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  1. Before we talk about canine vaccination schedules, first let's talk about poop! You'll have to excuse my french as I'm a retired RN and BM's are very near (but not so dear) to me! Let's just say that although some of this post may be speculation, poop analysis is my specialty! I fostered 3 retired racers (from Florida) over the last 4 months and adopted #4... GM's Felix! (I failed at fostering as they say!) Interesting fact: All of the 4 dogs had (and have) EXACTLY the same bowel patterns (progressively worse diarrhea as the day progresses.) No matter what I fed (feed) them. They all have a normal formed poop first thing in the morning. By noon, it's porridge. By 3 pm, it's syrup. By evening it's liquid. By night-time it's water.... You get my drift.. They ALL poop 3-8 times a day (as above) depending on how much you walk them / provide access. None have pooped inside the house. And still no change with Felix. All of these dogs came to me approximately 1 month after a neuter/spay, dental, 6 inoculations and heart worm tx. More interesting facts: From my research, I found that the rabies shot and COMBO shots are the worst offenders, and most associated with auto-immune disorders, seizure disorders, auto-immune thyroiditis, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's and cancers. Studies show that the rabies vaccine causes (yes CAUSES!) auto-immune thyroiditis (specifically). Felix (the greyhound I adopted) has hypo-thyroid and is symptomatic (VERY BAD dry flaking skin and thyroid pattern bald thigh syndrome). In fact, he doesn't have any hair on at least 1/3 of his body (underneath and sides). I've had his thyroid panel done and he IS hypo-thyroid as I suspected (and not "low normal" .. out of range.) I'm taking him back to the vet to get a TgAA in a few days. (I asked for a full canine thyroid panel but they didn't test for auto-immune antibodies even though I asked them to .. sigh!) I understand that some greyhound specialists think that sighthounds low thyroid levels, hair loss or hair pattern and bald-thigh syndrome are "normal for a sighthound". It is far more likely, however, that US race-track greyhounds are a large population within the sighthound breed and their low thyroid levels are impacting the numbers for the entire breed. MANY US retired racing greyhounds thyroid levels are outside of normal range. And I have yet to meet one who doesn't have bald thigh syndrome. Does that make these things normal? I don't think so. I think if we were to test all of their TgAA levels, we would see that a very large number of cases are in fact auto-immune thyroiditis from over-vaccination and this is NOT genetic. I understand that vaccination is a controversial subject but I think we really need to take a look here. Because there are some very troubling research studies that aren't being considered. I think that financial incentives, AVMA politics and lack of knowledge are all at play. And can explain why vaccine schedules have changed so dramatically over the years (adding more vaccines more often) without good studies proving necessity, SAFETY or effectiveness. I also find the number of seizure disorders amongst greyhounds very troubling. And again, I believe over-vaccination is to blame for this. Without writing a novel here (I'll spare you all the misery!), why for example is our Canadian rescue group vaccinating for rabies when it's not mandatory and rabies is so very rare? Sure rabies is a horrible disease but here in BC, it is estimated that 0.5 % of a rare bat breed has rabies. That's it. No rabies cases have ever been detected in our racoon, skunk, squirrel, coyote, cougar, bear or lynx. There have been 8 documented cases of rabies in the last 50 years in BC, ALL of which were traced back to this particular breed of bat. On the other hand, all of the 6 canine vaccines list seizures as a side-effect and this is a COMMON and serious side-effect. We have 2 greyhounds currently in foster, both of which had grand mal seizures less than 24 hours after receiving their 6 vaccines at the vet. One of which has notable neurological damage (abnormal gait, can't walk ... hops etc.) Back to poop! I think the problem is that when all the dogs have the same problem, one starts to accept that as a NORMAL pattern instead of looking at what might be causing ALL the dogs to have the SAME problem. ALL the US track dogs are cared for in a similar fashion and vaccinated on the same schedule. I know the other Vancouver foster thinks that since all the dogs get diarrhea as the day goes on, this is normal for a greyhound. I don't think so. I think that 6 vaccines administered all at once (all in one day) causes an immune mediated inflammatory response including the production of auto-immune antibodies (antibodies that attack healthy endogenous tissues like with Crohn's disease and auto-immune thyroiditis.) Simply put, the immune system is kicked into over-drive and goes haywire. Vaccination was developed in the 1930's and became a public health initiative in the 40's. We have more than enough studies now in 2017, proving that the vaccination risk to benefit ratio is not only dismal but we should have moved forward from this kind of backwards thinking decades ago. (Ie: the research and development of immune system boosters instead of attacking it with attenuated AND live viruses!) I won't even go into the carcinogenic additives and toxic heavy metal adjuvants that are injected directly into the bloodstream, by-passing all of the body's natural barriers. There is NOT 1 SINGLE STUDY in humans or dogs comparing disease prevention in a vaccinated population compared to an unvaccinated population. The production of anti-bodies in response to an inoculation is NOT synonymous with immunity. An immune response involves thousands of factors, all of which play a role in preventing disease. Yet, this is all that is tested for to cite "effectiveness". Again, I'll spare you too many details. But, If you have any information about this topic (does your dog have symptoms of hypo-thyroid? inflammatory bowel disease? seizures? or cancer?) Please PM me. I would like to gather together as much information as possible, especially about auto-immune thyroiditis and hypo-thyroid in greyhounds with a view to contacting Dr. Dobbs, DVM (who specializes in canine thyroid problems and advocates for an alternative, safer vaccination schedule.) And if you made it all the way here, thanks for your time and patience!
  2. Some one posted this on Facebook and I downloaded and took a look at it. RVC - Pet Epilepsy Tracker http://www.rvc.ac.uk/news-and-events/press-office/rvc-creates-a-dog-epilepsy-smart-phone-app-to-help-manage-mans-best-friend-s-fits It originated in the UK, and some of the language (and spelling) is UK-specific, but it doesn't affect the overall usefulness of the app. It has easy to understand, well-organized, up-to-date information about different types of seizures and treatment options - with descriptions and general plans to help you make decisions. The medication lists were very comprehensive and included off-label uses for un-tested human meds. There is also a tab for logging/recording seizure activity, along with medications given and follow-up info. It includes a contacts list to store all those vet names and numbers, and a tab for meds and dosages. There is also a way to share logs and info with your vet easily, and to add your dog's info to the volume of research at the Royal Vet Society. It's nice to have all this in one place, so you're not using a calendar, a diary, a seizure log, and a meds list all in separate places. It was easy to figure out how to use it from the get-go with intuitive buttons and reminders. I would definitely use this if I had a seizure dog.
  3. Christmas eve, our 10.5 year old guy had his first seizure. It was ... well, if you're reading this, I bet you can imagine. Scary. I thought we were losing him, and we took him to the e-vet as soon as he was clear of it. They sent us home with some valium in case of further seizures. 23 days later, tonight, he had his second. (After some restlessness, he settled down, and rested quietly for the rest of the evening. Knock on wood!) He's getting a little wobbly in the rear, and has unilateral laryngeal paralysis, as well. Also on our table is 7 year old greyhound Pogo, who has bumps, at least one of which (we haven't had every one biopsied) was hemangiosarcoma. Several were removed last spring (and one of the wounds grew quite large before it was able to granulate and heal), and he has a few I'd like off now. Then there's our 16 year old cat, who's suddenly finicky about his food, and losing weight. Which is to say, we have to pace ourselves with the vet bills as much as possible. We're both self-employed, and it's been a tight few years for us, as for so many. So (you still with me??), DH is reluctant to even involve a vet with Brilly's seizures. He had a cat years ago who had seizures every 6 or 7 weeks, and they didn't do anything about it. He was raised Christian Science, and though he doesn't believe in the religion, let's just say the no-doctor thing has left its mark. Help me out. What's been your experience with your seizure dogs? Did you take them to the vet every time? Did you begin medication right away after the first seizure? Did it actually help? What else, if anything, helped? Because I know the rules, here's my blond bombshell, Brilly (with DSD and grandson). Thanks in advance for sharing your experiences with us! Edited to get his age right. When did he get so old??
  4. A quick history and then some questons................ We adopted Ava (formerly Lass Dance) in late February 2012. She was retired from the track (I think in November 2011) because she had three seizures in the kennel - the probable causes given were she was stressed at the kennel or they sprayed something at the kennel. She went into foster care at that time and was there until we adopted her almost three months later. Completely seizure free after retirement until Saturday morning. Had one seizure at 130am (very violent, lasted around 5 minutes). After was very wound up, pacing, panting uncontrollably. She went out in the yard and just kept walking very fast around the yard as if she was looking for something. Approximately 145am, she went to the back gate, came back towards me, her back arched up and she fell into another seizure (also very violent). I tried to craddle her as she was on the concrete walk (this one last maybe 3 minutes). Again she got up and continued to race around the yard (fast walk), I guided her in the house and locked her in the bedroom with husband (Herman) and I went and called the emergency vet to tell them we were on our way. In the bedroom Ava went to one side of the bed, jumped on the bed, and then jumped off the other side. Ran to the other side and just kept repeating this. She was panting so hard. I ran out to get the car ready with quilts and Herman said she had another seizure in the bedroom. In the car she was so restless, crying, panting, trying to force herself to the front seat. Herman blocked the front seat from her as she was really wild and wound up, I was afraid she was going to make me have an accident. She reminded me of someone you see on Cops that is high and out of control with super strengths. Ava was admitted to the hospital because they wanted to make sure she was seizure free for at least 24 hours. We waited for the labs to be done before we left her and everything came back normal. They started her on IV phenobarbital and I know they gave her valium as she kept pacing in her cage and was very vocal. We were able to pick her up on Sunday morning. She has a pink bandage up to her thigh on her back left foot because she cut her leg by her hock and it wouldn’t stop bleeding. (I imagine that was from the seizure out in the yard on the concrete). Ava looked better than I expected. She did whine off and on and was restless on the way home. Once home, I put her in our bed and sat with her while I did some research on my laptop. Our other dog Sam was laying next to me. At one point Ava looked up at us, although her eyes were vacant. All her teeth were shown as if she was in a growl mode and a lot of saliva was dripping from both sides of her mouth. It lasted about 20 seconds. I helped Ava off the bed and went into the kitchen. Ava had her head up, constantly smelling my shirt. She had the same episode (without the smelling) about 20 minutes later, which lasted 15 seconds. Then another episode 50 minutes later that lasted about 10 seconds. I didn’t notice any the rest of the day. Other than a few whines when I turned out the lights, she slept well. (I thought the whines may have been because the bandage was tight at her thigh so I cut it down a bit). (I did call the hospital about the mini seizures and the person who answered said they were able to talk to two technicians and their best answer was to bring her in. I felt that would stress her out more, and then I rationalized that these little episodes were probably happening in the hospital, but unless you happened to catch them, you’d miss them. I think I just wanted someone to tell me that this is normal activity after what she’d been through.) Now for my questions…. The week leading up to her seizures, I remember about three instances. One night after work she laid next to me as I watched tv in bed. I felt her shaking a bit and I noticed her eyes were half open, half shut (they looked weird) and were flickering/blinking. I called her name and it took a few moments for her to come to. Then there were two instances where the lights were out, but I was still awake and Ava was trembling in her sleep enough that you could hear her. I know dogs do this and maybe I am just overly paranoid because I know she has had seizures in the past, but these just seemed different. I didn’t think much about them until we were at the emergency hospital that night. Were these signs that she was headed to the violent cluster of seizures she had later that week? If these were signs and it happens again, is there something we can do to stop the seizures before they even start? Any other advice or helpful things to know? Thank you and sorry my “quick history” was all that quick! Kim & Ava
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