Harry and Kobi:  Kobi is a German Shepherd Dog who is 6 years old and weighs 125 pounds and is a Great Guy!

Medication and food:  180 mg of Phenobarbital and 1.0 mg Thyrosin twice a day and 3400 mg of Potassium Bromide once a day.  Canadae with Cottage Cheese and canned salmon.  Vitamin C, B, E and Omega 3 Fatty Fish Oil.


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Hope and Peabody:  Peabody is a three year old dachshund. Pea had his first seizure October 6th and has had four since then - one every three weeks. Mostly his seizures are grand mal, though he did have one focal seizure. His last seizure was a cluster seizure - his first cluster. Pea takes 30 mg. of Phenobarbital twice a day. He also has hypothyroidism, for which he takes 0.1 mg of Thyrosyn twice a day. He eats Hill's r/d prescription diet because he is overweight.

He is the sweetest dog in the world. His favorite things are a stuffed pink bunny and to chase the remote control car!


Jan and True:  True has had a rough go of life so far. He has had surgery on both hips to correct hip dysplasia and 3 operations to remove masses from a rare skin disease.
He had his first seizure 2 weeks after his second birthday but I didn't recognize it as a seizure right away. He had 2 more before I realized what was going on.
A neurosurgeon diagnosed him as having idiopathic epilepsy and he had been on Kbr ever since. We have gotten decent control with Kbr. He has only had 5 seizures in the year that he has had therapeutic levels of Kbr in his system. (with 6 seizures occurring in the 8 weeks before)
True has very specific triggers which are usually someone coming to the door while he is sleeping. Needless to say we have a DO NOT KNOCK ON DOOR sign.
He eats Solid Gold hundenflocken with cranberries and pumpkin with every meal. He gets 3.75mls of Kbr daily(300mg/ml) along with 1000 mg of taurine and glucosamine/chondroitin supplement for his joints.


Janenne and Sam (15 m/o neutered German Shorthaired Pointer):  With the exception of a barely visible small blaze of white on his chest, he is solid liver (chocolate) in colour, with golden coloured eyes.

Epilepsy introduced itself to Sam when he was 8 months old with a grand mal seizure in the early hours of one morning. Our vet advised that one isolated incident did not call for any action and advised a 'wait and see' approach. Sam continued to have grand mal seizures approximately every 2-3 weeks. Due mainly to the fact that he considered one seizure a month "good control" and because Sam came close to that, the vet was still reluctant to act, stating "Anti-Epilepsy Drugs could cause permanent and irreversible liver damage which could have a far more devastating effect than a seizure every so often."

At this point we became involved with Guardian Angels through Mary Jane and Maggie, whose patience and guidance to gain some understanding of Canine Epilepsy we could not have done without. [Thank you Mary Jane, you are a Guardian Angel!]

We live in Kaikoura, a small tourist town situated on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island. Our very location has made coming to grips with Sam's epilepsy a little more difficult by its remoteness.

After two unsuccessful and expensive attempts to get the Thyroid 6 Panel test run (we know now, it is not available in its entirety in NZ), and spending time researching how to get serum sent to Dr. Dodds for diagnostics (protocol, etc.), we were on the brink of proceeding when Sam stopped having seizures. For over three months he had no seizure activity...then out of the blue one day, another one came. It has been nearly four weeks since that last grand mal and we are now back to where we were after the very first seizure...waiting to see if they reoccur with any regularity.

Sam is not on any medication. His diet includes a combination of processed pet foods and home-cooked meals and treats.

A favourite almost daily activity for Sam is playing at the beach. We have a great place to go, where a stream runs from a snowy mountain backdrop into the Pacific Ocean, and although we can see where others have been, we nearly always have this place to ourselves. He loves fetching the stick, playing in the water and running helter skelter along the sand at the water's edge.

He is very intelligent (a biased opinion I know, but it's true!) and eager to please. Coupled with his handsome good looks and lovely nature, these qualities make him not only a special dog...He's my best friend!


Janet and Luke:  Luke is an 8 year old German Shepherd Dog, who has owned me since I went to see his litter when they were six weeks old.   I was playing with all the puppies, trying to make a decision.   I have heard variations on this from many dog people, but Luke certainly chose me.    He crawled into my lap and fell asleep.   Not wanting to wake this precious little bundle, I sat on the floor and chatted with his breeders ... for several hours.   Needless to say he came home with me several weeks later!
Over the years many people have told me that Luke knew right off he was going to need a very special person to care for him, and that is why I was chosen.   You see, Luke is a cancer survivor.    A week before his third birthday he was diagnosed with lymphosarcoma.   I was heavily involved in the show scene at the time, and the immediate advice of all my so called friends was to put him to sleep and get another dog.    I was infuriated and outraged, immediately jettisoned everyone from my life who was not going to be supportive of my decision to attempt to treat Luke's cancer, realizing I needed only positive energy around us, and no negativity.   I was scared to death and had to be strong for him.   Thankfully, the lymphosarcoma was diagnosed early and responded to chemotherapy.   Luke went into remission after his first chemo treatment (November, 1999) and has stayed there.   We continued the chemo for three years after, gradually spacing out the treatments.    My vet had told me that even with chemo, most dogs diagnosed with lymphosarcoma will survive less than a year.   Only twenty percent would live beyond that.   Well I was determined Luke would be in that twenty percent!   
When Luke was five years old he started to have seizures.    Actually I believe he might have had a few when he was younger (came home and found the now telltale signs) but I didn't know much about epilepsy, and was very caught up in fighting the cancer.   The epilepsy has given us more grief than the cancer ever did, is more disruptive to our lives (I do recognize I got very very lucky with the cancer, don't get me wrong!).    The worst that we dealt with while going through chemotherapy was a bit of diarrhea two to three days after a treatment, and at one point on one of the drugs his coat thinned out.   The drugs are all the same ones used for chemotherapy in humans, and the protocol for canine oncology and human oncology is pretty identical, except that dogs really do not suffer the way people do.    I was extremely concerned about putting him through the torment I have unfortunately observed family members and friends going through chemo suffering to try to save his life.   At least the human understands the process and can be somewhat prepared, and is making their own decision.   My vet told me before we began treatment that dogs undergoing chemo tend not to suffer the way people do.   Thankfully he was correct.   No nausea, no fatigue, etc., he ate and played every day.   As a matter of fact we would go outside and have our normal morning came of catch before we went for chemo, and as soon as he got home we would do it again, then he would go inside and eat his dinner.
Although I was trying my best to remain optimistic, I was aware that I could lose him at any time, even after he went into remission I lived with the fear of him coming out of remission.   The only thing I could do was resolve to make every day a "happy day" for him.   And I did ... I spoiled him rotten, rationalizing that I could lose him at any time, so I was going to let him do and have whatever he wanted.    And I did whatever he wanted!    So now I have a 120 pound spoiled brat on my hands and I admit its my fault, but I don't mind one bit!
When Luke started to have seizures on a regular basis, in the beginning it was several a week.   Then we spaced out to 23-26 days.   Unfortunately he did progress to clusters.    With the wonderful advice and support I have received from Joanne and Laurie and others on the list, at present I feel we are doing well, with the addition of a bedtime snack, Melatonin and Taurine he is making it at least 45 days.   At one point we got 160 days ... his last seizure free streak was 75 days.   
Cancer is no longer a death sentence, for dogs as well as humans!   Dogs do respond to chemotherapy and other related treatments.    Yes, it is a huge financial commitment and I am not doing to deny that was very difficult.   I am a single working woman with a mortgage, etc.   Thank goodness vets take credit cards.   But I would never have forgiven myself if I had not given my best friend and the love of my life every chance.   Even if it did not work out as well as it did, I would have been at peace because I tried for him.    I believe Luke is living a good life, interrupted by the seizures, but every day he looks at me and conveys to me the love he has for me and the joy he feels in being here, with me.   That is all I need!


Jeff and Duffy:  Duffy was born at Lake Sunnyside, NY on the first day of Summer, June 21, 1986.  He was a late barker and never has gotten it right, even with lessons.  However, he makes up for quality with quantity.  He has a sheltie's typical interest in everything that's going on and in seeing that it's all done right!  He doesn't seem to know that shelties are supposed to be "aloof", but I've never met a sheltie who was aloof.  Maybe the right word is dignified.  Whatever it is, it doesn't keep him from being a super-friendly, affectionate, good-natured little guy.

His first seizure occurred when he was 13, so epilepsy would seem to be out of the running for the cause.  To date we haven't been able to find the cause, though we are currently testing for hypothyroidism.  Phenobarbital has kept the seizure rate at one or two a month, but we're hoping for better control with potassium bromide.  He's on Hill's d/d egg and rice to cope with allergies and he also likes potatoes and some cooked vegetables.  He also gets vitamins and milk thistle to protect his liver from the Phenobarbital.

Duffy is kind of vain and looks at himself a lot in the full-length mirror.  I think this is one of his favorite pictures.  He's looking out the window for something to (sort of) bark at. 


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