Newly diagnosed Weim - Concerns following cluster

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Pablomom
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Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2017 8:52 pm

Newly diagnosed Weim - Concerns following cluster

Post by Pablomom » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:02 am

Our Weim (now nearly 11 years old) had his first seizure 2 years ago. At the time, the vet could find no cause and said he was too old to develop canine epilepsy. He suspected an environmental toxin. We were told to just watch him. This happened once every 6 months, the seizures being singular episodes with no lasting effects, no cognitive impairment or behavioral problems, and each time, he was back to normal within an hour.

Two weeks ago, though, he had 4 tonic-clonic seizures within 12 hours. We rushed him to the vet, but his vitals were good, all bloodwork normal, and he seemed ok. They disagreed with the previous vet, saying that he most likely has epilepsy, and that he could have had a seizure or two earlier in life that we didn't witness.

They sent us home with diazepam rectal injections and a script for zonisamide. We started the zonisamide the next morning (it was the soonest we could get the script filled). By then, he had experienced 6 more seizures, and was so weak that he lost the use of his back legs. The seizures lasted another 36 hours. Over the course of 3 days, he had nearly 20, most of them clocking between 1.5 and 3 minutes.

They stopped as quickly as they had begun, but he was still too weak to walk. We bathed and diapered him and just stayed with him, hand feeding him and holding his water bowl. He never really lost his appetite...was ravenous, in fact. Over the next 3 days, he continued to have very short focal seizures, but was alert and aware between episodes. He struggled to get up, and we could see he was getting stronger, but he couldn't get a grip on the floor. We carried him outside to the grass, where he very shakily was able to get up and walk.

Over the next several days, he remained seizure free and continued to get stronger and more mobile.

Now, he has regained full mobility, recalls commands to sit, shake, lay down. He has a good appetite, though we do have to mix his dry food with a spoon of wet food, or it falls out of his mouth. He drinks more water, a side effect of the meds. His sleeping patterns have returned to fairly normal, and his personality has returned.

Here are my concerns, though.

Once he was back to full strength and mobility, he developed what I can only describe as obsessive attachment and extreme separation anxiety and what seems to be anxiety from being indoors. He constantly cries to go outside. Once outdoors, he is fine. The only difference from before is that he doesn't pull on the leash. He walks right beside us. But his anxiety level drops immediately once we get outside.

Inside, if someone is not directly focused on him, he is constantly howling and crying. I can't get 2 steps from him without him being under my feet. If my partner and I are both here, he can't decide who to follow, so he frantically paces back and forth between us. If either of us steps out, he howls at the top of his lungs, even if one of us is still there. Takes a while to console him, but then if attention is focused on anything else, the yowling starts again. I can be sitting right next to him, but if I get a phone call or visibly use my laptop (I work from home, thank goodness), the crying starts. He has never in all his years stepped foot in the bathroom voluntarily, because he hates baths...but now if I try to close the door, he near tears it down. If I leave it open, he follows me in and yells at me while I'm on the toilet or in the shower. He even pulls the shower curtain open.

He clearly remembers us, his home, and his training. But I'm very concerned with this sudden constant anxiety. He has always been vocal, but never the yowling. He has always liked to be close, but never had separation anxiety. We both used to work outside the home, and he was cool by himself for 8+ hours. No tearing stuff up, no peeing in the house, no crying. He'd bark at us out the window as he watched us walk away, but would always stop once we were gone. Neighbors over the years have confirmed this. But now, if we are both gone (I actually have literally only left for a combined total of 5 hours since this all started) he constantly cries at the top of his lungs. He stops for a few minutes and then goes at it again. When he's really upset, one eye droops. The bottom eyelid droops away from his eye, and the top lid closes so that his eye looks half the size of his other. It goes back to normal as soon as he calms down. And again, all of this stops when he is outdoors. My partner even took him to a doggy bar this weekend where it's fenced in with dog pools and other dogs and doggie bouncers. He wanted to see what his reaction would be. He was perfectly normal. His old self. Always wanted to keep tabs on us, but would run and play. No sensitivity to other dogs, no anxiety, no standing underfoot.

I'm at my wits end. I can't get anything done because we have to go out every 2 hours because the meds make him thirsty and ge has to pee...but all of the howling in between...I can not stop it. Has anyone else experienced this? Could this be a temporary lingering effect from the cluster? I've read that some dogs forget their families or their homes and training just after a cluster and then remember them again a couple weeks later...while that's clearly not the case here, I wonder if this could be some other temporary thing. Or could this be the meds??

Suggestions?

Gentle Jacob's mom
Posts: 927
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am

Re: Newly diagnosed Weim - Concerns following cluster

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Tue Jun 27, 2017 6:28 am

Some dogs do have reactions to medications. I think a neurologist would be able to tell you what might be going on. It could also be from the cluster. Again I think if you haven't already, I'd consult with a neurologist. They deal with this everyday and can pinpoint many things that vets may not know about.
While Jake was adjusting to the meds in the beginning he was totally different. He could be clingy and the next minute so distant that I wondered if he'd ever be the same again. It took awhile for us to see him come back to being his stubborn, sweet self, but he did.
I really don't know about the eye and mouth droop. Maybe it's from anxiety, or a seizure trying to break through. We've always had good luck with alternatives when it comes to anxiety. You may want to try Bach Flower Rescue Remedy. It helps a lot of dogs and we use it for all of our animals and it works for them. Some dogs don't have luck with that and have to use conventional meds. Jake has his own homeopathic mixture that we came up with several years ago and it's always my go to for him.

I hope this helps.
Take Care,
Lynne

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