Page 1 of 1

Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 4:15 pm
by robertlnelson52
This is about Kieran, my 5 yr old Chocolate Labradoodle. On June 27 th he had first set of cluster seizures. He seized 3 xs at home before we got to ER. Fourth as soon as we walked in the door. All grand Mal. All in an hour. He continued every 12 hours for a day and a half, til we took him to specialty hospital. No seizures after starting phenobarbital for 3 months.

He started having generalized seizures not clusters though. But neurologist has added Kbr now. Kieran whines and barks 75 % of the day and paces a lot. The nights are endless. We are exhausted!! But no seizures for 2 weeks and I'm hoping he will adjust and not be so hungry soon. Sometimes I feel like I'm starving him!! He gained 11 lbs on phenobarbital, so we're trying to be careful about snacks. Lots of carrots!! How long does this hunger last?

I'm home with him 24/7. This is so new and scary.

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:04 pm
by Esmo
Welcome and sympathy for having to be here, though you will find a wealth of information and support. I am new to this disease also, less than a year with Maggie's seizures. There are many here with much more experience and you will find their wisdom invaluable.

Maggie too started out with scary, scary clusters and it has taken several months to get her medications to a point where the seizures and the post-ictal (after seizure behavior) periods are almost manageable. Every dog reacts to the drugs differently and it can take some time after the addition of a new medicine for things to level out. Each time we have added a new drug (or upped the dosage) we have had a period of time where she was ravenous or careened between hyperactive and lethargic.

Be hopeful and as wise people on here told me - live for the good days and try and survive the bad ones.

Best of luck...


Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:36 pm
by robertlnelson52
Thanks so much! Today was a good day. I'm trying to remember that my boy picks up on my emotions... And sometimes it seems like I'm watching every move or jerk. Just waiting
I'm very hopeful and I had read about "kindling"so I'm glad we're under control with clusters for now. Thank you. So much!

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:22 am
by ShilohsMom
Welcome to the boards although I'm sorry it's under these circumstances. I'm glad that the meds are keeping the seizures at bay, that is the most important thing. Shiloh pretty much clusters over a 3 day period (he had 2 instances last month for a total of 16 seizures) and I'm pretty sure it's starting to affect him, it's subtle but there.

It's really hard to have them on medications that on one hand keep them from having seizures but the affects they can have are just as awful to watch. Shiloh has always been a foodie so I'm lucky that he will pretty much eat anything, including fruits (excluding grapes because of their toxicity) & vegetables. You might think about getting a Kong or one of those roll around toys you can put the food in that dispenses the food when they roll it around. It makes them work longer for the food and gives them something to work at instead of inhaling it. Plus it can give you a break. :D

The biggest issue we're dealing with is that Shiloh just had Phenobarbital added back to his regimen and the ataxia (leg weakness) is really bad and he's been up the past several nights whining, pacing, checking on me, but he also just had a cluster of 7 seizures so it's probably a combination of the post ictal (after seizure behavior) and the meds. His dose is fairly low so hoping this will pass. I would give Kieran about a week to see if the behavior improves and if not check with your vet and see what they recommend. You might add Milk Thistle (supplement) to his diet to help protect the liver while he's on PB.

I tell people that the only thing predictable about this disease is it's unpredictability. What one dog will do well on, another doesn't so don't get discouraged along the way.

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 1:51 pm
by robertlnelson52
Thank you for your wisdom... Kieran only got up 3 times last night, it felt like a miracle !! And once he soothed himself back to sleep!! We went outside so he could go potty and we turned around and he was upstairs fast asleep.
Today has been unbelievable!! He's not whined and barked hardly at all. Generally we massage and brush him to calm him down, but we also give in to snacks. So we tried letting him bark a little and telling him no treats and not give in to night time routine of snacks, we noticed our 10 lb poodle was acting the same and he is NOT on meds. So we knew part was just being given snacks when he asked and wore us down.
Kieran has always been glued to me, particularly since his canine brother( Choc Lab) passed away just a year ago. Sometimes I wonder if his extreme sadness had anything to do with Epilepsy. We also feel Advantix had something to do with it. He hated it and started these seizures less than 24 hours after application and being upset that I put it on him!! Just venting, I'm sure we'll never know. But we'll never use it again!!
Our neurologist said Kieran could try another med or we could wait another little bit and see if things changed. Particularly since Kbr takes awhile to build up.
I don't like the ataxia, but it also seems to be getting alot better, but I think we will try the milk thistle, I've heard it mentioned several times now. And see if we can stick it out with the Kbr.
I hope for the best for all of us and our angels and thank you for your support !!

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:08 pm
by Gentle Jacob's mom
Jake's first Grand Mal with us came just a couple of months after we lost our 16 year old Samoyed. He loved her very much (so did I..) and we all thought his grieving contributed to the seizures. As far as Advantix, I'd stay away from it. If you can find just the regular Frontline it might be better. We use it on Jake only only as a last resort and apply it in three or four spots down his spine near his neck.
I hope this helps.
Take Care,

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 3:32 pm
by ShilohsMom
You definitely have to take your victories where you can. I was happy to get 5 hours of sleep last night. It's encouraging also to see them gain improvement.

Dogs are really smart and will pick up and repeat behavior that gets them what they want. I have to shake my head at people that do things to reinforce bad behavior and then get upset when the dog repeats it.

I had a Labradoodle that was the best dog I ever had. Unfortunately I lost her 3 weeks ago to acute leukemia. Broke my heart. She was always glued to me as well but never underfoot. They are absolutely wonderful dogs and one day I'd love to have another.

Before Shiloh developed seizures my dogs were on K9 Advantix. They'd been on it a year and one Saturday I had put it on them and several hours later I was rushing Shiloh to the ER with obvious neurological issues. Will never use that again. I take my dogs out to a wooded area to walk every day and flea/ticks are a problem. I use Frontline Plus and haven't had a problem with that, but for some dogs the Plus part can cause issues. I had bought the cheaper version of it, PetArmour, and the smell was so bad I immediately gave them a bath and got rid of it.

It does take time to see if meds will work and for the side effects to go away or reduce to 'normal'.

Hope you all have a peaceful & restful weekend.

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:52 pm
by robertlnelson52
Thank you, Colleen,

I'm so sorry for the loss of your doodle. My heart still aches for my Charlie Brown. Tomorrow will be one year since we lost him to brain tumor and terrible arthritis. But, I know we did everything we could to make him happy and comfortable and most of all loved.
And I know that they know that as well.

Kieran was the 9th in his litter, the runt. His dad had seizures (I didn't know til a few months ago) and none of the other pups in the litter have epilepsy, and we know where they all are. His dad passed away from a heart tumor just a few months ago. But they are all such great ,lovable, loyal dogs

For now , our neurologist doesn't want us to use any flea control products on Kieran. We will deal with that next spring. But I am going to put your recommendations in my journal. It may actually snow a bit tonite here in NW Indiana, so fleas and ticks shouldn't be
an issue. Thank goodness we made it thru the summer, lots of brushing and vacuuming!!!

Thanks and hugs to you and yours..

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 11:02 pm
by cesullivan
Give the Kbro some was a Godsend for Cali. once we added it she went 7 months seizure free and added back in pheno and is currently 16 months seizure free. It did take an extra long time for her to stop being a drunk while on it. Now you wouldn't even know she is medicated.

Now if I could only get Foster Dog Jim to stop walking around like a drunk (epilepsy too).

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 9:49 am
by ShilohsMom
I've seen things online about natural repellants for fleas/ticks. That wouldn't be feasible for us cause we're out in the woods everyday and they get in the lake so it would wash off. Not sure about Indiana, but here in Oklahoma, fleas aren't too much of a problem when we get a freeze, but I have still seen ticks when the ground has been frozen over so you might keep an eye out for the occasional winter tick.

It's hard to lose our hairy babies. I try to be grateful for each moment I'm given with them, it's just never enough time. My worst fear is that I would die before Shiloh (morbid I know). I worry about him finding someone who would be willing to take care of him and be able to afford his meds every month which now are around $240. While I'd love to have a godparent for him, I don't have anyone that would be able to care for him. But, I'm not planning on going anywhere and just have to trust and focus on today.

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 11:32 am
by robertlnelson52
Hello Everyone,
I'm just reading along and happy for a great day! Our weekend was kind of funky... yucky. Lots of restlessness, barking, whining and up half the night. Recuperated yesterday somewhat. Unfortunately Kieran had an extra dose of Kbr on Saturday, hubby heard my alarms going off and didn't realize I had just given meds and fed him and I caught him before he gave second tablet. Obviously, we stressed about it. But this is a whole new world and mistakes happen when your'e exhausted. Meds are marked daily but we've decided only one person gives day and one person gives night.. I'm sure that will change.
He still is a little wobbly but today is good..checked out grasshoppers on our walk and I appreciate all the feedback. I'm going to be patient with Kbr and hope things continue to level out, today is 3 weeks seizure free..Yee Ha!!

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:48 pm
by ShilohsMom
So happy for your 3 weeks!!!!!


Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:43 am
by SpencerBhumi
Hi Laura,

Welcome to the forum. It is a bitter/sweet group of people here - an immeasurably great support for our unlucky lot in life.

Giving tablets each day:
Mostly... I prepare the day's doses and give the morning tabs, and store the evening tabs in little pill bottles. I have a couple of split tablets so I know that Spencer is getting the full dose somewhere across the day as opposed to having a bunch of roughly half cut tablets floating around in the bottle for random givings. And preparing it this way we know that if the medication is prepared Spencer has had his morning dose and is due his evening dose - or not.

On occasions - such as going on holidays or having a dog sitter in - I will prepare two 7 day dosettes (breakfast & tea M T W T F S S). They are all there labelled & ready to go. Using this system there is no chancing that we will forget a meal - or a dose of tablets... the dogs are fed/medicated at 8am & 8pm and they are so unbelievably excited to see this food every 12 hours (then I calculated that 12 hours is about 3.5 days in dog years) they act like they are perishing.

Praying for good management & great days for you & Kieran.

Trevor & Spencer

Grateful for the good days, weeks (months).

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 5:43 am
by robertlnelson52
Thank you !! I appreciate all the information and kind words. Getting in sync with meds is important!! My husband is Type 1 insulin dependent as is one of my cats and we all take meds... so having a fail proof system is necessary!!! I don't know when we'll ever have a dog sitter, but nice thought to hope we can get there!! I just cancelled a weekend visit to Seattle to see my son, I'm afraid Kieran is too unstable to leave just yet. But hopefully we continue to progress and just learn to live with this disease and enjoy life with ups and downs !!!
Take care Trevor & Spencer !!!! :D

Re: Kieran's New Journey with Epilepsy

Posted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 11:37 pm
by cesullivan
I went to CVS and bought am/pm weekly dosing containers. One for Bandit, one for Cali and one for Jim. They are all different colors. I fill them up once a week and that way whoever is drugging/feeding, knows if the dose was given.