Achilles: Dire condition

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rayzorx
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:23 pm

Achilles: Dire condition

Post by rayzorx » Sat Feb 18, 2017 7:49 pm

Hello everyone.

My Boxer's name is Achilles and he's 3 years old today.
Achilles had his first seizure at around 18 months. We went through all the testing with our Vet (short of an MRI) and concluded he is epileptic. He's been on a Potassium Bromide regimen (1000mg/day) and usually only has a mild seizure every 5-6 weeks.

One week ago, Achilles had what I believe is termed a Status Epilepticus attack that lasted over a half hour by the time we got him to the Vet. He was treated with diazepam and phenobarbital and was also given something to reduce any swelling that may have occurred in the brain
After 2 days at the Vets, I brought Achilles home and have been caring for for him since.

He still gets the Potassium Bromide twice a day, along with Phenobarbital, 60mg, twice a day. I'm also using 5 grams of Meletonin at night to calm him down so he sleeps. Otherwise he paddles almost all night. Needless to say, I've gotten very little done in the day time and hardly any sleep at night.

His presentation now is:
- Frequent periods of paddling
- Unable to stand or walk, no real control over his legs, although he tries very hard and has been able to stand for a couple of seconds, two or three times.
- Doesn't seem to have enough control over his jaws to eat. I've been hand feeding him by placing food on his tongue when he flicks is out. So far I've been bitten 3 times. I also give him water via a 20cc syringe.
- Has no bladder or bowel control. We've been using puppy training pads and I'm now trying Depends on him.

The up side of things is that Achilles seems to recognize us and understands some verbal commands. We've learned when he is signaling that he's thirsty or hungry. And when hes' ready to pee.
I've built a quad walker for him but we haven't had much success with him getting his legs moving. He either lets them drag or goes stiff legged.

Achilles is a wonderful dog, and I want to give him every chance to make some form of recovery, but I don't know how likely that is. My Vet has suggested going to a Neurologist but has also confided that doing so has not guarantees and may not tell me anything I don't already know.

I'm hoping that someone on this forum has had a similar experience and can share what they did, and whether or not it was successful.

Thanks for listening.

RayK

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

Re: Achilles: Dire condition

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Sun Feb 19, 2017 7:13 am

It could be the addition of Pb that is causing the symptoms. Some dogs really cannot handle it alone or with Potassium Bromide. Either can cause severe ataxia. I would go to a neurologist if you can. Jake was not in great shape when we first put him on Pb. He was really dopey, couldn't walk normally and his personality was definitely not normal. It took a few weeks and we started seeing him returning to his goofy self. But with Achilles symptoms being as severe as they are maybe he can't take Pb, or he could still be coming out of the effects from the cluster seizure he had and the loading dose of Diazepam they gave him. A neurologist should be able to help with that. I think most people have been glad they went.
It's very hard to concentrate on anything else when our fur kids are going through all of this, and even when you can, by that time you're so sleep deprived you feel like a zombie.
I hope you can find the answer to what's going on.

Take Care,
Lynne

MK's mom
Posts: 1708
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 9:48 am
Location: Michigan

Re: Achilles: Dire condition

Post by MK's mom » Sun Feb 19, 2017 8:56 am

He's probably still suffering the effects of that 30 minute seizure. I agree with Lynne, he might be having issues with the Pb, too.

You could try a neurologist because neurology is their specialty. Your primary vet treats everything. so although they know a little about a lot, they don't usually know a lot about any particular ailment. You'll pay a few dollars more for a neuro, but I would give it a whirl if it helps your boy.
Nathan
3.5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 7/26/2013
Last seizure 3/24/2014
__________________________________
MK
5 yo Irish Setter boy
First seizure 1/25/06
Last seizure 9/4/2009

Aug 17, 2004- Sept. 22, 2009
May the shamrocks fall softly sweetpea

rayzorx
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:23 pm

Re: Achilles: Dire condition

Post by rayzorx » Sun Feb 19, 2017 11:46 am

Thanks for the responses!

I didn't suspect the Pb but maybe? I think Achilles definitely has some sort of nerve or brain issue. He really is trying to get up but just can't get his legs coordinated enough to do so. I'll look into a neurologist this week and figure out how to afford it.

Does anyone have suggestions for physical therapy that I can work on with Achilles to get him up on his feet? I'm retired so I have the time to spend working with him.

Thanks!
RayK

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

Re: Achilles: Dire condition

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:40 pm

Hi Ray,
Ataxia can really be hard on our pups. Jake was overmedicated a few years ago and it was heartbreaking to watch him try over and over to get up. He also couldn't eat without food going everywhere because he had no control of his tongue. He recovered 100% once his levels went back to normal, so it may be that once it's figured out if he's tolerating the Pb or not he could come around on his own. Maybe you could get a harness for him to help him walk until you find out what's going on. But I wouldn't do it until he wants to. We used a towel under Jake's belly to help hold him up when he had to go outside. It's true that long seizures are dangerous, and can cause very serious problems, but dogs can also recover, but it can take time.
Let us know how you're doing.
Lynne

rayzorx
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:23 pm

Re: Achilles: Dire condition

Post by rayzorx » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:53 pm

Thanks Lynne,

I suspected as much. Going to talk to the Vet today about the dose and if he thinks this is Ataxia or something else.

RayK

rayzorx
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:23 pm

Re: Achilles: Dire condition

Post by rayzorx » Tue Feb 21, 2017 2:54 pm

rayzorx wrote:Thanks Lynne,

I suspected as much. Going to talk to the Vet today about the dose and if he thinks this is Ataxia or something else.

RayK
Yesterday, my Vet took Achilles off of the PB and started him on Prednizone along with his KBr. He said that if it was Ataxia, it should have corrected by now. He's suspecting that there may be swelling that is putting pressure on the nerves.
Achilles had his first quiet night since the SE episode. I think the PB really wacked out his system. He doesn't seem ready to stand on his own but the Vet said that it should take a few days, if swelling is the culprit.
We'll wait and see if that is the case.

RayK

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

Re: Achilles: Dire condition

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Wed Feb 22, 2017 9:41 am

I think the ataxia issue can vary from dog to dog. It took Jake a couple of weeks before he could walk reasonably well on his own, and at least another before he could walk up and down steps without help.
These medications can really affect different dogs differently and after having a 30 minute seizure it will take time.

Take Care,
Lynne

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