My furbaby is having more frequent seizures - Need Info

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by SearchingForRainbows, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    My favorite sanity saver has had absent seizures for a long time. In the past they only happened about once, maybe twice a year and only lasted for about an hour. During January and February, she's had about two episodes a week, lasting a good four hours or longer.

    Up until this point, we didn't put her on medication because her previous vet (one before we moved) said that the medications could do more harm then good. My dog has always had elevated liver enzymes and although we haven't tested her for Cushings, we did monitor her water intake for a week. Just recently, we were told that she probably doesn't have Cushings as she doesn't drink excessively and the enzyme that is elevated isn't the one associated with Cushings.

    Her new vet thinks it's important for us to start her on seizure medication as her seizures are getting closer together and lasting much longer. The timing rots, not that there is ever a good time, but husband and I are leaving for vacation next week. After talking to our vet, we're going to wait until we return before beginning medication. I'm going to try to not think about all the potentially bad side effects of the drug while we're away. It's going to be over the top difficult because I love my dog with all my heart...

    We'll be starting her on Potassium Bromide when we return. The vet said she is starting her off slowly and gradually increasing the dose. She'll be getting 1 500 mg tab for the first week, then 1.5 tabs daily for a total of six weeks. Then she needs a check up and blood work.

    I'm not only really worried about her but also second guessing our decision to medicate her. Of course, so far, she hasn't had a seizure in March, and has been very happy, playing almost like a "puppy" and she's over 11.5 years old! (We put her on glucosimine (sp?) for arthritis and it seems to be helping.)

    Does anyone know anything about Potassium Bromide? I'm really not looking forward to giving her the first dose... Any and all info, advice, etc... is greatly appreciated! SFR
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Well-Known Member

    I know nothing of the medication, but wanted to send a cyber hug your way. My beloved late Pookie had seizures, but they were caused by a slow growing cancer.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I checked it on the internet and it sounded safe.

    I don't know about that medication, but when I was growing up our dog had grand mal seizures and we gave him Dilantin, which was fairly strong. He lived to be fourteen. That was a long time back then! I think it's best to treat the seizures.
  4. Rabbit

    Rabbit Member

    I don't know about that medication or seizures or dogs but I would like to send some hugs and prayers your way. Rabbit
  5. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    If the seizures interfere with breathing or the heart function, then *yes* it's important. My Grin died of them - it was likely a metabolic cause in his case, he'd OD'd on chocolate when young and was never quite back to speed after that. He'd always been a skinny dog (half Greyhound) and had lost weight so gradually we didn't notice until the seizures started.

    (It was another Clueless Moment on the part of DEX, he only saw that Grin would fall down and not be able to get up, I was at work, it wasn't until a few hours later that I was home and saw it happen, I saw that it was an actual grand mal seizure. Not that I am bitter.)
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    If it will improve her quality of life and you can afford it, then I don't see why not.

    Except, now I'm no vet, but most of the time with people they don't need to be medicated unless quality of life is effected. A neighbor had them so often that he was actually in danger (stopping crossing the street ect), Travis had them peak during his teens to the point where medications were needed because functioning was difficult......and his lasted an abnormal length of time as well. But now they've backed off again and I rarely notice one. He's taking nothing for them now, has not for several years.

    Even once or twice a week, I wouldn't think would be considered frequent, especially for an absence seizure. I don't see the time frame really interfering with her quality of life, although it is concerning to watch. (it is with people too, maybe more so)

    So I guess I agree with nerfherder, if heart rate or breathing is affected, then it's important. But you shouldn't see that with absence seizures.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member

    My tiny dog has normal seizures maybe 3 times a year but we havent treated them yet. Now that chocolate was mentioned that could be the cause because he eats it like....well candy. Not that I give it to him but he snitches it. Maybe he finds a stray pill of mine on the floor from time to time and it keeps his seizures at
  8. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    TM and Rabbit, Thank you so much for the hugs, prayers! I greatly appreciate the support. While rationally I know my favorite sanity saver is getting older, won't be with me forever, emotionally I can't accept it - At least not yet...

    MWM, Thank you very much for doing some research for me. It's encouraging to hear that you had a dog who lived to 14 and had seizures too, made my day a bit brighter!

    nerfherder, I don't know whether or not her seizures interfere with her heart function or breathing but I doubt they're caused by a metabolic issue. Sorry your DEX was totally clueless!

    Hound dog, Thanks so much for the info, advice, making me think... As far as interfering with the quality of her life, I really wish she could "talk" to me, lol... However, looking back, before they happen, she seems to get very "clingy," doesn't want me to be out of her sight, even tries following me into the bathroom. Maybe she senses something is about to happen, is scared?

    Janet, Chocolate is definitely dangerous for dogs. It's tough when you have a dog who is too smart for his/her own good, finds it, sneaks it! Hope you can outsmart your dog! Can you put it in a kitchen cabinet that paws can't open? Keep it somewhere too high to reach?

    My favorite sanity saver had another seizure on Saturday. After her last seizure and after reading and rereading these responses, I'm definitely starting her on medication when husband and I return. However, I'm sure I'm still going to be second guessing my decision and a total wreck when I have to give her that first pill. It's so hard looking into those huge brown eyes, knowing how much she trusts me, knowing that the medication will most likely make her feel horrible at first, could have some unwanted side effects too... Hoping she adjusts to it without too much difficulty and that I can hold onto whatever sanity I have left, compliments of my difficult children!, in the process...

    Thanks again, everyone... SFR
  9. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Jo, she most likely gets an "aura" beforehand and has had the sensation enough to sense she is about to have one. The scared part also makes sense. Imagine you sit down to have a cup of coffee and are chatting with your friend or are watching tv. The next thing you're aware of is your friend is no longer sitting at the table (vanished) or a different program is on the tv. Unsettling at best. It's like having Time stop for you, while it doesn't stop for everything else.

    I hope she does well on the medications. Side effects don't effect everyone, maybe they won't bother her very much.

  10. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    That happened to Grin, too - followed me into the bathroom, in fact, just before the seizure that killed him. I don't know if humans can tell reliably when a seizure's about to happen - I've read that some have kinesthetic effects first - a smell, or a visual effect, something the brain routes to before it starts sending off neural noise.

    Yeah, he was clueless. Not deliberately so, just... clueless.
  11. SearchingForRainbows

    SearchingForRainbows Active Member

    Hound dog, I really like the way you explained this - All I can think of is an episode from the Twilight Zone. Definitely scary... Thank you for the good wishes too. When I give her that first dose, I'll try to keep in mind that she might not have side effects. However, she usually doesn't do well on medications. There are only two oral antibiotics she can take without getting super sick, one of them being extremely expensive. When there is a choice, the vet always gives me something topical to use instead. Still, there is always the chance she'll do well on this medication and I'm going to try to be optimistic.

    nerfherder, It must have been a very traumatic experience for you. I can tell you loved Grin very, very much. I'm sorry...