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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. Yogi (he was kinda a bounce that we adopted in July. Lady had some severe mental health issues and he wasnt really being properly cared for...) Anyway, on Wednesday November 1, starting at about midnight ( Tuesday night) Yogi had a small cluster of grand mal seizures. Seizures like I have never seen before. Started around 12:15 am and last one was about 5 am. He had three that seemed to last forever. Though in reality they were probably only 3 or so minutes. I was able to call our clinic just because they are the ones that have treated my dogs the last few years. Thankfully had really only needed shots after Cosmo with his Valley Fever and Angel with her T4 seizures. Went to our appointment Thursday afternoon. He was on a 6 hour fast. When we first started talking I said that I wanted the blood sent out because I was worried about the T4 levels since I had a grey in the past that had the petite mal seizures from T4 issues and wanted a good measure. I knew that 7-8 years ago when I was watching her levels they had only one facility that could test Greyhounds T4. First she says there is no scientific proof that T4 levels will cause seizures. When I explained that I had a grey...blah blah, she stated that it has been known to help....even though there is no proof. After waiting forever for the first basic results, there was nothing outstanding about his blood. She highly doubted that T4 was going to be off, so wanted to start on Phenobarbital, retest in two weeks to check levels. Have am pill in system 5 hours for testat the retest. They would call Friday with the first test results. Finally after 2 calls, I get someone to call me back. Low and behold, his T4 is off. He is hypo..(?). They claim that they went over this with me on Thursday. Ummm...no. When I questioned I just kept getting weird answers. Like they had been over this with me before and Im being psycho mom... Anyway keep my two week appt then we can see about transitioning to (Cant remember) medication. I am not having a lot of good feelings about this. Wth? I understand they are a low cost shot clinic, and they are busy, but I didnt get a load of confidence from all this. They are also full service vet. Yogi is also a little more aggressive right now. Since starting the Phenobarbital. Not really sleep startle, where I might pet him and he freaks out during sleep. But like he is fighting in his sleep and wakes himself up growling and snarling and barking. Any ideas about being on this Phenobarbital for 2 weeks and then transitioning? Im just so confused. For those that dont know, I live VERY RURAL. City is 40 minutes away. Las Vegas is the closest major city. Different state, and about 1 hour 30 minutes away. I have to go to My city Wednesday for my Dr appt. I may see if vet will talk to me. I will hopefully get a chance to stop by and get copy of blood work if nothing else. ***i did find in with a bunch of Yogis papers that he has history of seizures. I was just never told. Not sure the very small group knew since this was a fast fast adoption. Hate to say ...get outta town...type fast but kinda was. ***sigh again***
  3. Our 3 year old whom we've had for 8 months exhibited very strange episodic behavior yesterday. He woke us up at 4am wandering, pacing, head darting right and leaft, ears up, whining a little, looking completely confused like he had no idea where he was or what he should be doing. He even climbed onto our bed and just stood there, doing the same thing (he has NEVER gotten on our bed, even when we tried to convince him). He also was afraid to leave the room, and acted as though he had never manuevered stairs before. We finally carried him down, thinking he might be feeling sick, and took him out, he peed right away in his normal place, came in and ate his treat. He continued to wander and whine, acting confused, even after finishing his breakfast. Tried to go up a few stairs, go confused and stumbled while trying to turn around. I decided then to give him his Kong with some PB and a dog bone to try to settle him and give him something to focus on. A little bit after he finsihed that, he was FINE. Completely back to himself. Fast forward to 1pm, he started the same behavior again. Took him a while, but he snapped out of it. Same thing all over again around 9pm, but by 12pm - though relaxed - he still refused to go up the stairs, so my husband carried him to bed. He woke up fine, and has been perfect all day - no issues or weirdness whatsoever. All 3 episodes seem to have started right after he had been napping. We witnessed not other signs like seiziures, shaking, nothing loud happened, nothing to frighten him. I called the vet and short of taking him in for bloodwork or neuro tests, there's nothing to "see". I would love to hear if anyone else experienced this with their hounds, and what might have caused it.
  4. This is really puzzling me right now. Cash, my spooky girl, has been having these "episodes," for want of a better word. I had been thinking they were anxiety attacks, which she can have, but she's been so much better lately - she's been off her anti anxiety meds since July and only taking xanax as needed for storms. And she doesn't realy seem "anxious" while she's having these episodes. Background: Cash will be 10 years old in July. She's been on both xanax and paxil long-term, but as I mentioned, she's been mostly drug-free since July with hardly any problems. She's been happy, and interactive, playful, affectionate - as much like a "normal" dog as I've ever seen her in the 6 years she's been with us. She has been very healthy overall. Three years ago, she had a horrible vaccine reaction with seizures and cardiac arrest. Her heart had stopped by the time we got to the e-vet. Miraculously, she recovered fully from this incident with only some *very* minor ataxia left over. The episodes happen at random times during the day, and she can have multiple episodes a day, then go several days without any. She appears to be aware of her surroundings during them, and even maybe "hyper" aware of small sounds or visual cues. Or it might be she's having visual hallucinations during them. There's usually no obvious beginning to them, I will glance over at her and see she's shaking all over with muscle tremors. The muscle tremors can be continuous or wash over her in waves. She will look around and respond to sounds during this, but does not want to be touched or fussed over. An episode can last 10-15 minutes. Afterwards, she will pant as if she's suddenly had a temperature spike (which can happen after seizures). The panting will last another 15 or 20 minutes. In previous years, I would have thought, and probably did think, these were anxiety attacks. But lately, they have been happening with nothing going on - they just start out of no where. She'll be sleeping, or laying quietly in the living room, and all of a sudden trembling and shaking all over. It's only been in the last week or two that I've had the thought they could be seizure activity, except I haven't heard of this type of seizure before. I haven't researched this yet, and thought I would start here. I will also be talking to out vet about it this week. I've had two seizure greyhounds - our first greyhound Libby, and our current foster, Hopper - so I do have some familiarity with them. Any thoughts???
  5. Hopper's neurologist suggested we add some natural supplementss to his regimen, so I'm looking for the best place to get them - cost-wise, and certified amounts. I'm looking for Taurine (to help the seizures), Sam-e, milk thistle, and vitamin E (for liver protection). There is a supplement I could get from the vet called Denamarin (sic), but for Hopper's size (80 lbs) and dosage the cost would be expensive. The vet himself said it would be cheaper to do it separately. Where do you get yours?
  6. For those of you that give your epi-dog Zonisamide....what side effects have you noticed? Thyme has always been a food hound. Recently, its gotten much more noticeable. She spends a good portion of her outside time sniffing for scraps of god-knows-what. I have even caught her trying to eat pieces of carpet lint and tissues inside. I am not too concerned about it. She has always been obsessed, but just wondering if anyone else has had that experience....I haven't read much about side effects, I guess because it is still a newer drug for us in canines.
  7. Hello, I thought some folks on this board would have wisdom to share with me. My Emmy (who will be 8 in September) has started with what appear to be focal seizures. She has had three that I've seen, all about 2 months apart. Just had her third this week. She's fine within a half hour of the seizures. She has stumpling, walking in circles, and (once) some apparent blindness in one eye postictally. My vet, who is a personal friend, and whom I trust, did blood work after the first seizure (I think a CBC and chem profile--need to recheck that). That bloodwork was all normal. After the second, she said that they were infrequent enough not to warrant daily medication, but she gave me pheno to give her after a seizure to (I assume) prevent another immediate seizure. She said the next step would probably be an MRI, which we are both disinclined to do right now. I've been reading some of the threads here and on some of the canine epilepsy web sites that folks here have recommended. My questions: 1) Are there other diagnostics that you would recommend? Thyroid testing? I've looked into canine neurologists--I'd probably have to travel a couple of hours (which I'd do). I could go north to Cornell or south to the Philly suburbs. (I'm in North Eastern PA). Don't want to ruffle my friend's feathers. . . I DO trust her. She came to the house after the first seizure, cause I called her in a panic. She has been VERY willing to refer when she needs to. She sent my Abby to an excellent internist. 2) Even though the seizures are not grand mal, are the ice cream, rescue remedy, and ice packs appropriate for Emmy? 3) Can rescue remedy be used when I am using pheno (or when I use Xanax--which she sometimes takes for noise anxiety--most particularly fireworks around July 4 and New Year's, with her Thundershirt)? 4) Would valium be better post-seizure than the pheno? (Which I haven't used yet.) 5)What other advice can you share? Thank you in advance for your wisdom. Laurie
  8. Ava has seizures - last episode was 10/24 where she was hospitalized and now I think we are one day past the time between seizure episodes (which had been getting shorter and shorter with each episode). So, *knock on wood!* Today we took Pixie and Sam to "Four Muddy Paws" for baths, but I was leary of taking Ava. She has fleas (and I won't/can't use any flea product on her) so I wanted to bathe her here at home. My question... Is Buddy Wash (Rosemary & Mint) Shampoo and Buddy Rinse (Lavender & Mint) safe to use on a dog with seizures? If not, what can I use?
  9. Lucy was diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy a little over 20 months ago. For anyone who has a dog with epilepsy, you know that it can be a heart-wrenching disease. You can have your dogs on medicines and do all the right things but, your dog can still go into status (seizures that don't stop). There is no telling which dog will live to 14 years old and which one will be discovered in status or already expired when you come home. Like I said, a heart wrenching disease. Since Lucy was diagnosed, I have been doing research on her seizure dates but, it has only been recently that I have had enough dates to make sense of the data. As a result, I believe I have made a clear breakthrough. She was having most of her seizures when certain spatial points were being activated. There were also identifiable patterns when she escalated and as a result needed more medicine. This just occurred again this past week and resulted in an increase of medicines. I am still going to be studying Lucy's patterns more closely but, with a different focus -- to be able to identify periods in the future when her seizure activity could be higher. In the interim, I am going to expand the study to include more dogs. If I could find a pattern in Lucy's past seizures, maybe I can find it in other dogs. With this in mind, I am looking for dogs to participate in this research study. Each dog participating must meet certain requirements which are listed on my web page. There are no charges or any fees for participants in the study, all costs for the research are borne by my company. If you are interested, more information is on my web site at: http://lionessassociates.com/lionesscommunity/seizureresearch.html
  10. Our Ava started having seizures in July (although she had some in the racing kennel before she retired in November/December 2011 - she's now had four separate seizure incidents which have required hospitalization each time. She just was released this afternoon after having two seizures on Wednesday morning at 4:10am. She had the first seizure at home and when she came to, we headed straight for the hospital (her last seizure episode was 24 days ago and she had 5 within an hour). On the way to the hospital she whined off and on and paced during the whole ride (20-25 minutes), but no seizures. After the tech took her away, the doctor told us she had a violent grand mal during her examination. She's pretty banged up, some brusing and lots of cuts and scratches, so she's sore too. Where we are at right now, they kept her phenobarbital at the same dose (2 tabs twice a day), but added in Keppra at the hospital. (She is now on 250mg every 8 hours). We're also going to start her on Potassium Bromine, but it won't be ready until Saturday afternoon. The first dose of Keppra that I had planned on giving would of been at 11pm, because I wanted to get her on a schedule. I called the hospital to ask when her last dose was and it was 8am, so next dose should of been at 4pm. I went ahead and gave her the Keppra at 645pm. She is acting strange and I'm a little worried. (she was acting strange before I gave the Keppra (which is why I called to ask when she last had it), so I'm wondering if her behavior is because I was 2 hours and 45 minutes late with her next dose or because she just started the medication or ???) She is pacing, a bit of whining and seems to be looking for something. I have let her out three times and she just stands in the yard with her nose in the air, smelling. She is doing the same thing in the house, has her nose up in the air smelling. (((I just now let her out again and she did finally pee!!))) It was very warm in St. Louis today and now the temperature has dropped drastically, it's windy and rainy. I thought maybe she was smelling in the yard (with nose in the air) earlier because a storm was coming. Ava's regular vet is working with the emergency hospital to get Ava's seizures under control and I have her cell number to call her if anything happens - so I do have a call in for her. I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has experienced the same behavior after starting Keppra. I just want to help her and she can't talk. Thanks, Kim & Ava
  11. 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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