Sudden status epilepticus and not responding well

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Sudden status epilepticus and not responding well

Post by AJarrell » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:34 pm

Ok, so, my 6.5 year old 11lb min pin/chi mix, who has been healthy completely all her life, went into status epilepticus night-before-last.
She was asleep on the sofa on a blanket just like she always is with us in the evenings, and suddenly went into violent seizures. She didn't come out of it in about 5 minutes, so we threw on clothes and rushed her to the local overnight emergency vet. She seized the entire time there very violently. This went on for probably 20 minutes until they got her loaded full of valium at the vet. She remained there overnight to be treated and observed, and had two more overnight. We transferred her to her regular vet the next morning (yesterday) where the continued to treat her with the Keppra we were given, and some valium. She seized several times there as well.
They were much shorter and less violent but still happening. We brought her home when they closed at 7 last night. She did ok for a few hours but when she went to sleep, she began having seizures in her sleep. Probably every 15-20 mins while asleep. She continued to occasionally seize all night as my husband slept on the sofa with her.
She's now partially blind, so she can no longer sleep in the bed under the covers with us, due to the risk of falling out onto the floor.
They ran bloodwork and liver/kidney enzymes on her, and everything came back normal. Even her body temperature was normal despite the very long violent seizure the first night. She has no history of health problems of any kind in her 6.5 years. We have seen no signs whatsoever, no new behaviors, odd body posturing, nothing.
She hasn't eaten anything unusual, and we've changed nothing around the house. Our 3 year old 6lb chi is perfectly fine.
She continues to seize all day today. I'm at work and my husband is home with her today.
We have ordered liquid compounded phenobarbital, but it won't arrive until tomorrow. She's currently on Xanax, Keppra, and Valium but still seizing all day. This all came completely out of the blue. I've had dogs all my life, including an epileptic cocker spaniel years ago (very well controlled on Primidone, died of old age at 15). I've never seen or heard of such as this. I'm destroyed. We don't have children, we have our little dogs. She's my sweet angel dog and I can't believe this is happening to her.
I haven't changed her food, or done anything different. We are so heartbroken. Has anyone ever seen something like this before? I'm so worried these constant seizures are going to give her irreversible brain damage or something. We are trying to ride out the night again until her pheno shows up tomorrow in the mail.
It's like my worst fear is coming true.

Gentle Jacob's mom
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Re: Sudden status epilepticus and not responding well

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:11 pm

Is there any way you can contact your vet and find out why they don't have her on regular Phenobarbital tabs? Also, check about getting her on Clorazepate right away if possible. Personally I would take her back to the emergency hospital right away and have them give the prescriptions for you. I'm not sure why they have her on Xanax.
I hope you can stop the seizures.
Take Care,

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Re: Sudden status epilepticus and not responding well

Post by SpencerBhumi » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:06 am

This is a very distressing story and I'm sorry you are going through this.
I agree that a trip back to the emerg vet may be necessary.
The vet should be able to load your dog with intravenous phenobarb to try to stop the seizures as well continue the keppra and diazepam to then maintain what control you have gained. This is an aggressive seizure and it requires aggressive treatment.
Keeping you in my prayers.

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Re: Sudden status epilepticus and not responding well

Post by Liz Hansen » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:55 pm

Repeating seizures are a medical emergency. If a dog has had more than 2 or 3 seizures in 24 hours, they need to go to the vet/neurologist, or emergency vet where they can be evaluated. Generally they will need to be put on IV anticonvulsant medication to stop the seizing and let the brain settle down again. If she's actually seizing for 20 min, that's unusually long as well, which needs to be looked into. Continuous seizures can result in brain damage or death, so this isn't something to hope for the best and wait it out. If you live in an area where you do not have access to a neurologist, you may want to ask your general practice vet to call a neurologist for a consult. If you need to locate a neurologist near you, go to, click on PET OWNERS AND PUBLIC and then use their "Find a Specialist" feature - choose NEUROLOGY and with your zip code it will generate a list of neurologists in the general area. There are some areas with few neurologists, so that's why I suggested your local vet may want to do a phone consult.

Best of luck with your little buddy. I hope things are better today.
Liz Hansen

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