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 Yukon started having Seizures

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blueeyedghost
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Sat Jun 20, 2015 5:55 pm

That's awesome! I'm glad it worked out for you Smile

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jschrader
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:01 pm

Unfortunately the thyroid test came back normal. We were hoping that would be the cause. Also he had another seizure Wednesday while on the Keppra. So we are increasing to 700mg 3 times a day with half a pill of phenobarbital. Hope we can get it under control
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Sat Jul 04, 2015 2:32 am

Ok, this is something I always wondered about and hope I dont sound stupid for asking it...Im hoping someone will be able to answer it as well.

I know from when Malukhai and Anuschka seizured, that in between seizures they were absolutely completely normal, which tells me that everything within them was functioning normally. So if I would have had a thyroid test done on them during those times, to me that means the thyroid would have tested within normal limits. Am I wrong in this thinking? Now since Anuschka seizured so infrequently (she went years without a seizure) I'll use Malukhai as an example, he seizured within a pretty regular 3 month period (a seizure about every 3 months) so I could pretty much predict a seizure MAY be coming soon the closer to that 3 month mark, and sometimes there were "signs" beforehand a seizure was likely going to happen soon. With this being said, and relating it to Yukon now, if Yukon has a certain period of time ( I realize it cant be exact, but approximately) between seizures, would it be better to have the thyroid tested closer to that timeframe, or would it not matter, like, would a thyroid condition *always* be visible to the vet doing the test?

Things like that have always bothered me. The times I felt Malukhai needed a vet after a seizure (was always a trip to the emergency vet too, and I do think they were more thorough than my regular vet) all his tests would be *normal*, nothing out of whack...yet, to me, of course they would be normal, hes not in a seizure anymore. There was one visit I remember because I had brought him in to the emergency vet at around 9am...I was there til 7pm (they didnt tell me they were wanting to watch him so I waited that entire time) and I think thats what they were doing, waiting to see if he would have another seizure so they could maybe pinpoint better the cause. But im not for sure on that.

So anyways, sorry this was long, but would it be better for Yukon and maybe other dogs out there that have seizures, to have more than one thyroid test done?
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jschrader
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:58 am

For me, that wouldn't be in my budget as its $225 each test. However Yukon has frequent seizures so I'm not sure if would matter. The day of his test he has a seizure a week before that.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:12 pm

Trust me, I totally understand the budget. Malukhai's most severe seizures were on the day of Winter Soltice, just a few days before Christmas, and the one visit I mentioned in my post above was over $800...and basically nothing was *gained* as far as figuring out the cause.

Like you said, Yukons seizures are frequent and that is what worries me, and it sucks that *we* are so helpless in getting something, anything, figured out for you guys. I'm just trying to ask questions in hopes of getting a better understanding of things for you and anyone who might be going through this. I know from experience that the "what ifs" and "should I have's" can be very haunting and would very much prefer that one teeny tiny amount of information, could actually steer you and others down the path of finally getting it figured out, or at the very least, closer to it.
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jschrader
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Sat Jul 04, 2015 1:40 pm

Thanks. He was on one 97.2mg pheno three times a day and when he went for his pheno level check he was in the toxic range and still having seizures every 3-6 weeks. The vet them him on Keppra, so I'm hoping it is just getting the dosage correct. So now he is on 750mg of Keppra and 1/2 of a 97.2mg pheno three times a day
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jschrader
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Fri Jul 10, 2015 3:43 pm

Taking it week by week. So far, his last seizure was on the 1st, and he is staying on 750mg Keppra and 1/2 of a 97.2mg pheno pill 3x a day. If he continues seizure free we are cutting the pheno in half, and then in a few more weeks if he continues the vet wants him completely off the pheno.

The good things I can see already is his personality. He is much more active and playful since he has been on the new meds, and just seems overall happier. He is also drinking less which is great, since we have had a lot of issues with him peeing in his crate. Although I was hoping it was a thyroid issue that could be controlled easier, at least I did the test to find out.
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jschrader
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Wed Jul 15, 2015 7:49 pm

I was hoping the new meds were working, sadly they are not. We had 15 days seizure free and he had two in a row today. I'm going to talk to the vet to see what our next step is. I'm assuming to increase the Keppra dosage. I'm so weary of dealing with this disease. Just when I have hope thing are improving he relapses.
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blueeyedghost
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:23 pm

Seriously dude, try the canna companion. Sorry things aren't working, and ask about zonisamide too.

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jschrader
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:57 am

Unfortunately, he also had a 3rd one last night on one of his walks. I had to run and get him in and bring him back home. I wonder if it is stress, I keep thinking of anything that could trigger them. Yesterday was abnormal, they had to be crated an hour earlier in the morning and I had to have a friend stop by at lunch, and then after work, my friend came home but could not let them out like usual, so he might have been stressing out because someone was home but didn't let them out of the crate.

I talked to the vet last month and mentioned the canna companion, and he didn't really say much at all about it, and instead added Keppra to his meds, which I am sure he will not want to change and/or add any medications at this point, but I am waiting for him to call me back.

last month he started him on 500mg Keppra 3x a day and decreased the pheno in half to about 50mg 3 x a day.  When he had another seizure on July 1st, he increased Keppra to 750mg and kept the pheno the same (he wants to get him completely off the pheno as long as he stays seizure free, which obviously is not going to happen soon)

So what I think he is going to do is increase the Keppra, or maybe slightly increase pheno.  I checked out the canna companion site again, but if I do give it to him it will not be on the advice of my vet and solely on my own.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Thu Jul 16, 2015 7:56 pm

You will drive yourself crazy trying to figure out the triggers, it became almost an obsession with me and I never did figure out even one. It got to the point that if I was walking them at night, and a bike rode by with one of those flashing headlights, I'd turn in the opposite direction til the bike passed so that they wouldn't see the flashing lights. In my search for triggers, I came across a Malamute site that was extremely informative on seizures as one of their Malamutes was experiencing them...but you should have seen the list of possible triggers!!! It was extensive!!! From the most mundane to the ones that made you say "really???" I wish I had a link for you but all that stuff is on my old computer. Anyways, yes, stress is a trigger and the week before Malukhai passed away we were experiencing a similar week, although he never had to be crated or anything, I was late home everyday from work, I was going to evening and a Saturday class for exams, and a visiting dog next door to me, attacked him through the fence (when I brought him to be cremated, they allow you some time for last goodbyes and I remember vividly how I had to see that fresh bite mark scratch going across his nose, it was just forming a scab when he passed away) so anyways, I DO think those things contribute to seizures, all you can really do is try as best you can to keep things at home as normal and as routine as possible...and unfortunately, even that doesn't *stop* them. I'm wondering though, in your case, if a event is foreseeable, like knowing he will have to be crated more the next day, if you can give him a little more in the way of medication to calm him more (maybe something to ask your vet) I've read some people who could predict a seizure a little easier were giving their dog extra meds in the situation to ease through it better but I'd still feel better if you asked your vet if it was something doable and if they think it'd help.
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jschrader
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Thu Jul 16, 2015 8:02 pm

Yeah I have diazepam prescription that I can give him if I know he is going to go through something stressful, like Grooming or a car ride, but it has to be given hours before so I don't always know when he will have to be crated more.

However I did talk to the vet and they are increasing him to 1,000mg Keppra 3x a day with the current pheno dosage. So it might be just getting that dosage correct.
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Artic_Wind
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:52 pm

I hope so. Every time I see this thread my heart drops. I really want to come in here and read that the seizures are finally under control! So my positive thoughts are with you and Yukon that this is the dosage that makes it happen.
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jschrader
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:02 pm

Thank you Smile I hope I can get them under control. The new dosage of the Keppra is pricey though. Meredith suggested Costco which was way cheaper than CVS, but now that he is on 1,000 mg it's going to be like $60 a month. So I may have to use SAMs club, which turns out to be about $250/year cheaper!
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Thu Jul 16, 2015 10:33 pm

Hey, sorry I didn't get back sooner, I'm getting killed at work. The people who run Canna Companion are vets and will help you find the right dosage. They're fantastic to work with 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"

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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:30 pm

@artic_wind like you I dread this thread I pray that something good eventually comes down the pike, but also so afraid that one of these days Jason's going to have some bad news for us - scary!!

Jason, have you had any other donations in answer to your request for help. If you'll send me the link again, I can probably (easily) drop the same amount in for you.
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jschrader
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:54 pm

I know, my worst fear is that one of the seizures is going to be the last. I had to take a job in Chicago that pays more, but the down side is that I am not there with him, and it just keeps getting more expensive! I love him to death and he is the sweetest pup, so I hate that he has to deal with his on top of his leg issues. I think it was just a greedy breeder that didn't do the necessary tests. Al, I PM's you the link that i set up on the gofundme account I had set up for him.
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:46 am

I wish one of these days I can update this thread with something positive...However that's not the case today.

He had a series of seizures on July 15th, and the vet increased his dosage to 1,000mg 3x a day. So, as has been the case, we went 2 weeks without any seizures.

Last night, however was by far the worst he has had. He had 3 in a row between 5:30 and 6:00. The first was the worst, and the other two were a little more mild. Then, this morning he had another one.

I spoke to the vet, who consulted with another vet, and he wants to increase the dosage to 1,500mg. However, he said this is by far the highest dosage he has had to prescribe. He also said if we want to go this route, we can get an MRI and CAT scan done, or we can continue working with him. Those will cost thousands, and thousands I do not have. What he said did concern me, because it could be a brain tumor causing the seizures, which when I think about it, makes sense. It could have been small back in November 2013 when this started, and then has been growing since he has been having seizures almost every 2-4 weeks since last October.

We will be in contact with him weekly to see how he is doing. I am afraid that he is right, and he does have a brain tumor. I signed up for pet insurance, but it's a gamble to see if they would even pay out since the underlying cause of the seizures could have been the tumor all along. But I have to take the chance.

I really don't know what to do, and what to think, I am pretty numb right now thinking that this could be the end soon.
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Wed Jul 29, 2015 11:58 am

This is absolutely terrible... My heart is breaking for you. I hope the insurance works and you are able to get this taken care of.
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Wed Jul 29, 2015 1:23 pm

I'm so sorry Jason. Are you on the Epil-K9 list serve? If not, you should be. There are a bunch of people who have dogs with very difficult to control seizures, and they know of resources to help people financially. Have you contacted the Wally Foundation at all? I know they do financial assistance, and there are some others out there too.

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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:11 pm

Meridith , wouldn't the blood tests have turned up a possible tumor? I remember when my first husky to seizure went in, the dr did the blood tests and came back and said he had good news, that the blood tests didn't turn up a tumor., or something to that effect.
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:51 pm

I am not sure, but when Yukon had the initial blood test, the vet said that they were checking for toxins, but this is the first time they even mentioned the word tumor.
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Wed Jul 29, 2015 2:56 pm

@blueeyedghost wrote:
I'm so sorry Jason.  Are you on the Epil-K9 list serve?  If not, you should be.  There are a bunch of people who have dogs with very difficult to control seizures, and they know of resources to help people financially.  Have you contacted the Wally Foundation at all?  I know they do financial assistance, and there are some others out there too.

THanks, I will check them out.

I was on the Epil-K9 list, but I found it very difficult to follow, but I also am a member of the Epilepsy Canine Network forum and got some good advice on there too.
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:00 pm

Yes, toxins are another thing tested for and yet another is one to determine if organs are functioning properly, the initial tests, check for about 6 different thing if I remember correctly. When there is cancer/tumor, it shows up in the blood usually I believe. I think the CT scan is a good idea but I also know they are very expensive.
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PostSubject: Re: Yukon started having Seizures   Wed Jul 29, 2015 3:07 pm

I know you can find tumor markers in blood, but I don't know how accurate the tests are. I've always been under the impression that the only sure way to find a tumor is through imagery.

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