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Hi Everyone,

It has been a very long time since I posted. Our basset Mickey was diagnosed with epilepsy a year ago. We have been struggling to keep his seizures under control with very minimal success. We have been working with a Neurologist for 5 months but, we feel we are losing the battle. We feel very alone in this situation. Can anyone share their stories or experiences with me?

Thanks
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:(( aaaawwww poor Mickey!!!.....im sorry 2 hear dat....I do not have any experience on the disease but I will dig in to the internet 2 share some gd info!!!

Be strong on the journey!!
xoxo
 

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working with a Neurologist for 5 months but, we feel we are losing the battle
then you probably do not want to hear from me. Basset diagnosed with epilepsy at 1 1/2 yrs old longest time between siezures 67 days (second and third) mean was 2 weeks. On both KBr and Phenobarbitol max pheno dose almost destroyed the liver even with monthly tests. Died a few months later at 2 1/2 with her first and only status siezure on a Sunday morning before we could get to an emergency vet.

The first thing I would do differently, would be insist on liquid vallium for rectal adminstration in case of an emergency even though there was no history of custer or status siezures. If the vet was unwilling to provide the prescription I would be vet shopping It only takes one to kill

possible look at a couple of human drug though they have a short half life in dogs have proven helpful in cases where pheno of Kbr can not control it

Adjunctive therapy for refractory canine idiopathic epilepsy
This small study indicates that gabapentin may reduce seizure frequency in some dogs with refractory idiopathic epilepsy. A larger study is warranted to further evaluate the potential benefits of gabapentin in epileptic dogs
Zonisamide trial
The frequency and duration of seizures, as well as seizure severity, decreased in most of the dogs in this study following zonisamide administration. The high number dogs responding (at least a 50% reduction in seizures frequency) indicates a beneficial effect of zonisamide in refractory cases. Due to good seizure control in seven dogs a reduction of previous anticonvulsant therapy (phenobarbital, potassium bromide) was possible without subsequent impairment of seizure control. In several animals this led to a reduction in side effects and an improved quality of life. In one dog (a Border collie) dose reduction of conventional anticonvulsants resulted in a reduction of sedation so that breed typical behaviour was displayed again.
refractory epilepsy.
An animal is defined as refractory to anticonvulsant treatment when its quality of life is compromised by:

frequent and severe seizures despite appropriate drug therapy (serum level in the high end of the therapeutic range) or

side effects of the medication. Refractory epilepsy may occur in as many as 1 in 4 epileptic dogs.
Two general web sites on Canine Epilepsy that may help

Canine Epilepsy UK

Epi Guardian Angels
 

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Hi MikeyT

Thank you for your information and I'm sorry for your loss. We currently have him on Bromide, zonisamide and and new drug Levetrisetam. We do have Diazapam in suppository form because he does have cluster seizures. We have had him on both Pheno and gabapentin. But, had to take him off after he was almost overdosed. They keep changing the doses and drugs and none have been effective. He has only gone 35days with no seizure then had 7 in 72hrs. All his seizures are short (1min or less) but, are all Grand Mal seizures. He is then post ictal for 3 hrs.

This is why we feel we are losing the battle, Even when he was so doped up that he could not move, he still had a seizure.

We don't want to give up on him but, how much more can either of us take?
 

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My experience is now more than 15 years ago so the newer drugs were not available, It is only just know getting easier to talk about the experience.

FWIW seizures average 1 1/2 minutes except the status siezure. When being withrawn from pheno because of liver she was hospitalized because of fear of custer siezures but had no siezures of any kind during those two weeks.

Post ictal 24 hrs, siezures occured early morning or at night, general while sleeping. Only dog I ever owned that showed no sign of dreaming i.e. legs moving, vocalization while sleeping, alway thought they were related.


Sorry I could not offer anything new it is a helpless feeling when the siezure are not under control. We came to dread thursdays because for whatever reason 70% of her siezures occured on thursday.

We don't want to give up on him but, how much more can either of us take?
Fortunately we did not have to make that decision. No clusters and slight more under control than Mickey's. I can sympathize it is not an easy disease to live with for the owner or the pet when not under control becuase each subsequent seizure lowers the threshold for the next so over time they become more frequent. There are no rules for making the ultimate decision you just have to weigh the future and posible alternative therapies, quality of life for both Mickey and yourself and use your best judgement. There are no right or wrong answers. The only thing that is for sure is whatever you chose It will be the right answer.
 

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I'm so sorry to hear you and Mickey are going thru this. The dog we had when I was growing up had epilepsy, although it sounds like hers was milder. I do remember a time when she had seizures daily, and other times when it would be months in between. I was young enough at the time not to pay attention to what meds she took and it was long enough ago that it would be outdated info if I knew. I know her quality of life was good most of the time, and she lived to the ripe old age of 13.

I hope you're able to find the right therapy soon. My thoughts will be with you.
 

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I had a beagle who had mild epilepsy for many years. I can only imagine what you are dealing with however.
Somethings to add (maybe) to what you are doing with medications.
1. Search ingredients in your dog food for links to epilepsy. My quick check of a natural healing book notes Sodium Nitrate and Red dye No 40.
2. Check for lead sources like: paint, cheap plastic dog toys
3. Ask your vet about vitamine suppliments. My quick check of a natural healing book notes one as effecting epilepsy.
4. See if there is a qualified veterinary accupuncturist in your area.
(Personal note here. I had a mini doxie with serious back issues improved by chiropractic care. I had considerable experience with chiropractic and alternative care for myself by the time I was dealing with this. A good/excellent alternative care provider will usually be found working happily often closely with a traditional practice. My veterinary chiropractor/accupuncturist works in a multi-vet traditional practice of an old style farm vet)

Fight the good fight for Mickey, love him lots, do what you need to for him to have a quality life if not length of life. Its not easy all owners would agree, but it is always worth it to have them in our lives for however long they are with us.

slbj.mouse foster mom to B.Basset
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hi Slbj.mouse,

1.) We have tried switching to all natural dog food for over 6 mo. (no change)
2.) He is not on any vitamins
3.) We have moved to a new house and his seizures are not worse or better - we use non toxic cleaning supplies.
4.) We are working with a Neurologist who specializes in idiopathic epilepsy. His epilepsy is not the cause of any food for chemical. We have checked it all.

He had another seizure today. This makes 5 within 8 days. We are finally seeing his personality come back after being almost comatose from too high of doses of this meds (Neurologists doing). So now his seizures are getting more frequent. Nothing seems to be working.

Thank you to everyone for all your comments.
 

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Dear bassetbrigade, I don't have any experience in epilepsy, but my heart does go out to you and Mickey. All I can say is love Mickey with all of your heart and do what's best for him always whatever they may be.
 

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Hi all new here. I have a 3yr old basset boy who wa dianosed with epilepsy just 3 weeks ago we had very bad couble of days with sizures he is now on phenebratl 2 times a day no more sizures yet he has gained weight but side effects have pretty much left. Hi blood levels are doing better but still watching.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi Pamela

Mickey was diagnosed over a year ago. I understand how scary it can be. Please let me know if you have any questions or need to talk. We have had a very rough time of it and I hope your Basset responds better to the meds. Please keep me posted.

Thank you to everyone for your support.
 

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I have a basset with epilepsy

Hi, I have a 5 year old basset called Millie who was earlier this year diagnosed with epilepsy. I was wondering if anyone elses basset had this? If so could you please share your experiences.

Many thanks,

Lucy and Millie x
 

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I have no epilepsy experience – I just wanted to come on and say how sorry I am you all are going through this horrible experience. Love and cherish every minute you get with them.

Prayers and healing drool…

Jen~
 

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was wondering if anyone elses basset had this? If so could you please share your experiences
I really really don;t think you want to hear mine. Let me just let you know what I learned from the experience.


1. 5 years of age is right at the top age for First Sign ie siezure from idopathic ( no none cause) epilepsy.. If she is not on medication yet have a complete thyroid panel dog Assuming she is a spayed female the age coincideds with Hypothyroidism which is much more common in spayed females than the intact counter part and males. adnd five is a typical age of onset. Hypothyroidism can cause siezures and siezures can be the only visible sign. Threat Hypothyroidism can cure the dog from siezure in these cases. Phenobarbitol however surpresses thyriod function so it is impossible to the if the dog is Hypothyroid or not once it is on the medication see COMMENTS ON THYROID DISEASE
BY DR. THOMAS, DVM, Dipl.ACVIM(Neurology)
One of the simplest and least expensive tests to have done, which could possibly reduce or stop seizures, is a test for low thyroid function or hypothyroidism. I have found from experience that thyroid testing is very important in every case of canine epilepsy.

Dr. William Thomas, a board-certified neurologist, had this to say about thyroid testing:

1. Thyroid testing should be considered in any dog with recurrent seizures. Although the relationship between hypothyroidism and recurrent seizures is unclear, thyroid testing is relatively inexpensive and carries little risk to the patient.
CANINE THYROID DISEASE

CANINE AUTOIMMUNE THYROID DISEASE

2. if you live within 5 minutes of a 24 hour emergency veterinary clinic and the dog is never more than five minutes away from the clinic you can forgo the next bit of advice if this is not the case which probably constitures nearly every single case of epilepsy in dogs,. is insist the vet provide you a perscription of Liquid vallium ( diazapam) and a syringe to administer it rectally to the dog. If not find another vet who will. It could save its life. even if the dog has no history of cluster siezures or Status Siezure it only takes one siezure lasting more than 10 minutes.

STATUS EPILEPTICUS AND CLUSTER SEIZURES
Status Epilepticus:A life threatening situation that is defined as a seizure lasting 5 to 10 minutes or even 20 minutes, which is an estimation of the duration necessary to cause brain damage. However, treatment needs to begin well before 20 minutes has elapsed. A more practical definition of Status is a continuous seizure lasting at least 5 minutes, or two or more discrete seizures without full recovery of consciousness between seizures lasting at least 5 minutes or more.


http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/rectal_valium.htmHOME TREATMENT WITH RECTAL DIAZEPAM FOR CLUSTER SEIZURES IN DOGS


No one should have to scramble to get to their regular vet on a sunday morning working through the calling service because the nearest emergency v et is more than 30 minutes away Homeing and pray while your dirving you can get through to the vet and he is available only to lose the od in the end while on the ride.

It only takes one Status siezure. and they can and do occur without prior history.



 

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Mine was not as serious, she did have grand mal seizures but not frequently enough to be put on medication. On thing I did notice was that while I had her on a homemade diet her seizures seemed to be much less frequent. I later learned that very low carbohydrate/high fat diets are often used to help control epilepsy in children. Although the siezures did seem to be harder on her as time went on, she lived to 12 1/2 without needing treatment.

It really depends on the individual dog, so you need to work with your vet to determine whether and what kind of medication is necessary. You may also want to Google (dog epilepsy diet) for more information.

To reassure you somewhat, I also had a boyfriend that was epileptic, he assured me that he felt nothing and was quite unaware during a seizure, so it was not painful at all, just horrible to watch.
 

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he assured me that he felt nothing and was quite unaware during a seizure
the problem is not the siezure itself but the post ictal phase that can las a day or more for some dog where they are dioriented sometime blind etc. FWIW mine epilepsy was never undercontrol longest she when between siezures was 66 day and that was between seizure 1 and 2 , every two week was average with the vast majority occuring on Thursday. Ususal occured durring sleep or just waking. the wierd thing looking back is she is the only dog that I have ever owned that did not manifest signs of dreaming. With ever increasing doses of both KBr (potassium bromide) and Phenobarbitol to teriputic maximiums, The Pheno nearly distroyed her liver, She had to be removed completely off it and it was fear she could have eith a status or cluster siezure so sh end up neairly 3 week in a vet hospital constantly monitored. Never had a siezure. two month later, on A sunday Morning she had a staus Siezure and never recovered Diagnosed at 1 1/2 diead at ~ 2 1/2
 

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Mikey, that's so heartbreaking...what a sad story, and ending for your beautiful basset.
 

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the problem is not the siezure itself but the post ictal phase that can las a day or more for some dog where they are dioriented sometime blind etc.
Yes, this is the part that became harder on her over time, but never as long as that - probably because she didn't have that many. But it seemed to frighten/stress her more in later years.
 

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Mikey, that's so heartbreaking...what a sad story, and ending for your beautiful basset.
true but at the same time if it did not happen I would not have had toughnutter in my life so that is the nature of life.

Unfortunately for mine it was about 24 hour phase. don't think she was blind but she was disoreinted and confused back in the day Control was consider 1 or fewer siezures every 90 days now as more is learn that each siezure the dog has reduce the threshold for having another that has be move to 1 every 6 month Some dog never require medication, some dog do great on it Unfortunatly Snuggie was one of those dog niether of those occured.
 

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In Myrtle's case I suspect that the epilepsy was caused by the myleogram she had when she went down with a disc injury, as that is a potential side effect and they started shortly after. Every dog I've owned since then is descended from her and I haven't had a single case, nor any reported to me from puppy people.
 
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