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I've always loved dogs and when I moved out I wanted a companion to share my life with. What I didn't know I would be signing up for was having a "special needs" pet. Ollie is my world tho. His big eyes caught mine and it was love at first woof. The problem was, Ollie has a history of seizures. The rescue I got him from said his seizures were very "mild" and was only taking phenobarbital pill the morning and a Vitamin E pill at night. So I kept up with this regime for 2 months before taking him to our vet when the pills were running low. No seizures. Vet and I agreed for try and see how he was after stopping the meds since the dosage was low and basically ineffective. We went a whole month until Ollie had a seizure. It wasn't near mild. It was full blown thrashing and paddling, urination, foaming at the mouth. Terrifying. I was shook up. Thought it was stress. Two days later, Ollie had 3 seizures in 12 hours. Immediately called the vet and Ollie was put on taking pheno 2 times a day. We were good for a month. 3 days before we were to do a blood test to check his levels, Ollie had 5 more seizures over a weekend. So we tested his levels and increased the pheno to 1.5 pills in the morning and 1 pill at night. 2 weeks later Ollie has 4 seizures within12 hours so I rushed him to an emergency vet. He was stabilized and dosed up on new medication. Keppra was added to his daily regimen every 8 hours. The next day we had bloodwork done and it turned out he had Erlichia and Bebesia, 2 tick diseases. The vet said both of these disorders could possibly have neurological affects and so we treated him. He took minocylcine 2x a day for 30 days and had 2 imidicarb injections as well. (Needless to say I'm up to my nose in vet bill debt) and I thought maybe we fought this and defeated it.


It's been 5 weeks since Ollie's last bought of seizures. And just 2 hours ago he had a seizure. It wasn't too bad tho. Lasted maybe 40 seconds and he came around in 5 minutes or less.

I'm scared. Terrified. I'm too afraid to sleep. I look like death from trying to stay awake. I didn't know how hard this would be. I'm going crazy dealing with this alone and I wish I had help. I love my little boy so much but he's sick and I'm almost broke because of it. I can't sleep or eat normal and it's because of him. I feel like a terrible mom.
Does anyone have any advice on caring for a dog with seizures?!
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http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training-behavior/sudden-personality-change-disinterest-play-constantly-287146/#post3076706

Your dog is having other issues as well according to your thread above.
Where are you? I am in Texas, we have TAMU here which is an incredibly good resource, they have an excellent vet school. If you are close to a vet school they may be able to help with ideas and support.
They may know of support groups for dog owners whose dogs have seizures or other serious medical problems, or you might be able to find or start one online (or even start an ongoing support thread here for owners of dogs with medical issues). Mothers with children who have seizure disorders sleep and eat, you can too. It sounds like you need some emotional support.
Once the medication levels are stable his seizure activity should be less. You can get info from your vet on how to handle short seizures, often just calm and rest will be enough.
Once a good blood level of pheno is established any seizures he does have should be fairly mild and of short duration.


Be honest with your vet about the expenses. He/she might give you a price break, or even suggest a lower cost vet, there are big differences in what different vets charge and that includes the cost of the lab work. It is 100% OK to discuss costs or to check out the prices of other qualified vets. I don't know whether dog insurance plans would cover preexisting conditions but you might check it out.
 

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@Emrys25, I have been in your shoes. My dog Bear started having idiopathic grand mal seizures and even with medications, acupuncture, and several different vets involved, nothing worked. I was like you, sleepless and going broke. Within nine months, I wiped out my savings and put another $4000 on a credit card. It was to the point I was struggling to pay my bills and feed myself. I made the very difficult decision to euthanize him. On his last day, he'd had 10 seizures in a 24-hour period. I knew there was nothing more I could do to help. I felt guilty and thought I was a horrible dog owner for a long time. I miss him terribly and it's been 7 years; I know I did the right thing since he had no real quality of life.

Take care.
 

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http://www.dogforum.com/dog-training-behavior/sudden-personality-change-disinterest-play-constantly-287146/#post3076706

Your dog is having other issues as well according to your thread above.
Where are you? I am in Texas, we have TAMU here which is an incredibly good resource, they have an excellent vet school. If you are close to a vet school they may be able to help with ideas and support.
They may know of support groups for dog owners whose dogs have seizures or other serious medical problems, or you might be able to find or start one online (or even start an ongoing support thread here for owners of dogs with medical issues). Mothers with children who have seizure disorders sleep and eat, you can too. It sounds like you need some emotional support.
Once the medication levels are stable his seizure activity should be less. You can get info from your vet on how to handle short seizures, often just calm and rest will be enough.
Once a good blood level of pheno is established any seizures he does have should be fairly mild and of short duration.


Be honest with your vet about the expenses. He/she might give you a price break, or even suggest a lower cost vet, there are big differences in what different vets charge and that includes the cost of the lab work. It is 100% OK to discuss costs or to check out the prices of other qualified vets. I don't know whether dog insurance plans would cover preexisting conditions but you might check it out.
The personality change issue has been going away the past couple days. I have him on a strict eating schedule now since I noticed he is getting pudgy and round, and his interest in play has increased since I've started. So I'm no longer worried too much. We even were able to take a 30 minute walk on Saturday. The weather also wasn't as miserably hot for a few days and I honestly think that was what making him act off. We live in Phoenix and the heat here can get unbearable. Even being on the medication, my vet said having one seizure a month is something not to fret over. Anything over 2 is concerning.
Pet insurance is useless. I thought they would cover something for me, but they consider his seizures a pre-existing condition. (Even bough I don't understand how that works when he was a rescue dog that I got the insurance for right away???) they wouldn't even cover the cost of blood test or the imidicarb treatment he needed for the tick diseases.

I'm young and busy and honestly don't enjoy making calls around.
I did my research and thought I had honestly picked the best vet in my area. I feel as though anywhere I go will tell me the seizures are idiopathic. He's a great healthy dog otherwise. But my dark circles are so bad from fear of Ollie having clusters again. It was horrible seeing him like that and hours later acting like he owned the world...
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I'm young and busy and honestly don't enjoy making calls around.
I hope your dog is as seizure free and healthy as possible. If you are too busy to call and find alternatives, you will simply have to pay your current vet's rates, it is your decision and of course that is fine..
 

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I go will tell me the seizures are idiopathic. Posted via Mobile Device
That's the thing - seizures are very hard to pin down. You could have blood drawn, have brain scans done, and the vets still might not have a definitive answer.

There is an excellent book call "Canine Epilepsy" by Caroline Levine. Also, this website is a great source of info. canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com
 

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I am so sorry you're going through this and understand how all this feels. Shiloh started having seizures at 4 1/2 (he's 10 1/2 now) and I could write a novel on the different medications we've tried, the holistic approach, ER visits, and the other health issues he since developed. He's had accupuncture, aquapuncture, herbal meds, regular meds, 2 MRI's, a spinal tap, x-rays, ultra sounds and so much blood work done he could feed a coven of vampires for a year! He's considered refractory so he hasn't responded well to meds so we currently don't have good control.

I too am single and dealing with this on my own. It can feel really overwhelming at times especially when they have a cluster episode. For me, I just had to start focusing on the good days, which outweighed the bad, take victories where I could and thank God for what I have. Which can be really hard when they've had a cluster episode and the post ictal (after seizure) behavior is amped up and they keep you up for 4 nights. Makes me tired and cranky.

The expense can be horrible. Some meds can be purchased at a regular pharmacy. I use the goodrx prescription card (it's free and requires no personal information, there are other programs that do the same thing) and it saves me money. When he was on Keppra it saved a lot. Also, if you have a Sam's or Costco you may be able to get meds there cheaper.

You might consider adding Milk Thistle (supplement) to his diet. It can help protect the liver while he's on Phenobarbital. You may see side effects with the increase of his PB dosage like extreme hunger, unsteadiness on his feet etc. but those should go away in a few weeks.

There's a great Facebook group, Dogs with Epilepsy, that is really supportive and informative. Here's a link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Dogswithepilepsy1/

Wishing you all the best.
 
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