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 Post subject: My Yorkie's seizures are becoming more frequent
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:52 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:28 am
Posts: 6
Hi All:
My yorkie Bailey is 20 months old.
She had her first seizure at four months in June 2016. Since then she has had 10 seizures, the last one was today. The first seizure completely freaked me out! I rushed her to the regional vet hospital and she has had all of the tests - all negative. The only test I haven't done is an MRI and I don't think I'm going to do it because I don't have the money to pay for any surgery if there actually is a tumor or something. So I'm trying to do the best I can and manage the seizures.
She has been seen by a Neurologist who said they were likely idiopathic seizures anyway.
She was started on Keppra 90 mg twice daily but this has been increased to 120 mg twice daily. It costs $85 a month for this medication because it has to be compounded since she is only 6 pounds.
I have Ativan to give intranasally on top of the Keppra when she has the seizures which seems to have worked. She has only clustered once (two seizures within 5 minutes) and that was before I had the Ativan to give her.
My concern is that lately her seizures are occurring more frequently. I keep a log of when she has them and originally they were several months apart but now they are happening in two-three week intervals. I worry that she may have to go up on the medication which I really don't want to do for two reasons:
1. I don't want her to be obtunded and lose her little personality.
2. Since the medication has to be compounded I would have to pay even more for the medication than I'm already paying.

I'm going to have her see the Neurologist again. I read that sometimes they add an additional/different medication and maybe she has become tolerant to the Keppra. I really don't want her to have to do phenobarbital because of the liver issues and having to repeatedly get her liver checked.
I don't know. I actually stay up at night worried about my little girl.
Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions or stories about your experiences in a similar situation?
Thanks alot in advance.


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 Post subject: Re: My Yorkie's seizures are becoming more frequent
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2010 10:52 am
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I'm not sure why you would have to have Keppra compounded. We did that for a couple of years and Jake wound up overdosing because his system shouldn't break down the capsule they used. I think you can get 150mg tablets and if not you can get 500mg tablets and cut them. Keppra doesn't have the side effect that over meds have. And dosing can go pretty high without a problem. You can go to Rxcut.com or Goodrx.com for coupons that will keep the cost down. I would talk to your neurologist about all of it.
I know you're scared to use Pb but as long as you have Bailey's blood work done you can catch any problem early on. Jake was on Pb for over 9 years and his liver was healthy right up until the day he died. We gave him milk thistle and I think that helped a lot.

Lynne


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 Post subject: Re: My Yorkie's seizures are becoming more frequent
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 10:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Posts: 806
Location: Oklahoma
I'm so sorry about Bailey and know how hard the struggle is when it comes to the cost and whether upping/changing/removing meds is the right thing to do. Think it's safe to say we all remember that first seizure and freak out that ensues.

From what I understand a tumor in a dog is rare, especially when they're so young so not plunking down a couple thousand dollars to rule it out really doesn't make sense unless there were other symptoms to indicate it.

Each dog is different and will respond differently to meds, what works for one may not work for another. With Shiloh we were never able to get control over his seizures and Keppra proved to be pretty ineffective. Do you have a prescription saving card you're able to use? Have you talked with the pharmacy to see if they offer any type of discounts? Can your vets office get meds cheaper? At one point his meds ran me around $250 a month so know the pain of the expense, plus adding the vet costs :shock: . When he was first diagnosed at the age of 4 1/2 he was put on Phenobarbital and did fairly well for a while but then he started having more seizures. We changed/added/deleted meds more times than I could possibly go into. Eventually his liver was being severely affected (liver values on his Albumin was 4x too high) so he had to be taken off the Pheno. The good news in that is that the liver is one of the organs that can heal and eventually his liver values all came back down to normal levels. So if the vet thinks putting Bailey on Pheno will help, just make sure to get blood work done on a regular basis. I have two friends that had dogs with seizures who did great on it for years and had good control of the seizures.

_________________
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16


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 Post subject: Re: My Yorkie's seizures are becoming more frequent
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:28 am
Posts: 6
Gentle Jacob's mom wrote:
I'm not sure why you would have to have Keppra compounded. We did that for a couple of years and Jake wound up overdosing because his system shouldn't break down the capsule they used. I think you can get 150mg tablets and if not you can get 500mg tablets and cut them. Keppra doesn't have the side effect that over meds have. And dosing can go pretty high without a problem.

Lynne


Thanks Lynne for your response. Actually the Neurologist is the one who recommended compounding the Keppra. Bailey is only 6 pounds and is taking 120 mg twice daily. The smallest regular pill that you can get from a regular pharmacy is 200 mg and you're not supposed to cut it. She has quite a ways to go before she would get to that dose.


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 Post subject: Re: My Yorkie's seizures are becoming more frequent
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 12:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:28 am
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ShilohsMom wrote:
I'm so sorry about Bailey and know how hard the struggle is when it comes to the cost and whether upping/changing/removing meds is the right thing to do. Think it's safe to say we all remember that first seizure and freak out that ensues.

From what I understand a tumor in a dog is rare, especially when they're so young so not plunking down a couple thousand dollars to rule it out really doesn't make sense unless there were other symptoms to indicate it.

Each dog is different and will respond differently to meds, what works for one may not work for another. With Shiloh we were never able to get control over his seizures and Keppra proved to be pretty ineffective. Do you have a prescription saving card you're able to use? Have you talked with the pharmacy to see if they offer any type of discounts? Can your vets office get meds cheaper? At one point his meds ran me around $250 a month so know the pain of the expense, plus adding the vet costs :shock: . When he was first diagnosed at the age of 4 1/2 he was put on Phenobarbital and did fairly well for a while but then he started having more seizures. We changed/added/deleted meds more times than I could possibly go into. Eventually his liver was being severely affected (liver values on his Albumin was 4x too high) so he had to be taken off the Pheno. The good news in that is that the liver is one of the organs that can heal and eventually his liver values all came back down to normal levels. So if the vet thinks putting Bailey on Pheno will help, just make sure to get blood work done on a regular basis. I have two friends that had dogs with seizures who did great on it for years and had good control of the seizures.


Thanks for your response ShilohsMom! Yes, as I was telling Lynne, it has to be compounded because she is so small. Just 6 pounds. The smallest dose available in a regular pharmacy is 200 mg.
$250! I hope it doesn't get that high! I guess I will have to look into the phenobarbital then. She actually had one this morning again - not grand mal, but definitely petit mal.
Do you have any experience with the ProPurina Neurocare dog food? Was thinking about trying that too.


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 Post subject: Re: My Yorkie's seizures are becoming more frequent
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:42 pm
Posts: 806
Location: Oklahoma
I don't have any experience with the ProPurina Neurocare, it hadn't been out that long before I'd lost Shiloh so there weren't a lot of reviews. I'm not a fan of Purina, Hills, etc. BUT I know that illness specific foods can help. My daughters dog had kidney issues and was put on the kidney formula of Hills. Ever since then his values have come down to normal range. Will the neurocare work for Bailey, maybe. With Shiloh I knew I had to try so I didn't look back and wonder "what if I had done _______". It's a prescription food so you'll need your vet call it in from wherever you get it. Chewy.com has it but not sure how their price compares & orders over $49 ship free. I've ordered from them a bunch and always get my order in 1-2 days.

_________________
Colleen, Rylie, Sophie & angels Izzie & Shiloh
DOB: 11/11/05
First seizure: 07/28//10
Last seizure: 06/27/16


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 Post subject: Re: My Yorkie's seizures are becoming more frequent
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:28 am
Posts: 6
Update:
So Baily has had four seizures in 48 hours. So the vet has started a loading dose of Phenobarbital. Poor baby. She is really out of it. Her coordination is all over the place and she's lethargic. The vet is keeping her on the Keppra dose too until I can get to see the Neurologist - hopefully next week.
It just seems like SOOOO much medication for this tiny little dog!
I know the Phenobarbital takes some time getting used to, but it just hurts to look at her like this. Her little personality is gone.
Hopefully they will be able to taper her off the Keppra and just keep her on the PB.
Now I have to get all these labs done routinely and I was hoping to avoid that, but I guess it is worth it if she doesn't seize!
I got the prescription for the Purina NeuroCare but it is soooo expensive. I'm going to wait to see what the Neurologist says.


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 Post subject: Re: My Yorkie's seizures are becoming more frequent
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 3:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:46 pm
Posts: 60
I did a post for you in another topic, I think it treatment and maintenance section. I was wondering how Bailey is doing.

My dog was on phenobarbital for the duration of her illness, with other meds too (she was not on keppra ever). I just know with phenobarbital, it is important to make sure the blood work is done on time and ask around for best price (mine had a wellness panel and liver panel done while on pheno and that was around 150-180) or ask your dog's neuro/vet to help you price it. If you have to put away some money for it, do so because it is extremely important to make sure it's done. And her blood work was initially every 3-4 weeks, then once it was stable and leveled in the therapeutic range, it was every few months for monitoring. Many here have used milk thistle for liver support, but I have no idea how much a 6 pound two year old would have. I had mine on Denamarin, neuro told me what to get and that it has milk thistle in it, plus something for brain support. Perhaps ask your vet or neuro for dosing and suggestion for liver support. If I remember correctly, when my dog was on pheno, especially the loading dose, she was well sedated and had other meds in her like valium, so she had side effects that lasted a while- plus she had persistent neurological symptoms due to her having Pug Dog encephalitis. Hungry and thirsty like crazy, and acted a little drunk like, but it does get better. After the loading dose, it will level out within a couple weeks and you should see the side effects begin to diminish. Just make sure you monitor her closely with any med changes especially.

IDK about the food you suggested, when they came out with that, I never tried it on mine because she was doing well on Dr. harvey's canine health. She had some sensitivities to commercial dog foods. I do hear though that diet can help with seizures if the formula is made for seizures and brain health. Let people know here if it helps though, as I am sure many look at diet and want the best they can do.

I had a safe room for mine because she'd pace endlessly for a time and I felt it helped calm her after seizures and during difficult times. I also felt it helped decrease post seizure phase faster as she was not so stimulated being in a smaller (but roomy enough to walk around a little) area. Also, you may want to have some Bach Flower Rescue remedy on hand to give a drop either on her paw, outer or inner cheek (no dilution, just one drop because of her weight and size) to her after seizure activity. I gave mine two to three drops one at a time to her inner cheek or tongue because that is how it worked best for her, if yours will allow you to put your finger in her mouth (my dog was between 14-18lbs). Bach flower rescue remedy was amazing for my dog and helped her calm after seizure activity, rides in cars to the vet and it worked pretty quickly. You can find that at Wallmart in the flea, shampoo, supplement section. It is in a small yellow box and it's around 10 dollars. One small bottle would last mine months.

Good luck with your little Bailey. She sounds adorable. And never stop loving her, she's probably scared when she has her seizures. Keep us updated, I'd like to know how she is doing. And of course, make sure you take care of you. Seizures in dogs is a very trying, stressful at times, demanding disorder that requires a lot of attention, care. If you need us, we're here, even if it is just to vent, someone to talk to who has been through what you are....


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