Winston about 3 - 4 weeks after starting the initial Pheno to adjust. Made me so sad. He wondered around in a total daze with no personality. He would lose his footing and almost fall down. I cried almost every day during that phase. Eventually Winston went back to himself. Give it awhile and see how Bumper does. You can seizure proof the house. Make sure there is nothing he can knock over onto himself, no stairs, etc. Maybe you can isolate him to one room. If this behavior continues, you may have to visit a neurologist and have some tests run to rule out other issues. Hopefully this is just a post-ictal problem and a reaction to the medication. Maybe his limited sight will come back but even if it doesn't, Bumper will adjust. I have a blind cat, Ray Charles :), and he does just fine unless I move something in the house and then he has to readjust to his surroundings. Best of luck and keep us posted.
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

Looks4Path
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:05 pm

Re: Seem to have a totally blind dog, is there hope?

Post by Looks4Path » Sun Sep 28, 2014 4:39 pm

thanks Cindy for the response.

I spoke with one of the vets yesterday, and her reply about his blindness was that it would be hard to tell at this point about his eyesight. She did say all of his bloodwork looks normal and nothing to be concerned about. Said that this seems like epilepsy, but said they do know of a neurologist should other problems arise. Because of his symptoms, she reduced his dose from 1-1/2 grain BID to 1 grain in the morning, and 1-1/2 at night, hopefully this will cut back with some of the symptoms of the pheno and still he be seizure free. Of course if he seizes, it is give him another dose of the 1 grain, and then next dosing go back to the 1-1/2 grain and call the office to let them know.

He seems a little better today, not as much walking into a room and staring at the wall and not knowing where he is at. He is finding the water bowl by himself which yesterday I don't think he could. He has been waking me in early hours like 5 am, 4 am, but I am able to speak to him and he lays back down and goes to sleep. Only one night did I have to get up and take him outside.

This is hard. I feel better today after having stumbled upon a forum in Pet Med on "how long do the side affects of Pheno last", seems most dogs go thru adjustments when starting pheno. Many of these people described the symptoms my dog is having now, so I feel there is hope that my boy will come back to me.

thanks again,
LaDonna

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

Re: Seem to have a totally blind dog, is there hope?

Post by cesullivan » Sun Sep 28, 2014 10:44 pm

The meds can make the pups very uncoordinated...so it is possible your thinking he has completely lost his sight is just him stumbling around due to the drugs. It can take a while before they get their legs and coordination back.
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

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

Re: Seem to have a totally blind dog, is there hope?

Post by ShilohsMom » Mon Sep 29, 2014 8:11 am

Hi LaDonna and welcome to the boards although it saddens me for the reason you have joined.

I do think Bumper will eventually adjust and it does sound like it's the PB causing a good part of the issue with him walking into things. Shiloh was like then when he was on PB. Also, with Shiloh the more seizures he has in a short period of time (clustering) the longer it will take for that wobbliness to go away.

This is such a hard disease to watch out babies go through. Hang in there and we're here if you need us.
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

Looks4Path
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Sep 24, 2014 12:05 pm

Re: Seem to have a totally blind dog, is there hope?

Post by Looks4Path » Fri Oct 17, 2014 11:33 am

thanks for the help.

Colleen and Shiloh, I noticed that your pup is on meds for thyroid. When diagnosed for thryoid, was your dog on pheno at the time?

I am concerned because I got a call from the vets office yesterday and tech told me to come and pick up thyroid meds for my boy. Looks like the only test for thyroid that was done was an IDEXX thyroid 2. Though I can compare it to one that was done 4 yrs. ago when he started seizures, he was not on pheno then. My concerns are if my boy really needs thyroid meds or not, or can this just be caused from the phenobarbital he started 3 weeks ago. Since I can't speak to my vet until Monday, I have decided to postpone giving him the med until she explains why she thinks he does need the meds. Any thoughts?

thanks,
LaDonna & Bumper

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

Re: Seem to have a totally blind dog, is there hope?

Post by ShilohsMom » Fri Oct 17, 2014 12:14 pm

LaDonna,

Shiloh started taking PB in December of 2010 and the thyroid meds in July of 2013. So he had several years on PB where his thyroid was OK. The vet told me when his thyroid came back low that it was normal for that to occur when dogs get older (he was 7 at the time). My non epi Rylie had blood work done last month as part of a yearly check up. Her thyroid also came back low, but not low enough at this point to put her on meds. Her and Shiloh are pretty close to the same age and it's hard to see them aging the same. Her and Shiloh also have about 10% cataracts.

After Shiloh had been on the thyroid meds a month, his thyroid was retested to check the level and his dose was upped to what it is now.

Hope you are able to have a great weekend!
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16

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