Mary and Scout:  Scout is a Chesapeake Bay Retriever.  She was born 4/28/95 and her seizures began in October of 1998 with about 7 seizures in a 3-day period; at that time she was already competing in agility, obedience and doing some tracking. January 8,1999, she had about 9 in one day with at the end of the day coming in 1 hour intervals. That night she was taken to the Emergency Clinic and Phenobarbital was begun at 120 mg BID. The next day while at the vet's she went into status. By the time she was again under control she was totally blind and could only move her head. She spent a week at the emergency vet at nights and my vet during the day. During this week I spent much time on the boards and learned a lot from these wonderful people. I had Scout's full panel thyroid run and she was hypothyroid so began 0.5mg Soloxine BID. In about February, I added KBr to her medications. All my vets felt that it was not a question of when, but how severe would her next seizures be - so I aggressively added medications. Scout is quickly approaching 3 years seizure free.

I have been blessed that Scout has had a happy and active post seizure life.


Medications: 120mg PB BID; 400mg KBr BID; 0.5mg Soloxine BID.

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Matt and Sophie:  Sophie is 14 years old.  Her seizures started at age 10.  Her seizures currently average a cluster of 3-12  seizures every 6-8 weeks but she has now gone 11 weeks since her last cluster. Seizure clusters can last from 1 to 3 days and are regular as clock-work once they begin, occurring usually once every 3 hours but sometimes as frequently as every hour (often on the hour!)

Food: commercial dog food, fruit (especially apples), vegetables, pasta, cooked meat, raw eggs, full cream cows milk.

Meds:  vet prescribed Phenobarbital sold as "Epiphen" (50 milligrams per day in one morning dose with food) and 2 squirts of potassium bromide sold as "Bromapex" on food in morning.  When seizures occur we administer valium sold as "Diazepam" in 5 milligram tablets, one after each seizure.  Also has one 50 milligram tablet of diethylcarbamazine citrate for heart worm prevention - also with morning meal.

Maureen and Cutter (a.k.a, Cutter-Butter, Butter, Budderball, Buddy)

Cutter came to me in July of 2001 at three years of age. I’ve had Rottweilers for almost 20 years, and am friends with his breeder. He was being shown regularly and had some AKC points toward his championship, and she felt he would be a good match for me and my Dinah (three year old female Rottweiler). He was. He is. After the first six months of establishing pack order, we became a family.

On November 16, 2002, I awoke to Cutter having what seemed like a deep doggie dream. I had myself mostly convinced that’s all it was until it happened again 15 days later. We did all the routine blood tests after the second one (and the vet gave him his rabies shot that day too – aarrgghh!), and of course they came back normal. Wait and watch. Five weeks later he had another seizure. I found the GA website and began educating myself. We did a 6 panel thyroid test (my skeptical vet thinking “it’s her money”). The results came back “normal” but I faxed them to Dr. Dodds anyway. Dr. Dodds felt two readings were low and recommended Soloxine, so my unenthusiastic vet scripted out the Soloxine. Next we consulted a neurologist, Dr. Doom (not really his name, but it might as well have been – grim and nervous around my extremely friendly Butter). He recommended an MRI, said Cutter likely had a brain tumor or cancer, and reluctantly put him on potassium bromide (I requested the bromide instead of the Phenobarbital that Dr. Doom wanted to prescribe). Cutter didn’t handle the potassium bromide (KBr) very well, becoming quite ill within 10 days. I found out from the Guardian Angels that the dose the vet and the neurologist prescribed (and insisted was correct) was roughly three times the recommended dose for a dog Cutter’s size. Cutter can no longer tolerate KBr. We switched to Phenobarbital and a new vet.

After the initial drunken sailor ataxia, the Phenobarbital gave great control for almost three months, when suddenly the ataxia was back. With my holistic vet’s help I tried to determine the reason for the ataxia and worried constantly about broken legs, dislocated hips and ACL injuries as Cutter wobbled around like Capt. Jack Sparrow. We tried to reduce the Phenobarbital and used acupuncture and Chinese herbs. The ataxia went away but the seizures were happening regularly. I’ve slowly increased his Phenobarbital to the dose it was when we had such good control (1 grain BID). No ataxia yet but it’s only been a week. Cutter is on the home cooked diet with ground beef, which he loves, and also takes melatonin at night before bed, with a snack. He thinks this is pretty great. Dinah gets a snack too of course.

Cutter is the friendliest dog I think I’ve ever had – he loves people and other dogs of all sizes (though other dogs usually want to attack him!) as well as my geriatric kitty and the flock of chickens out back. He likes the neighbor’s sheep too and especially those raisins they leave close to the fence for him. As handsome as he is he’s no longer being shown, as the excitement of dog shows seems to trigger seizures the next day. Cutter loved to go to dog shows and visit, schmoozing with any human available. He wasn’t too fond of the breed ring itself – the judge gets a little too friendly “back there” and Cutter would trot s-l-o-w-l-y around the ring with his rump tucked. Not an attractive sight. (Take him for a walk though and you’d best be a marathon contender – his effortless flying trot is hard to keep up with!)

We’re still working on getting the medications balanced and the seizures under control, and I feel certain that we will. The Guardian Angels have helped immensely with treatment protocol, knowledge, AND understanding of what it’s like to go through this – that alone is gold!

Cutter continues to be the cutest dog in the Northwest!

Melissa and Tucker:  Tucker is a neutered, smooth-coated, Jack Russell Terrier who turned 5 in March 2001.  He experienced his first seizure in October, 1997.  All of his seizures have been "grand mal"; single episodes, with one exception when he had 2 seizures in a 20-minute period.

Medications and Food:  Since being diagnosed hypothyroid in December, 1998, Tucker has been on Soloxine twice a day.  He is also currently on Potassium Bromide (once daily) and Phenobarbital (twice daily).  Since adding/changing diet, drugs, etc. the number of seizures he has experienced has been significantly reduced - he had 5 seizures in 2000.  He is currently on Nature's Recipe diet and boiled chicken, Milk Thistle and all natural premium USA rawhide treats.  In 2000 he switched to rabies vaccinations only

Michelle and Dayshus:  Dayshus is a 3 year old Yellow Lab mix who picked us at the Humane Society when she was 8 weeks old.  She was sweet and cuddly and got along with everyone at the house.  Sadly, she became critically ill at 12 weeks of age with immune mediated arthritis.  We nearly lost her.  After nursing her back to health (a miracle) she thrived as a healthy puppy.  Dayshus has an older brother named "Bo" a black spaniel mix who picked us at the same Humane Society a year and a half earlier.  As you can see, together they are "Bo-Dayshus!!!".
Dayshus had her first Grand Mal Seizure when she was about a year and a half old.  It happened in the middle of the night and terrified us.  We waited to see if it was just something that she ingested but as time went by, there were more Grand Mal Seizures.  Devastated we found the Guardian Angels.  Dayshus is on Phenobarbital and has a diet with no preservatives.  We have liquid Valium on hand.
We cherish each day that Dayshus is in our lives.  We don't know what the future will bring, but today we have a happy, healthy, loving dog.

MissyEcho and Spirit:   Spirit was born August 8th, 2000, her seizures began in July 2001.  Just one isolated Grande Mal.  This continued about once a month through October, & then the clustering began.  Each episode was logged, & although I discussed this with our dear friend & Vet, Dr Joan, she was never actually put on meds or treated until December 2001 when she had her first status episode. 

At this time she is on 15mg PB in the morning, & afternoon, & 30 mg @ night, also, 200mg of KBr BID {weight now 21#}.  She is on Dr Dodd's liver cleansing diet, Milk Thistle, Rescue Remedy & Melatonin, along with the rectal/oral valium protocol, tho praises be, we have not had to use it in over two weeks, & then it was due to reducing her Phenobarbital.

The improvement over the last two weeks is wonderful, tho she is still a bit ataxic.. having trouble getting her rear end to cooperate..she has lost 1.5 excess #, & lost her 'paunch'.


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