It's terrifying initially, not knowing what the future holds...
12th October 2009 Very early morning we were woken by Max thrashing about, of course what did we do! turn the flippin' light on! Max was lying on his side in full seizure, foaming at the mouth... It stopped after 2 or 3 minutes, seemed like forever, rang the emergency vet who said for Max to come in later on in the morning. Said to keep Max calm, and to watch him... By the time i'd finished the call Max was concious again and trying to run around. It's important to add that as soon as he's fallen, he's unconcious, he doesn't realise what is happening, he gains conciousness soon after the seizure, he gets up shakes himself and while we are scared he's wondering what the hell just happened! Is that why he started gnashing his teeth before bed?? Get to the vet and he says that it could be a one off, sometimes that happens, a dog can have a seizure once and never again! hmmm interesting. We were given diazapam to calm Max down and told to take him home and monitor him, if it happens again bring him straight back
6th November - Early that morning Max had another two seizures, took him straight back to the vet who diagnosed epilepsy and prescribed epiphen, 90 mg twice a day initially, and blood tests... The blood test won't diagnose epilepsy, but will diagnose any underlying problems with the organs that may cause the seizures, there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the seizures, they happen when he's relaxed and sleeping... He had another seizure in the afternoon. All his seizures had been in the night so far, so was very interesting to witness one during the day. We were lucky, the dosage of meds seemed to suit Max, this can be hard to get right initially... He had a few wobbly moments, and his thirst was increased, as was his appetite, we made sure he had lots of veg, pasta, rice along with fresh meats and apples and carrots for snacks. This worked and Max seemed to be satisfied
There are two types of epilepsy;
Idiopathic - When no known cause is identified
Secondary - When there is an underlying cause.
The seizure itself is broken down into four stages
Prodrome - This can occur minutes, hours or days before a seizure, there may be a change in behaviour or mood... We havent seen this with Max it has to be said
Aura - These are initial signs than can include, pacing, licking whining, trembling, vomiting, hiding, soiling themselves, This must of been the stage Max was at when he was gnashing his teeth.
Ictus - The siezure itself, loss of conciousness, thrashing, foaming of the mout, gnashing of teeth, loss of bladder and bowel control... Some dogs also have partial seizures, or they stare into space. Max's body will stiffen and he'll fall over, by this time he's unconcious.
Ictal - After the seizure, acts doped or drunk, may pace endlessly, also drink lots. All this applies to Max, we need to watch him carefully at this stage.
Happily the blood test came back as Max's organs being healthy, which is a relief. Max's epilepsy isn't inherited either, because if a dog has inherited epilepsy it shows before the age of 5, rare for an older dog to develop it. The vet said that a blow to the head or a difficult birth can cause it, i'm convinced it was Max's birth as he was the biggest pup of the litter.
Christmas passed with no problems, Max fitted a couple of times.. Twice when we weren't there, it's not nice to think he's on his own when does :(
17th June - Another blood test, this was to check the level of medication in Max's system, too low and the meds need increasing. Blood test revealed that his blood levels are borderline, we had two options, increase the epiphen or introuduce potassium bromide. I asked what ken would suggest, he said potassium bromide. Max has gone from 90mg of epiphen twice a day to 2 x potassium bromide twice a day, and 120mg of epiphen twice a day.
25th June - Not happy with Max on the increase dose, he's far too wobbly, hate seeing him like that, so rang ken and asked to have the meds decreased, he agreed that we can give 2 bromides a day instead of four, much better... I gradually increased it back after a week, and Max was better.
18th August - Max is still a little wobbly, this is getting better.,... We've installed a stair gate to stop him from coming upstairs, he can't negotiate it as well as he used too. We go for slow walks now... Especially after the incident at Ellesmere, he decided he was going to play with other dogs, jumped in the lake and next day he couldn't walk, took him to see Ken and he said he'd pulled a muscle overdoing it. I do worry about hip dysplacia, and I get Ken to check his hips each visit, everytime I get told he's healthy, just wear and tear for a dog his age. Typical me always worried about hip dysplacia developing, never thought for a second that epilepsy could be a threat. Max wobbles on his back legs, and people comment about his hips, but its not his hips it's just his meds causing the wobbles :) Max is also on seraquin and has a magnotherapy bed! of which I am very jealous! tempted to kick him off it and snuggle down with my achys :D
Max has been a but sad lately, but glad to see that he's getting happier... Now, I want to attempt to clip his claws! wish me luck lol