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 Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..

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Decuervo
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PostSubject: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:00 pm

The last week of October I was out of town for a conference. I got a call from my wife saying that our husky Anushka had a grand mal seizure. She was taken to the vet and my wife was told that without a history of seizures there was nothing he could do for her. He told us to keep track of any future seizures and to record the time, duration, and events leading up to it.

Fast forward to yesterday at 820 am. Anushka had another grand mal in her bed while waking up. It lasted for about 30-45 seconds. Later in the day around 4 pm she laid to take a nap. She had another one at this time lasting about 1 minute.
She has an appointment to get a work up and find a cause.

In the meantime what, if anything, can I do for her? I have read every article I could find that deals with seizures in dogs. I haven't found anything in the house or backyard that is new. No pesticide/chemical use. No change in diet/sleep pattern. Nothing.

I would like to try a holistic approach to treating her because the side effects of the phenobarbital don't sound all that appealing. I'll give it to her if there's nothing else that will work no doubt about it, but would like something that doesn't slowly kill her liver. I've attached an SRT3 Qlink pendant to her collar that I usually wear. This device evens out the bodys natural electromagnetic field. I thought that since seizures are caused by a disruption of electric impulses in the brain maybe this would help. I know it's helped me with energy levels and sleeping better.

If anyone with experience with seizures knows of anything that works let me know. Thanks.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:22 pm

You should contact blueeyedghost who I think is a moderator. She recently had a puppy with seizures. You can find her quickly in the Holiday Highjack threads.


Last edited by seattlesibe on Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:23 pm

Thank you I'll do that.
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seattlesibe
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:28 pm

No problem. Best of luck.
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:23 pm

Hey Chris, I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this with Anushka. I got your PM, but I'm going to post the reply here where others can see. Also, thanks for the referral, Jeff. This is why I wish we had a tagging feature here.

Anyway, as Jeff said, our youngest dog Shadow has seizures. She was 12 weeks old when we got her in late May, and she was a rescue so we really have no idea what her background or pedigree are. You can see the full story in the blog that's linked in my sig, but basically her seizures are caused by congenital brain malformations. We are treating her with a combination of conventional and holistic treatments, and right now are on a 14 week seizure free streak Smile

When you go to the vet, make sure they do a full work up, including a full thyroid panel (not jut the T4 test) and a bile acid test. This will rule out metabolic and liver disease, as well as hypothyroidism, all of which are know to cause seizures. Assuming those come back normal, the vet will probably diagnose Idiopathic Epilepsy. This is unfortunately common in Huskies, and Anushka is right in the age range where you most commonly see it present itself.

We started on generic Keppra first, and that cut the seizures back some, but didn't completely get rid of them. That's the conventional anticonvulsant that' has the least side effects, so definitely look into it as an option. It is expensive, but Costco has it for pennies on the dollar over what other pharmacies sell it for. You don't have to be a member to use their pharmacy either, and if you don't live near one they do have a mail order pharmacy. Diamondback Pharmacy, another mail order place, is super reasonable too. When we started the Keppra, we also started acupuncture, Di Tan Tang powder, fish oil, and Peanut Hydrocephalus powder. You don't need the last one, but you may want to ask a holistic vet about Epimedium powder. It helps with kidney function and flushing excess fluid out of the body.

We did ultimately add in phenobarbital, and I was extremely hesitant to, but that proved to be the tipping point that led to our current streak. We're able to have her on a pretty low dose, and I talked at length about the liver effects with our neurologist. He said of all the other seizure meds out there, phenobarbital is actually the lesser of evils other than Keppra. He said he's seen way more liver complications with Zonisimide, and doesn't care for Potassium Bromide. We talked to the holistic vet when we started the phenobarbital, and she suggested adding in Denamarin, which is a combination of Milk Thistle and SAMe, both if which help protect the liver. So far all of her bloodworm looks good, but we're going to monitor it closely for the rest of her life.

One last thing to add to this novel, go to www.canine-epilepsy.com and sign up for their list serve. I've learned a tremendous amount from them, and it just helps to have the community of support. Best of luck, and please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any more questions.

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Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Nov 23, 2013 8:41 pm

Thank you very much. It's good to have someone who's at the same place you are you can get intel from.
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sun Nov 24, 2013 5:35 am

Just a couple of links for those who are dealing with this as well....
http://www.canine-epilepsy.com/
http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/
http://www.nichols-online.co.uk/html/canine_epilepsy_information.html

I'll be adding plain unflavored gelatin to the dogs food from now on...lots of brain protecting stuff to be had there!

I'm going to make her these treats tomorrow morning.

* 1/2 cup of unflavored gelatin
* 1/2 cup of cold flavored liquid (You can I used the cooking liquid from the crock pot healthy stew and any homecooked recipes)
* 1 1/2 cup of boiling liquid (you can use water, but part broth is fine)
* 9 x 12 pyrex pan.
* 1 or 2 quart bowl

Put 1/2 cup of gelatin in a quart bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of cold liquid and let stand one minute to soften. Pour 1/ and 1/2 cups of boiling liquid (water or broth) over the softened gelatin, and stir until all gelatin completely dissolves, about 5 minutes, or less. (If you would like "chewier" treats, next time add more gelatin.)

Pour into a 9 x 12 pan and let harden. Cut into approximately 1" by 3" strips (with shears or a knife) or a correct size for your dog. The finished product is rather rubbery and "bouncy" if dropped! Pills can be inserted into them (to hide), and may be swallowed before being discovered.

Again, here is where you can purchase bulk gelatin if you health food store doesn't have it....

http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com/
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:45 am

It's been almost two months of monitoring Anushka per the vets orders. In 43 days we've had 6 seizures. One Oct 30, two Nov 22, and thee Dec 13. Just from looking at this it happens roughly every 20 days, happens in clusters, and is getting progressively worse. Going to the vet tomorrow with this info, pray for me to stay calm and not give him seizures of his own if he tells me he can't help my girl.
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mbarnard0429
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:50 am

Is she on any meds yet? Any supplements?
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Dec 14, 2013 5:01 am

The vet wouldn't give her any meds without a history of seizures over time. I'm working on her diet. We've changed dog foods to "Blue" Salmon and Sweet Potato recipe. Both ingredients are "brain" foods and should up her seizure threshold. She is also taking unflavored gelatin snacks (see the recipe above) to help with protection. In addition she takes 3 mg of melatonin every night before bed. I'm doing what I can in regards to her diet but from a medical standpoint she's not on pheno or potassium bromide yet as the vet wanted more of a history of seizures. Hoping that we can figure out a cause tomorrow morning.

We started the diet change Nov 23rd after the other seizures. Apparently it's not helping that much.
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:05 am

Maybe trying a home cooked or raw diet? I'll admit I have never had to construct a diet for a dog with seizures, but I would try to remove as many possible chemicals as possible
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Dec 14, 2013 6:09 am

All of her snacks/treats are home cooked. I think we'll be going all out from now on. We'll see what the doc says tomorrow (today).
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histi
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Dec 14, 2013 7:11 am

Good luck... I hope the vet can provide a suitable solution
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:52 pm

If you're not happy with what your vet says, find a new one. There are tons of treatment options for multiple causes of seizures, so please keep that in mind if your current vet stone walls you. You should probably seek out a neurologist as well, they are the experts. I'm happy to help you find one and just chat in general if you'd like.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Tue Dec 17, 2013 2:46 pm

We got our diagnosis of idiopathic seizures and were put on phenobarbital.
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Tue Dec 17, 2013 4:54 pm

What dose?

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:40 pm

60 mgs. What was Shadows reaction the first 48 hours? Anushka seems fine, just a little loopy the first hour after her dosage then back to normal. The vet said that her appetite may increase. I haven't noticed any difference yet but this is only day 2.
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:50 pm

Shadow was acting pretty drunk, and it lasted about 10 days. She's on 46.5 mg twice a day as well. You should look into Denamarin as well, it will help protect her liver.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Tue Dec 17, 2013 10:58 pm

I will. Thank you again for all the advice of this.
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:11 pm

You are very welcome, I'm glad to help Smile

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:56 pm

Haven't been on this forum in awhile, but my youngest pup, Yukon just developed seizures about a month ago and he is only a year and a half. I have been looking for some advice on how to handle it. He has been on the PB ever since and has not had another one though.
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:20 pm

Aw, I'm sorry to hear that Jason. Hate to have to welcome you to our little club  No 

How many seizures did Yukon have before they put him on PB? Also, did they rule out metabolic causes? Thyroid and liver issues can cause seizures, so make sure they've done all the bloodwork. Also, did you see my post about Denamarin? You'll want to help support Yukon's liver with the PB.

Hit me up any time if you have questions or just need to chat.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:33 pm

@blueeyedghost wrote:
Aw, I'm sorry to hear that Jason. Hate to have to welcome you to our little club  No 

How many seizures did Yukon have before they put him on PB? Also, did they rule out metabolic causes? Thyroid and liver issues can cause seizures, so make sure they've done all the bloodwork. Also, did you see my post about Denamarin? You'll want to help support Yukon's liver with the PB.

Hit me up any time if you have questions or just need to chat.

Thank you so much.

He had his first one on November 7th at 10:30pm, and the second at 7:40am the next morning. We went to the vet that morning and he had another one at 3:00am the following morning,, and the vet said to fill the prescription, so he had 3 of them today.

They did the complete blood work and ruled out any metabolic causes, so she said it was most likely Epilepsy. They can't really say for sure if it is, because there is no real test for Epilepsy.
I will have to check out your post on the Denamarin. I have had issues with him peeing his crate after being on the PB for about a month. The vet did a urinalysis and I am waiting if it is a UTI, and if not she may put him on something else
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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Wed Dec 18, 2013 10:39 pm

We haven't really seen increased urination per se, but Shadow's bowel control decreased after she started. She's got some cognitive limitations though (not true epilepsy for us), so we're not sure if she'll ever truly be potty trained. She's not quite 10 months though, so we'll see there.

There are several anticonvulsants out there, and they all have their pros and cons. Shadow is also on Keppra, which is less toxic but not all dogs metabolize it correctly. We were still having breakthrough seizures, so we added the PB. It's also fairly expensive, but there are pharmacies out there that make it pretty affordable in its generic form. We use Coscto, they have a mail order pharmacy and you don't have to be a member to get meds.

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"Being the parent of a special-needs pet means living your life constantly poised on the edge of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you become a fierce defender of the ways in which your little one is perfectly ordinary — all the things he or she can do that are just like what everybody else does. And yet, you never lose sight of how absolutely extraordinary that very ordinariness is, how difficult, remarkable and rewarding that fight to be 'just like everybody else' has been."  -Gwen Cooper, "Homer's Odyssey"

Shadow - 03/01/2013 - 10/02/2014

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PostSubject: Re: Anushka is having seizures all of a sudden..   Fri Jan 10, 2014 3:40 am

Sorry to hear about this Jason. Hope things work out well. Looks like Blueeyedghost has been giving you her normal excellent advice. Wish I could give you some info but I'm learning as I go with this and hopefully posting me and Anushkas experiences will help out others.

3 weeks and 3 days on phenobarbital update....
Anushka had a full blown grandmal seizure tonight at about 930 pm. Lasted about a minute.

Since then, starting around midnight, I'm thinking she's having mini seizures that the pheno is counteracting or keeping from going grandmal. She's showing her normal postictal behavior (roaming the house and checking in every room to make sure her human kids are all home and in bed) without the grandmal seizure. I noticed she was kind of hiccupping and then she would get up and walk around like she does.

Nevermind, just had another grandmal at 1228 as I was typing this. Lasted for under a minute. I think our pheno dosage isn't right just yet. She's still on about a 20-24 day cycle of seizures. I will say that the pheno has helped with cutting the duration of the seizures and the recovery time after them. Back to the doctor. Wish us luck with getting our dosage right.
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