Senior Dog - Just Started Seizing 2 Wks. Ago

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bella36
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:04 am

Senior Dog - Just Started Seizing 2 Wks. Ago

Post by bella36 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:29 am

Hello,

Newbie here. While it's great to have a website for canine epilepsy, I really wish I didn't have to be here!

Anyway, here is my story: My dog (Rikki) was a rescue that I've had since he was a puppy. He looks like maybe part Beagle, part cocker. He will be 13 in June. I lost my other dog, a 15 yr old Sheltie almost exactly a year ago (3/16/17) and am still grieving him. Rikki seems to have aged considerably since my other furbaby went to heaven and has had separation anxiety since. He follows me constantly around the house from room to room since my other baby was put down. We bring him with us whenever we can because when he's left at home alone, he howls like crazy when we walk in the door and he never did that before. I know he feels all alone without at least my other dog nearby. I feel so guilty whenever we have to leave and he can't come.

Fast forward almost exactly 1 year later and Rikki has started having petit mal seizures within the past 2 wks. with a few more serious vocal ones happening where he'll go down. After showing my vet the videos, she told me he more than likely has a brain tumor (besides having a grade 4 heart murmur) and it could be weeks to months before he passes depending on how aggressive the tumor is. He's been on Gabapentin 100 mg 2x/day and zonisamide 100 mg 2x/day and he seems to sleep a little more than normal for a dog his age however, (fingers crossed!) he hasn't had as many seizures now that his body seems to be adjusting to the meds.

Another problem is that he doesn't want his dog food anymore. I've been giving him his pills hidden in mozzarella, but he has since smartened up and now he's refusing the mozzarella. Now we have moved on to cold cuts - organic turkey breast, but I have to get him to swallow the pill first since if he knows it's hidden in the meat, he won't touch it. I made him scrambled eggs yesterday with just the eggs in order for him to eat something. Today I gave him a whole wheat bread with fresh pureed pumpkin and turkey breast sandwich which he gobbled up, so I know he hasn't lost his appetite, just for dog food apparently. I just don't know what is safe to give him every day and how much food to give?

Thanks for listening and as well as any help offered!
Bella

GentleJacob's Mom
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:05 am

Re: Senior Dog - Just Started Seizing 2 Wks. Ago

Post by GentleJacob's Mom » Wed Mar 07, 2018 7:29 am

Hi Bella,
I'm sorry you've had to come here too.
We lost our Jake last July and our dog that was left behind went through a very deep depression for several months. It's so hard to get through losing our furkids but to see their mate go through it adds another level of grief.
Ironically Jake's seizure story sounds a lot like Rikki's. He'd become so attached to a dog we had when we rescued him and when she died he went into a deep depression. A few months later he had the first witnessed grand mal. Vets thought that his grief lowered his threshold for seizures and most likely played a part, but that he'd always had the chance of developing them. I'm really not trying to disagree with your vet, because it's true that when dogs start seizing at an older age a tumor is suspected, but from what I've been told there's no way to be sure of a tumor without an MRI. I'm definitely not qualified other than my experience, but if you can you might want to get a second opinion. We were also told that there would physical signs outside of seizures such as how they walk, head tilting, and also facial dents. I'm sorry I can't remember the term for that, but it's when some part of their head suddenly has a indentation. Jake had a blood clot issue at one point and had one on the right side of his face that eventually went back to normal.
Our pups can sometimes be too smart for their own good can't they? Once they figure out that we put pills in their food or treats it's an uphill battle. Jake took his pills very well most of the time, but our other dog is a different story. We usually have to switch to different treats and or food and even then it doesn't always work. I'm wondering if one of the medications could be affecting his appetite. Is there anyway you could get him to eat a probiotic? Maybe some yogurt, or if you get Acidophilus/Bifidus it could help with any gut issues. You could talk to your vet about that. They're running trials on gut bacteria and seizures so that might help him. You may also want to try Bach Flower Rescue Remedy for his grief anxiety.
I'm sorry you're going through this on top of grieving the loss of your dog a year ago. For me most of the time it still feels like yesterday.

I wish you luck. Keep us posted and take care,
Lynne

bella36
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:04 am

Re: Senior Dog - Just Started Seizing 2 Wks. Ago

Post by bella36 » Thu Mar 08, 2018 3:39 pm

Hi Lynne,

Thanks for your response. I'm very sorry for your loss as well. It's too bad they can't live longer like people do, you know? It just seems like such a short time with them before they age - pretty much before your eyes.

I used to always give Rikki a tbsp. or two of yogurt since he was a pup because he was prone to ear infections and it always seemed to keep it at bay. He always did this cute little tap dance when he knew he was going to get some! I figured if I started giving him his meds. with the yogurt on it, it would slip down his throat easier and he'd be more apt to take it... Wrong! He was able to tuck his pills to the side of his mouth and once I thought he swallowed it, he'd spit it out because it would start dissolving in his mouth. So now he is totally turned off yogurt. I feel like his and my lives are revolving around all his pills - gabapentin twice/daily, zonisamide twice/daily, and dasequin daily for his arthritis. Now I even struggle to give him the dasequin which are chew tablets and he once loved. I guess the other meds. have literally left a bad taste in his mouth. :(

I had never heard of Bach Flower Rescue Remedy before. I did a google search and it looked like no one carried it locally, only online. Then I tried Wegmans grocery and amazingly, they carried it! I ran right out to get some. I put a few drops on his dog biscuit this afternoon since he would be home alone. He was excited to get his treat as usual, but then spit it on the floor and sniffed it like he knew there was something different about it. I guess he decided it was worth the risk and ate it anyway. Yippee!!! I was so thrilled when I came home and he was lying under the kitchen table, calmly looking at me. Then he walked over to me, wagging his tail. No running, howling, whining or seizing! Actually, it's now been over 4 1/2 hours later, and he is still pretty calm. Not following me around from room to room. I can't believe it - he's like a totally different dog! I wish I knew about it last year, maybe then he wouldn't have gotten all these problems... One million thank yous for the tip! :)

Bella

GentleJacob's Mom
Posts: 16
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 11:05 am

Re: Senior Dog - Just Started Seizing 2 Wks. Ago

Post by GentleJacob's Mom » Fri Mar 09, 2018 7:37 am

Hi Bella,
I'm so glad it helped. You can also get alcohol free Rescue Remedy for pets. I bought a lot of Jake's supplements from iherb.com thanks to a member here.
Yes, it is a shame that our furkids can't be with us longer. The space they leave behind can be rough to accept, I miss Jake every day, but I've been so lucky to have several amazing animals in my life. And counting...
I hope Rikki beats the odds and continues to improve.

Lynne

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