Chris and Tyler (English Springer Spaniel)
My name is Chris Hibbard. My husband, Neal, and I live in Dallas, Texas, and I am a paralegal in a commercial real estate brokerage firm. I became involved with the Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels because of my English Springer Spaniel, Tyler, a black and white bench-bred Springer who came home to be our boy in March 1999, when he was 9 weeks old.
Tyler had his first seizures in mid-November 2001. Tylerís seizures are focal type and are pretty mild, however, he tends to cluster so they can be frightening. Of course, our first experience with seizures happened on a weekend and, while they were certainly not a situation warranting a trip to the emergency vet, I was very worried.
That weekend, I searched the web for answers (I didnít know what a ďfocalĒ was, but I had a nagging suspicion that what was happening to my dog was some kind of seizure) and found several helpful websites, the most impressive being the Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angelsí. By the time Tyler and I showed up at our vetís on Monday morning, I had a wealth of information about epilepsy and focals and I was able to discuss the condition and possible courses of action with my vet in an intelligent manner.
I had also submitted Tylerís story and my concerns to the Guardian Angels through EpilepsyAnswers and was additionally impressed with the speed that Guardian Angel Marianne answered my inquiry, and how informative yet calming her answer was. Marianneís correspondence with me during that early time was thorough and supportive and eased my worst concerns and helped to empower me to participate as a partner with my vet in Tylerís treatment.
Because Tylerís seizures come in clusters, my vet, in consultation with a veterinary neurologist, immediately placed Tyler on 60 mg Phenobarbital twice per day. From November through March of this year, Tyler continued to have focals (head nodding) once or twice a month, each time a cluster of 4 to 6 seizures, each lasting about a minute or so. In mid-March, my vet increased Tylerís Pb to 100mg twice per day. At about the same time in March, Dr. Dodds diagnosed Tyler with hypothyroidism and he now also takes .4 mg of Thyroxine twice per day. Tyler continues to take Phenobarbital and Thyroxine and has not had any seizure activity since April 2002.
While my personal experience with epilepsy may be limited to Tylerís focal-type seizures, my goal is to offer the type of support I was so lucky to receive from the Canine Epilepsy Guardian Angels: information, empathy, panic-reduction, encouragement, and applause and a happy dance when weíre successful in helping someone reduce their dogís seizure activity. A good day for me is when Iíve helped someone cope with their dogís seizures; and GREAT day is when I know Iíve helped the dog.
ďHe is your friend, your partner, your
defender, your dog.