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Share Positive Stories Of Your Experiences Of Your Dogs With Epilepsy

Guest EmilyAnne

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Guest EmilyAnne

I thought it would be nice to have a thread devoted to happy stories of dogs who have epilepsy and have gotten the seizures under control. I'd also like for everyone to share stories of their epi-pups living normal lives and passing on due to causes *un*related to epilepsy. I worry many think epilepsy in dogs is a death sentence that will eventually kill them. Once in a while it is (and usually in these cases the epilepsy was a secondary conditon to something else like a tumor) , but most of the time it is NOT. Henry is my second dog to have epilepsy. He just joined our family in Oct., and we are still in the process of figuring it all out. Someday I will likely bump this thread up and post our own happy story once we get things figured out better. :) Our last epi-pup had epilepsy due to a brain trauma he received when he was a year old. His seizures were mild and fairly rare so we opted never to medicate him. He died of causes totally unrelated to epilepsy.


Please share also what medicine/treatments has worked for your hound, (that is if you medicate) and also about how the side effects may not be pleasant at first, but as the medicine reached better effectiveness, the side effects improved. :)

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Guest Snowy8

I have Gabby...she has epilepsy. She was diagnosed after have 4 seizures in 45 minutes...one in front of the Evet...She's a happy go lucky little brindle girl. She's 10 yrs old. She's on 400mg of phenobarbital a day...2 in the morning, 2 at night. Unfortunately, her last seizure was December 30th...but since she's been on 400 a day, there have been no seizures.

She's my Phoebe Buffay...


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Ryan is a seizure dog. His seizures are furniture moving, human bruising violent. I look worse after he has them than he does because I've had to catch him as he flies off beds/couches/walls/TVs. He's seized so violently that he had a 27" TV (not the plasmas either) rocking off the solid entertainment stand about to fall on him.

I am usually bruised from catching him, scratched from his flailing about and bruised arms/hands from keeping his head from slamming into walls when he's next to them. I am his cushion and time keeper while he makes it through his seizure. After 4-5 mins of violent seizing, he subsides to a less violent seizure until he's done and jumps up. Then it is keeping him calm enough to get his legs back under him so he can get outside and pee and get some water and a sugary snack.

He comes in, has water and a snack, goes back out again and then is a goofy very awake boy (his are 95% during the wee hours of the morning) for a couple of hours before he's ready to sack out again.


None of the "this stops seizures" tricks has ever worked on him. If Ryan is going to have a seizure, he's going to have the seizure until his body is damn good and ready to stop.


We know stress can be a trigger, but we live life as we would - we just won't leave him in a kennel environment - so vacations happen only when they can come with us or somebody he knows and is comfortable with can watch them. For us, there is no reason to let his disease control our lives, we deal with his seizures as he has them.


He is currently on half the meds he was on about 2 years ago. We decided quality of life was more important than no seizures. A dog needs to be able to stand upright and not walk into walls and seeing some light in his eyes to show he really was alive in there was improtant. I'm not sure we'd up his meds again - though he has been on 3 seizure meds for a time - there was no indication Ryan existed behind the eyes - he was a lost boy when he was totally drugged up.


They were mostly controlled (not gone, but controlled) with meds before he got sick and his body wasn't processing the seizure meds as it should. We still have those issues, so we are back to having seizures more often. We've already had 2 or 3 this year. No reason to change his meds yet, his vet knows what is going on and say these are his normal breakthroughs which are more frequent due to his ongoing medical issues now.


We live with it, so what, he's usually a happy boy, even if his brain is kind of mushy from his meds.


I don't stress over his seizures. It is what it is :)

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I think most people on GT know of Saint and his wonderful story. Saint started having seizures while in the race kennel. His trainer said he would have them around 10:00 - 11:00 at night. He said he could set his clock by them. He had his doubts about Saint ever being able to live a normal life with his horrible seizures and had advised the owner that maybe he should be put down. The director of the adoption kennel, who was married to the trainer told him that she could find him a home and he let her take him to the adoption kennel. That is where we first saw him. He was so big they had to get a separate, bigger crate for him, he was 95lbs. at the time. He continued to have horrible seizures while in the kennel, causing himself to cut himself on his crate several times. Mike and I, being a seizure family ourselves decided that he should come home with us. Saint was put on meds so that he could have his "surgery" for adoption and we brought him home.


We picked Saint up from the vet and had him home 1 day when he went into cluster seizures. I have to give credit to our vet, he was so wonderful working with us. He started Saint out on 100 mg. of Phenobarbital twice a day. Saint had two more seizures the next week. He then raised Saint's medication to 200 mg. twice a day. This time we went two or three weeks and then Saint had two more seizures in a week. The vet then raised his med. to 300 mg. twice a day. We went another two weeks and Saint again had two seizures in a week. It was at this point that the vet decided Saint was on the maximum amount of Phenobarbital he could have and started adding Potassium Bromide to the mix. He told us that Saint might not be controlled for while, if ever but we could try. We started Saint on the Potassium Bromide and about the second day the poor thing was so drunk he couldn't walk straight. He walked into walls, his rear end would sag while he was peeing and he started leaning on the house to support himself while he went potty. If any of the dogs ran past him too closely they would knock him down. We had to be careful with him walking up and down the stairs, he fell down them once, but as time went by, within 3 weeks I'd say, the side effects started to subside and the seizures stopped. We held our breath each night waiting for another seizure but they never came again.


Saint has now been controlled for 3 1/2 years! He is a happy go lucky boy who loves every minute of the day. His rear doesn't sag any more and he walks straight as an arrow. You can see the joy in his face every day! He is a success story for sure!









He does however, have his own unique style of running and how he ever race Grade A, I'll never know!





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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Our Libby girl was a seizure dog. We adopted her in August of 04.


My husband and I had had Great Danes for years, but after we lost our last boy in May of that year we decided we wanted something smaller. I had been interested in greyhounds for years as my family made trips to the (now closed) Multnomah Greyhound Park for afternoons of racing. Long story short - I talked the hubby into going to a Meet-n-Greet just to take a look up close and in person at the dogs available from the local GPA group. "Just to look," of course. We had no intention of getting another dog so soon after losing Joey.


Well, we looked at a bunch of greys, and had decided that - when we were ready! - we might look into adopting more closely. Then we saw Libby! We both just fell in love right away! Her foster mom was pretty clear that she was a seizure dog and she'd have some special needs, but we didn't care. We filled out the form and Libby came home to us two weeks later. She was only the first! We now have three greys, all due to the lovely Libby (race name Everlast) though she's the only one with idiopathic epilepsy.


At the time, her seizures were very mild. One every 6-8 weeks or so. They were grand mal but a very light version - she'd seize for almost exactly 10 minutes, with some muscle trembling and paralysis, drooling and staring. She didn't thrash around too much and - thank goodness - they always seemed to happen when we were around. This schedule stayed pretty constant until last summer when she started clustering. We're not sure if her kidney failure started because of the phenobarb, or the phenobarb started the kidney failure, or if they were completely unrelated and just seemed to begin about the same time. But the phenobarb controlled her seizures and she only had one from last July until we lost her to kidney failure at the end of January.


Libby was one of the happiest, silliest, sweetest greys we've had and she was simply a joy. Her seizures weren't life altering, at least for her, and she jumped up and was raring to go after about 5 minutes. I would encourage ANYBODY to adopt a seizure dog! Medicine and research has come a long ways, just in the short time we had Libby, and these dogs are often hard to adopt to the casual dog lover - they just don't want to deal with it. But my husband and I wouldn't hesitate to give a home to another one and we probably will at some point!


I wish I had a picture, but I haven't quite figured that out yet!


greysmom ;)

Chris - Mom to: Felicity (DeLand), and Andi (Braska Pandora)

52592535884_69debcd9b4.jpgsiggy by Chris Harper, on Flickr

Angels: Libby (Everlast), Dorie (Dog Gone Holly), Dude (TNJ VooDoo), Copper (Kid's Copper), Cash (GSI Payncash), Toni (LPH Cry Baby), Whiskey (KT's Phys Ed), Atom, Lilly

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We have Vixen--she's 9 now. She takes 1000mg of Potassium Bromide a day (used to be 2000mg/day, but after being seizure-free for a long time, her dose was decreased to 1000mg/day, and she's done fine on that dose). She's only had one seizure in the last year that we know of (just last week--she hurt herself and went into a seizure. Pain has always been likely to put her into a seizure). She can't take Phenobarb because she's allergic, but KBr controls her almost perfectly.


She is the sweetest, cutest, funniest greyhound I've ever met. Her seizures are scary, but they don't stop her for long!!!



Vixen with her favorite snackie: :lol






**& Angels Emily, Beatrice, Okie, Rhemus ,Vixen, and Rose-always in my heart**

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This is my bridgekid Scully....I chose this pic of him because hopefully it shows what a happy, lively dog he was even at 9 years old :colgate


Scully started having idiopathic seizures at five years old, he had one and then no more for another year, after that they came thick and fast, he was put on a combination of Pheno and K/Br which kept them completely under control for the rest of his life...he lived to 9 1/2 and his passing was completely unrelated to his epilepsy.



<p>"One day I hope to be the person my dog thinks I am"Sadi's Pet Pages Sadi's Greyhound Data PageMulder1/9/95-21/3/04 Scully1/9/95-16/2/05Sadi 7/4/99 - 23/6/13 CroftviewRGT

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Guest luckydog

I had a non-grey mutt named Scamper who had idiopathic epilepsy. She was on phenobarbital for nearly all her life with me, and it was no big deal. I never was terrified when she had a grand-mal seizure (although it was disconcerting to watch at first) nor did I ever think that she was going to die a horrible death at a young age because of the epilepsy. I don't recall any side effects of the phenobarb.


Since her epilepsy was idiopathic, there was no rhyme or reason for the seizures. Stress didn't bring them out, nor did smells, sounds, or lights. The phenobarb did cut down dramatically on the number of seizures she had to virtually none. Of course, I was at work 8 hours 5 days a week so I don't know what would happen when I wasn't home. But she would usually pee or poop as part of her seizure, so I would gauge the phenobarb's sucess by their absence when I got home.


Scamper was put to sleep at age 14 from lymphoma.

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  • 7 months later...
Guest EmilyAnne

Judy, aka JillysFullHouse, posted about her seizure hound Saint in the 4th post of this thread. Yesterday, Saint made it to 4 years of NO seizures! :confetti You can read about it here~ http://forum.greytalk.com/index.php?s=&amp...t&p=3653400


Judy was one of the very first ones to reach out to me when I adopted Henry, and share Saint's wonderful story.


Something really neat~ Yesterday, was Saint's four year anniversary of no seizures, and today is Henry's very first Gotchaday! :)


One of these days I'll put in a post about Henry in this thread, with some pictures. Henry has taken a longer time to be able to figure out, but I am confident, we are now really on the right track, with homecooked, Phenobarbital, and no chicken, eggs or Flagyl. Today he is 22 days Grand-Mal free, (he started meds 22 days ago) and finally stopped with the almost daily Flycatchers when we increased his Phenobarbital from 240 mg per day to 300 mg per day on Oct. 18th.


Anyways, just wanted to make sure anyone who reads this thread looking for encouragement in difficult times with their seizure hounds, that they can know about Saint's remarkable accomplishment! :pepper

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