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Is Winnie having focal fits?

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 2:27 am
by Winnies Mum
Hi to all,
I can see from the time delay that most of you will be in bed and hopefully having a restfull sleep with your furry babies. I am new to the site here in the UK and am trying to find some answers for my 6 year old Border Collie changes.
Winnie has suffered epilepsy since the age of 2 and the first year we tried to manage it with homeopathy. However when she started clustering at the age of 3 we had no choice but to put her on PB. She was on a low dose of 30mg twice a day. To our amazement we went two year without any fits. I honestly thought (naively) that the fits were undercontrol and she would never have another one again. How wrong I was? Exactly 2 years to the day that she was placed on medication she started fitting again. PB was increased to 60mg twice a day however this still resulted in a fit every 7 to 10 days. As the time span was reducing Kbr has been introduced May 2010 - 750mg per day.
She had never suffered any side effects with PB apart from being more hypersensitive to everything but with a Border Collie it is very hard to tell whether this is normal or not....
I will finally get to the point - last Sunday she suffered a cluster fit, the first since being placed on Kbr 5 months ago. Since being on Kbr she has suffered terrible side effects - pacing / restlessness / increased thirst / upset stomach / sickness / drunken walk and I understand that these will soon decrease (which prior to her fit they had) however since the fit her behaviours have changed. She twitches her legs when laying down, her head twitches and she is completely unstable when standing again and gone back to pacing constantly. She sometimes just stands there for a split second and looks at the floor.
Question: Is this a focal fit? What is a focal fit? She has never done this before.
Prior to the fit the vet had run some bloods and the Kbr was over the theraputic range and the PB has been gradually dropping since May.
Question: Why is this and could the high level of Kbr induced a fit?

My vet has since reduced her Kbr I am really worried about her and living on the edge all the time.
Your site is fabulous support community for epi owners as I always feel you are the only person in the world suffering and friends just dont understand.
Thank you for any guidance you can give me.

Re: Is Winnie having focal fits?

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 5:42 am
by richmauer
Welcome Barb & Winnie,
In case you haven't read this:
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-ang ... _focal.htm

My Peanut was 25 lbs and took the same amount of Kbr and Pb as Winnie. Winnie must be closer to 40 or 50 lbs, no?

It certainly sounds like focal seizures, but like all of us here are aware, the patterns and types of seizures change with epilepsy and Winnie is probably no different. Roll with the punches and be as supportive as I'm sure you have been. Perhaps try some of the additional therapies, such as icepaks, ocular compression, amino acids and herbs, and of course diet.
You never know what will help. Also, if you can take a video of the focal to show the vet on your cell phone, that may help.

Re: Is Winnie having focal fits?

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 6:22 am
by Winnies Mum
Thank you for the prompt reply and the link to the Guardian Angel site. It's great to know a person who has some answers. It explains alot of things for me.
Winnie is only 18.15kg in weight. I have just started her on Epitaur 500 and will probable look to reintroduce Valerain and Scullcape. I have been reading about occular compression but I am really worried in hurting her - I suppose it is a technique you soon develop and get used to.
Good thinking about the mobile phone, I amsure my vet things I am made when I try and explain it.

I heard a saying the other day - 'until you have loved a dog, a part of your heart is never used' - my heart is fit to explode with all the love and worry we have for our furry babes.

Re: Is Winnie having focal fits?

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2010 8:15 am
by Mandypop
Hello Winnie's Mum

I have an epi dog (Poppy) who was also seizure free on Pb for 2 years. In her case she had just been on a few courses of anti inflammatories and she ended up with internal bleeding and her Pb wasn't being absorbed properly. Just a thought - has Winnie been on any anti inflammatories lately, or any other drug which may have had adverse interactions with her Pb?

We too added KBR alongside Pb. Poppy had very bad ataxia and hunger/thirst as a result of KBR and this did not decrease with time. After her last blood tests, I was allowed to reduce the KBR to 1.5ml daily, this stopped the ataxia very quickly.

Really hope Winnie's last seizure was just a hiccup and will adjust to the meds. It's a real nightmare at times dealing with an epi dog.

Good luck.
Mandy & Poppy

Re: Is Winnie having focal fits?

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 6:15 am
by Gentle Jacob's mom
Hi Winnie's Mum,
I'm really sorry that you had to join us, but if you have to go through this nightmare you won't find any other place where the people will rally around you like they do here. I don't know how I would have gotten through the first 1.5 years without them. Recently Jake had to have emergency surgery and everyone was wonderful. Jake's not on Kbr, but I know someone that lives in my area that has her dog on it, and when her pup had his first series of clusters her vet did a loading dose of Kbr, then had her give him Kbr regularly and a full month later her dog acted a lot like yours. Then she changed vets they did blood work and found that her dog's Kbr levels were too high. They reduced it and within a week her dog was almost back to being himself. We do use occular compression, and it works really well for Jake. I was nervous too, but maybe you could practice putting pressure on a stuffed animal first until you get used to the feel of it. We use about the same pressure as a light massage. Press for 5 seconds, then wait 5-10 seconds then press again. We do that about 5 or 6 times, and it has knocked out a grand mal seizures in seconds. Mandy's dog Poppy and Jake are a really good example of why this stupid disease is so frustrating. Poppy had a terrible reaction to anti inflammatory meds and Jake seems to improve when he takes them.
I hope you get your baby's seizures back under control.


Re: Is Winnie having focal fits?

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 2:30 am
by Winnies Mum
Hi Linda and Mandy,
Its funny, as I am sure you are aware, when your furry babie has a fit you try and analzye everything that has happened and try to link possible things as to why the fit occurred. I am very carefull with Winnie in adding any new drugs to her regime and try to keep a constant line. I requested back in May for a referral to a 'specialist' however all they have confirmed is that she has idiopathic epilepsy - after performing a spinal tap and MRI scan. They put her on a loading dose of Kbr using s drug called ' Epilease'. I found out that this should not have been given to her as it should have been removed from shelves as a new drug had taken its place ' Libromide'. Of which I did challenge him at the beginning but he said it was exactly the same drug. However on my last visit in September he said I had to move over to Libromide as he could no longer get any Epilease.....alarm bells started ringing in my head. His nurse assured me that it would not have any adverse effects on her control. Strange seeing that nearly a month later she has a fit....Her Kbr levels are all over the place;
24th May - 1,65
11th September - 0,16
13th October - 29,6

However her PB levels are coming down:
April - 32.9
May - 35.4
Sept - 29.1
October - 27.1

I know it is a juggling game but along with the focal fits she is having everyday, I wish I could do more for her. But I do not want to go back to the specialist and therefore have gone back to my own vet.
I am trying to do occular compressions each night before bed time - do you use your thumbs on the closed eyelid? I have been using the palm of my hand (near the base of my thumb) to put pressure on.

Thank you for your kind words and support, its great to know people understand.
Best wishes to all

Re: Is Winnie having focal fits?

Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:44 am
by richmauer
This may help explain ocular compression:

I used my thumbs with Peanut. Do it to yourself, so you can gauge the proper pressure.
Or better your husband or mate!!!