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Adopting A Dog With Epilepsy...


Guest EmilyAnne
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Guest EmilyAnne

Hi! I am new here and this is my very first post! On Saturday we will be welcoming a new member to our family! His name is Henry and he is what is known as a lurcher. He is a coonhound/greyhound mix. He is 7 years old and he does have epilepsy. I will share what I do know about him. He used to be a hunting dog and they think he was abused by how he has behaved somewhat fearfully. He has had many, many homes. He was almost put to sleep at a shelter and someone stepped in just in time. He was at a weimaraner rescue for a year, and has been in the greyhound rescue for two weeks. The foster Dad thought Henry would never find a home, but he was wrong! :) Henry has found a forever home with us and we fully intend to give Henry the longest, most fullest, most happiest life possible!

 

I will share the experience that I do have with epilepsy. Alfalfa our dear pointer mix who passed on 4 weeks ago to this day had epilepsy. His epilepsy was due to massive brain trauma. I was also able to keep it under control by keeping things on a nice even calm keel. I was careful not to subject him to loud noises, change his diet, keep his exercise consistent, etc. There was a time in his life I thought I'd have to put him on meds, and right about then I was on a guacomole binge. So Alfalfa was getting half an avocado a day. Lo and behold, his epilepsy condition improved! So every time he had a seizure, I'd give him avocado for a while. I dont know if it was coincidence or not, but it didnt hurt anything to try. Alfalfa never had grand mal seizures. His were only Petit Mal. He would even stay sitting up during his seizures and they only involved the top part of his body and the jerks were slower and larger than I'd imagine your usual seizure to be. His passing had nothing to do with his epilepsy. His arthritis got so severe he was unable to even stand without help. After 3 days, we tearfully said goodbye and he was euthanized in my arms by a vet at our house on his bed. I really, really, really miss him and I still cry for him almost every hour of the day. He also had diabetes and he was blind the last 4 years of his life.

 

Henry was on phenobarbs at the weimaraner rescue. He became overweight and sluggish. In his current foster home they have weaned him off phenobarbs and they now have him on Pottasium Bromide. (I hope I am spelling everything correctly!) He has perked up and lost some weight. In the last two weeks that he has been in this foster, he has had 5 seizures, all between 3 am and 5 am. And only lasting one minute. I am considering that perhaps Henry needs a midnight snack? My Alfalfa never had seizures that often so I would really like to look into all the ways I can help Henry. Perhaps homemade dog food with organic meat? I could make a big batch every twoo weeks and freeze it or something? Are there homeopathic meds? All ideas and tips would be very greatly appreciated, thanks so much!!!

 

LOL! I am in the 'just whelped' category!

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Is there a reason they weaned him off the phenobarbital? My friend's 3 year old english cocker is on the max amount of pheno and I think also on the Pot Bro, she is doing great. One seizure every three months, but they last a lot longer each time she has one. I'd get him to a vet you trust right away and see what the vet has to say about the meds. If you commit to more exercise or change diet, he might not be as overweight. You wouldn't want to do that without the vets advice though. Thanks for saving the life of this hound....he deserves it!

Tessie, PK's Cat Island 12/9/13
Gabby the Airedale 7/1/18
Forever missing Grace (RT's Grace, 18156/23B), Fenway (not registered, def a greyhound), and Jackson (airedale terrier, honorary greyhound)

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If he's only been weaned off phenobarbital since he's been with the greyhound group and put on KBr (potassium bromide), then I'd expect some seizures to be happening. KBr takes a while to get into the system and work and it won't do much in 2 weeks and I'd take my time dropping the pheno dose.

 

Often times, a dog may need a combo of both to keep their seizures in check. I don't think I'd stop the pheno, but work with a vet to reduce the dose of pheno and add in the KBr to make up for it. For us, dropping Ryan's pheno by even 30mg will often lead to a seizure. He used to be on 360mg of pheno and was a very drugged out dog - which is why we've reduced that and added in KBr as well.

 

 

My mom has had good luck getting her dogs off pheno and not having seizures by making sure her dogs get a sugary snack in the afternoon - which may be why your avacado trick worked with your last dog. I don't know if there are studies to support this, but my mom's vet suggested the snack with sugar to her.

 

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Guest EmilyAnne

Yeah I was alarmed when I heard he had just been weaned off the phenobarb cause he is about to undergo a major change in his life. I would have wanted to wait at least a month after a major change. It sounds like he has been completely weaned off the phenobarb. They said he was sluggish on the phenobarb, my first thought was maybe that is because he may have been depressed if he missed his old foster family? I am so anxious to get him to our vet.

 

It is such a comfort to me to hear from others who have dogs with epilepsy. Thank you so much!

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Guest bowiebears

Welcome to GT!

 

You're a hero, adopting this boy. There's a special place in heaven for people like you, you know.

 

Blessings on you and yours.

 

--Isaac

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How greyt of you to adopt this boy. We have a 10 yo female husky with epilepsy. She's been seizure free since April '06. We've also been able to wean her down to one phenobarb tablet a day, 1/3 of her original dosage. This is a website I found helpful guardian angels

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Guest EmilyAnne

Whoops, to explain why you see the same sentence twice in the above post is that the first time I tried to post it did not go through. I was not sure what had happened so I tried to post again and it looks like both posts went in the same posts. Please bear with me as I learn my way around here.

 

edited to fix typos. I need coffee.

Edited by EmilyAnne
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Congratulations on adding Henry to your family and kudos to you for being willing to love a special needs pup. :confetti

 

My grey, Piper, is yet another hound with seizures. His are the result of epilepsy and he takes both Phenobarbital (Pb) and Potassium Bromide (KBr). Right now he is on yet another anti-epileptic drug but, with the vet's permission, I'll start weaning him of Neurontin in a couple of months.

 

The Guardian Angels website is a wonderful resource. Here are a couple of other canine epilepsy websites that I have found helpful over the years.

www.canine-epilepsy.com This is a great website that sponsors an active email list, Epil-K9, that you may want to join.

www.canine-epilepsy.net

 

Lucy and Piper (15 days seizure free)

 

 

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Lucy with Greyhound Nate and OSH Tinker. With loving memories of MoMo (FTH Chyna Moon), Spirit, Miles the slinky kitty (OSH), Piper "The Perfect" (Oneco Chaplin), Winston, Yoda, Hector, and Claire.

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Congratulations and welcome!

 

I had a seizure boy as well. He was unmedicated. I think you're on track about a midnight snack (if he doesn't get one already). I found that Icarus would always have a seizure between 6 and 7 a.m. if he didn't get a cookie before bed.

 

I bet that the reason the avocado helped with your angel pup is because of the high fat content. I can't remember where I read it but there was an article about how you should give a "rich" food to a dog who is post-ictal (after the seizure). Some people have had success with Ice Cream or Yogurt too... for Icarus it was Cheese! :lol

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011

 

Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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What do you all feed your dogs with epilepsy?

 

Icarus just ate plain kibble... I feed Technical Lamb Meal and Rice (equal to the US Sensible Choice Lamb Meal and Rice). Two meals a day, treats in the morning and before bedtime. Sometimes a few fresh veggies, cheese or bits of meat at the people dinner time. :)

Jennifer and Beamish (an unnamed Irish-born Racer) DOB: October 30, 2011

 

Forever and always missing my "Vowels", Icarus, Atlas, Orion, Uber, and Miss Echo, and Mojito.

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I have no experience with epilepsy but there are some wonderful people here who do. Just wanted to say welcome & what a GORGEOUS boy Henry is! :wub: I wish you both many many years of happiness. (And I'm so sorry for your loss of Alfalfa.)

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Deirdre with Conor (Daring Pocobueno), Keeva (Kiowa Mimi Mona), & kittehs Gemma & robthomas.

Our beloved angels Faolin & Liath, & kittehs Mona & Caesar. Remembering Bobby, Doc McCoy, & Chip McGrath.

"He feeds you, pets you, adores you, collects your poop in a bag. There's only one explanation: you are a hairy little god." Nick Galifinakis

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Saint gets a good quality kibble alone with a Milk Thistle supplement. He's been on Potassium Bromide and Phenobarbital for over 3 years now and has been seizure free for 3 years. Though he did suffer some side affects when he first started on the meds those went away in about a months time and he's been a happy, normal hound since.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest EmilyAnne
Saint gets a good quality kibble alone with a Milk Thistle supplement. He's been on Potassium Bromide and Phenobarbital for over 3 years now and has been seizure free for 3 years. Though he did suffer some side affects when he first started on the meds those went away in about a months time and he's been a happy, normal hound since.

Ah! Does my heart good to hear of a hound having done so well on the meds. I am concerned with all the seizures the foster says Henry has had. I am trying to decide if I wait and see if Henry improves on the way the foster was medicating him as he has only been doing that 2 weeks, or just let him go back to phenobarbs? Sorry to type so hurriedly. It is very busy over here as I try to get as much done before henry comes home tomorrow morning! :D

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Saint was seizing any where from 4 to 6 times a week when we first took him home. I truly did not think he would make it long enough for the meds to work but I have a wonderful vet who worked with me, sometimes on a daily basis, getting Saints meds to the point where he could be controlled. To say that Saint surprised both myself and our vet is an understatement!

 

Thanks for giving Henry a home. Most people are so afraid to give seizure dogs a chance. They are so worth it though because I swear, they know how lucky they are to get a home, it makes them extra sweet! If he doesn't improve, seriously give trying the phenobarbital along with the Potassium Bromide a chance, you may find it's the perfect combo for him. The side affects, though dramatic at first, go away with time.

Judy, mom to Darth Vader, Bandita, And Angel

Forever in our hearts, DeeYoGee, Dani, Emmy, Andy, Heart, Saint, Valentino, Arrow, Gee, Bebe, Jilly Bean, Bullitt, Pistol, Junior, Sammie, Joey, Gizmo, Do Bee

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Guest Greensleeves

Welcome to GT!! I have no experience with epilepsy, BUT I had to add my welcome to your coonhound mix! We've been a coonhound/greyhound family for six years now, and the hounds are the best. I would love to see what both breeds in *one* dog would be like. :wub: Henry is absolutely gorgeous (I definitely see some coonhound in that face! Those ears!!), and I've saved his picture to show my DH.

 

(The coonhound in him will *probably* make him strongly food-motivated, so do be sure you keep your counters clear. But you'll never have to clean up dropped food on the floor! :lol)

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I take in seizure greyhounds because no one else seems to want them. I have two seizure kids right now. One is on phenobarbital and KBr. and the other is just on the phenobarbital.

 

The vet tried to wean the one completely off the phenobarbital onto all Kbr. He finally decided she just needs some phenobarbital in her system.

 

It might take a while for him to settle in with his seizures. Have his levels checked and give him some time. Remember he will probably have some break thru seizures. Also that his weight will effect his medicine, so try to keep his weight down. The phenobarbital does make them hungry. Look for food that will fill him up. Keep something around for him to chew on ( not rawhide ) right after his seizures. Keep some Kongs frozen with his food or peanut butter that will keep him busy when he get restless.

 

 

 

Keep a calendar of his seizures and note full moon. My might have seizures a week before the full moon every so often. Then they might have them a week after the full moon. I also give my the Valerian Root supplement.

Vallerysiggy.jpg

Then God sent the Greyhound to live among man and remember. And when the Day comes,

God will call the Greyhound to give Testament, and God will pass judgment on man.

(Persian Proverb)

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HI! I know Henry..... PM me. He had his first seizure while he hung out in one of our foster homes..... I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I've been owned by 2 seizure pups and fostered by many...

 

Congrats to you and Henry!

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Guest EmilyAnne
HI! I know Henry..... PM me. He had his first seizure while he hung out in one of our foster homes..... I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I've been owned by 2 seizure pups and fostered by many...

 

Congrats to you and Henry!

I cant pm yet cause I am still 'wet behind the ears'. :P Tell me when you get this address, i want to delete it.

Edited by EmilyAnne
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HI! I know Henry..... PM me. He had his first seizure while he hung out in one of our foster homes..... I'd be happy to help in any way I can. I've been owned by 2 seizure pups and fostered by many...

 

Congrats to you and Henry!

You mean you have personally cared for Henry!!!! Oh my goodness!!!! I am soooo glad I found this board! Can you e mail me please? My email adress is xxxxxt I cant pm yet cause I am still 'wet behind the ears'. :P Tell me when you get this address, i want to delete it.

 

 

email on the way...

Edited by Peanut
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