AND DIETS THAT HAVE WORKED FOR EPILEPTIC DOGS
||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.
|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!
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
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
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
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
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.