WHAT TO DO AFTER A SEIZURE
In this section, the Guardian Angels, share the things that they do to help their epi's during the period of time after a seizure (Post Ictal period) but before their pup is back to normal. It includes ways to make the post ictal period less stressful for their epi's and what they do to prevent their pup from having a cluster of seizures.
Stay calm; now is not the time to run around madly. Your dog needs your reassurance. If cleaning up needs to be done, and there are enough family members around to help, it should be done quietly, with a minimum of disturbance to the dog. Give your dog H„agen Dazs vanilla ice cream, as soon as he is alert enough to safely swallow, even if he's not yet sitting upright.
As soon as he can sit up, and is totally alert, give him a meal of his regular food. If your dog likes to pace after a seizure, if you can 'catch' him before he begins that, and give him at least the ice cream, that should help with the pacing.
* These next things should be done after the post-ictal period is over, and the dog seems recovered. Before that, especially if you are a one-person family or you're the only one at home, sit quietly with your dog, talking reassuringly, singing or humming, stroking, and so on. Everything else can wait.
Put away your medication 'box', noting if you need replacement meds. Wash any towels used, so they are again ready. Make a complete entry to your seizure log, noting date, day, time of day, length of seizure as accurately as you can estimate, and so on.. If necessary, call your vet to order replacement meds, to advise him if something unusual has occurred, etc. Take a deep breath, and relax yourself.
Dude's seizures have all been approximately 3 to 4 minutes in length, and he then has a post-ictal period of about 15 minutes, during which time I stay by his side, still stroking him and speaking in the most reassuring voice I can muster. I found that if I leave his side during this time, even for a few seconds, he will try to struggle to his feet and lurch and stumble, so we stay loosely snuggled for 30 minutes or so to be safe. In the meantime, his "sister" Murphy looks on with an extremely concerned look on her face. This is the only time she ever exhibits any concern for Dude; her typical attitude toward him is one of mild disdain (smile).
Because Dude has never had a cluster seizure event, I feel that it is safe and good for him to have a small snack. He particularly enjoys plain yogurt with a bit of honey mixed in, fed to him on a spoon. After his snack, he is typically ready to annoy his sister Murphy once more.
To be honest the worst thing I do is follow my kids around thinking they are going to have another one right away. I drive them and everyone else crazy...thankfully mommy's post-ictal period only lasts a few days. :-)
I also go over my seizure log and try to find something that may have brought on this round of seizures. I also make sure everything is back to where it belongs just incase there is a "next time" and I start the count again...day 1
The one thing that I have found to be very helpful to Irie during her post-ictal phase is singing. Irie is always completely exhausted following a seizure and she is also terrified to go to sleep. Once she has calmed down a little I pull her up onto my lap and I sing her lullabies. I stroke her and rub her ears while I sing and I keep on doing it until she falls asleep. Not so easy holding a 54 lb pup on your lap when they dont want to sleep but Irie always calms right down and snuggles up to me. The only thing she loves more is to have her daddy hold her and lay down on her bed with her. We always hold Irie during a seizure and talk soothingly to her. We remind her of how much we love her and that things will be better soon.
What to do after a seizure? Continue talking to them. I would administer the rectal and oral valium protocol. Also, after my Saint Bernard was up and conscious of his actions and surroundings, I would let him have 2 Tablespoons of vanilla ice cream and some water. What my Mozart loved after a seizure is a back rub. I would rub out his muscles on his back and legs because of the soreness from the seizures.
After Baxter has rested for 15 minutes, he is back to normal and we go back to our normal lives. He does not require any special treatment. However, if I were to feed him right after a seizure, he would vomit his food so feeding is out of the question for him.
After a seizure Tahoe usually has an intense post-ictal. He can be into everything and is very clumsy. I try to isolate him to one room where he has enough room to pace and cannot get into anything. I give him 2 tablespoons of All Natural Vanilla Ice Cream, with some Bach's Rescue Remedy on top. I've given him his dose of rectal valium and I either give him his dose of oral valium in a small piece of bread or in the ice cream. He always is hungry after a seizure so he gets a small bowl of kibble and all the water he wants. Then the pacing begins. The valium makes him slightly hyper at first but after subsequent doses he will settle down and sleep if I can get him to lay down, which usually involves me lying next to him.
We make sure he's steady enough to walk without falling down the stairs and we give him a tablespoon of H„agen Dazs vanilla ice cream with a few drops of Rescue Remedy on it. We watch him carefully for a day to make sure it doesn't happen again. Leo does not have cluster seizures. He has one seizure and that is it until the next time.
We usually try to keep Dixie quiet, and most of the time, she does not require it. I try to think of what may have triggered the seizure, if anything, (i.e. fatigue), and make note to try to not let it happen again.
After a seizure I give Sam 2 TBSP all natural vanilla ice cream and some Rescue Remedy. The other pups get some too, just because they have been so good! Sam tends to have a very mild post-ictal stage. She acts like she has done something wrong and is quite clingy. I reassure her and just try to keep her quiet. I also watch her very closely for the first hour. A few times she has had a second seizure within ten minutes of the first, and if that happens I am a lot more concerned and start to monitor her temperature. She cools easily with cool water on her paws (that is how she cools herself on a hot day!) as long as I start it before the temperature gets too high. If that happens I know I need to cool more than just her paws, but so far I have not had to.
What do I do after Zak has a seizure--that is a good question. I do everything I can think of. I would stand on my head, if I thought it would help. <grin> I try to stay calm and keep the house as quiet as possible. I've gotten the rectal valium in him as quickly as I can and as soon as Zak comes around enough I give him an oral valium tablet, an extra dose of Pb, a couple of tablespoons of all natural vanilla ice cream topped with several drops of Rescue Remedy. I also fix him a little snack of chopped up chicken breast (I keep a plastic bag in the freezer for just these occasions). By this time Zak is usually ready to go outside to potty. I have learned to always put a lease on Zak, even to take him outside in our fenced backyard, as Zak tends to want to wander and be temporarily blind and without a leash he can get places in the yard where I can't see him. Zak post-ictal is very mild compared to some of the pups. For several hours after a seizure Zak will be restless and will wander thru the house--I will keep a leash on Zak even when he is in the house, as we have an open staircase and an open deck that Zak could fall from. If I keep the leash on him and keep him close to me or lay down with him, he will usually rest quietly until his post-ictal passes.
As soon as the seizure subsided, we would administer the rectal valium.
Without the valium, Harley would have severe clusters. Harley was usually
temporarily blind after a seizure, so as soon as he was able to safely swallow,
we would hold a small bowl with a tablespoon of softened all-natural
vanilla ice cream (and a drop of Rescue Remedy) in. He would smell it and begin
to lap it up. We would then feed him a full meal of kibble, which he would
usually eat most of. After he'd eat, we would take him outside so that he could
pace without walls & furniture to run into. Eventually, he'd be stable enough to
bring inside and we would
The next day, I would fill out our seizure log with the events of the prior day, what the weather was like, what time the seizure occurred, and anything that might be unusual. I would also record how long the seizure lasted and if he had multiple seizures.
When the seizure was over I would give Jaff the ice cream and Rescue Remedy and some kibble for once he was totally recovered.
I would rub his legs and try and get them to relax and just talk to him soothingly until the panting stopped. If I felt that Jaff needed to go to the bathroom, we would very carefully make our way down the stairs on leash. I always had a leash hanging on the bedroom door.
Jaff would usually fall deeply asleep after the cluster was over. I would make sure I had all the details for my journal and would type them up the next day. Once your dog relaxes and possibly sleeps, you must try and relax. Even if you canít fall back asleep just do some breathing exercises and lay in bed.
Once the seizure is over it is time to give Tasha a teaspoon of Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream with Rescue Remedy on top. This is Tasha's favorite part, and mine too! It means that we have successfully stopped her seizure and are stabilizing her blood sugar. Next its little bit of food every 1/2 hour and one Valium tab, just for good measure. Oral Valium can break the cluster seizures or lessen the frequency and intensity of them. Tasha has never clustered, but there could always be a first time, so I figure its better to be safe than sorry. Next I update our Seizure Journal. This is where I keep a record of the times and dates of Tasha's seizures and the medications that she is on. And finally, with a high strung Jack Russell who is even more high strung on Valium, we play ball and whatever else she wants for the next couple of hours!
Molly recovers quickly from her seizures and is usually up before I can administer the rectal Valium, but I immediately give her oral Valium in a little ball of sweet potato from her home cooking to prevent more seizures. I give her some all natural ice cream to bring her blood sugar back up. Because she can smell both of these, she eagerly eats them even if she is temporarily blind. I then give her a full meal in small portions because she is ravenously hungry. I get out the seizure log and note the date, time and duration of the seizure as well as how much medication was given and whether there were any activities or weather changes that might have contributed to the seizure. I note the date on my wall calendar as well as mark the date when I might expect the next one. If Molly clusters, it is usually hours or a day later, so I calmly go around the house removing plants from the plant stands, wrapping the cast iron wood stove in a blanket and otherwise making sure everything is safely padded in case Molly seizes into it. I also place a thick rubber mat over the cement at the base of our outside steps and make sure the interior steps are gated. I put trails of throw rugs throughout the house so Molly can more easily walk on the hardwood floors when the cumulative doses of Valium affect her.