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I would welcome input, Dublin had a seizure about an hour ago....UPDATE

Dub has epilepsy. He has had 3 more seizures since last night. We started him on the pheno this morning and so far not so great but we are hoping. The vet is concerned because he is clustering but he is settled now and we will take him to the hospital overnight if things get bad. Such a gorgous dog, such a tragic turn of events the past two weeks. I wish things were how there were before but I can't go back now. I didn't think it would progress this fast.

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Hi Susan

I wanted to send you a private message, but am not able to do so on your page, don't know why. I also have an Irish Setter who is Epileptic and has had tummy problems, including bloat &and torsion, so know exactly how you are feeling and what you are going through. I have written articles about my experiences and would like to share them with you. They are too long to print here, but if you let me know your e-mail address I will send them by return. In the mean time, please hang in there, it is not necessarily all doom and gloom, the medication these days can do marvellous things and once stabilised, Dublin can be back to his old self again. Please contact me.
Thinkig of you,
Michelle
michelle thats really nice of you to want to share your experiences with susan,perhaps you can alleviate any fears she has of trying the medication thats on offer for dublin and to help her through this difficult time.
I hope to be able to give her some hope and share my own experiences. The medication can make them very tired and un co-ordinated, but over several weeks the body adjusts to the medication and the dog returns to normal. It is definitely worth persevering. The idea of the medication is that hopefully it will reduce the frequency and severity of the seizures.

Geordie, my beautiful 7 yr old went through a very bad patch last year after my other dog, Fergus, his father, died very suddenly. They were devoted to each other and Geordie was very distressed by Fergus's death. He was so il that I did seriously consider having him put to sleep, but felt I had cover every option available first, as I feel that when we take these lovely dogs into our lives we owe them a duty of care to do everything we can for them.. I'm so pleased I did, as he is now back to how he was before and it's wonderful to see, he is so full of life and energy once more and he is stable. To see him you would never believe that he had been so ill,he has loads of coat, it gleams and he is so full of life and vitality he is a joy to behold. If I had let him go and then discovered that there was something that could have been done to help him I would never have forgiven myself.
glad you had a happy outcome and hopefully this will happen with dublin.
I, too, feel that we owe them the best life we can provide. After all, they love us unconditionally, would give their lives for us...the least we can do is love them back by giving them good food, good housing, lots of attention and the best-quality medical care that we can find. I recently lost my 13 1/2 year old, Killeen, and my 15-yr old, Nellie, to pneumonia...after 35 days of intensive care at Tufts Univ. vet school. The bill was $30,000 and I'll be paying on it for years but I couldn't put a price tag on life. We had such hope...
I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, it's never easy, no matter how old they are, but you can take comfort in the fact that you know you did everything you could for them both and they will have known how loved they were. Like you, when my boys are ill the coat of getting them better doesn't come into it. They get the care they need and I worry about paying the bill later! Remember all the good times you shared with Killeen and Nellie.
Best wishes,
Michelle
Hi Michelle I can't figure out how to private message you either. I am not sure I should post my email addy on a public forum! Here is where I am at after two day with minimal sleep and way to many tears and two vets visits. I dropped off a stool sample to be looked at. His blood work yesterday was all normal.I booked an appointment with a vet neuorlogist but can't get in for a week and a half. I have a presciption for peno barbitol (spelled wrong sorry) and will fill it if needed even though my vet wanted me to start today. He had a threw up bile again over night but did eat normally by lunch so that is a good sign for him. I found out this morning from his breeder that his grandfather had epilepsy. She has not heard any cases from his first off spring and Dublin is the only one who has told her from his next generation. He didn't have his seizures till later in life and they were bad enough he was put down. I am open to putting him on the meds daily if he has another one that doesn't involve a bath! If that is our only trigger right now I wanted to try using valium an hour prior to a very stressful event for him. That is what I would like anyway. I can't even get my vet to discuss much which is why I am going to a specialist. I was told they don't rush to medicate unless they are very frequent. They do hurt the liver over time, so I am like lets stop, step back, and see how this plays out over the next couple weeks before I sedate him so soon. Anyway that is where my head is at right now on this. I could be all wrong. But I can't rush into something overnight like my vet wanted me to do. I like education and chatting with others who have gone thru. I feel better already now that you said your dog returned to normal after a few weeks on the meds.
Susan , if you need to message Michelle and vice versa you need to be on each other friends'list...
Hi Susan,

I think that not being able to send a private message has something to do with not yet being 'friends', but not to worry. My e-mail is hooley-o-flynn@supanet.com Please contact me here so that I can send you the information. You are right that the medication can damage the liver, which is why once the dog starts on it, the vet monitors the medication levels periodically to make sure that they are right. They also do a bile acid stimualtion test on the liver to check that things are ok. This one the dog loves. Tey take blood, thenfeed the dog his normal meal and then repeat the blood test 2 hours later. You are also right that they don't like to medicate the dog unless they are having seizures every 4 weeks. If the gap between is longer than that generally they don't medicate because of the risk of the side effects. In other words they don't medicate unless they absolutely have to. Sometimes though, even if the dog has seizures infrequently, if the seizures are not mild they will still medicate to help reduce the severity of the seizures. It is also very important with an epileptic dog to stay as calm as possible ALL the time, no matter what happens. Geordie wasn't put onto medication for quite a time as he was only having siezures every few months,. You are right to be cautious and I'm sure you will feel much better about it all once you have spoken to the specialist. Interesting to hear that Dublin's grandfather had Epilepsy. I'm not surprised to hear that Dublins parents generation didn't have Epilepsy, as in people it tends to skip generations and I think it may do the same in dogs as well.
best wishes,
Michelle
I am off to take a walk with him but will contact you later on. That is why I don't understand why my vet rushed to give me meds but he did have three in a week. But again if they are after a bath that makes me feel it is stress related and perhaps I can avoid that. I don't know. I am afraid to take him off to the woods right now for fear he will have one but I have to let him be a dog and live.
Hi Sue if this is repeat then apologies I am really busy with stuff at the moment. But. dont wrap Dublin in cotton wool. If you think stress brings this on then dont stress while i think of this has Dublin possibly been poisoned... antifreeze??

You have a very important role to perform here. Get past the awful sight of your dog in seizure. the elctronic impulses in the brain have simply "redirected" and like a circuit breaker the body systems have shut down very quicklly and the movement and reaction you see are just this! The machine juddering to a halt.

You have to watch him (a) to see that he doesnt hurt himself or (b) that he doesnt choke but also and more importantly.. what happpens when he fits. Try to look at Dublin objectively. does he fall, to the right, to the left. Is he "twitchy" between fits, do his pupils remain dilated. Is the head stretched back or to the side?

Epilepsy responds exceptionally well to hemoepathic meds but i understand if you want the vet to check and regulate him first. You may want to find out if he is stressing and use something like Skullcap and Vallerian to calm him.

It isnt a disaster and its amazing how quickly you recognise the signs. One word of warning if he has to be withut human company, dont leave him with another dog and best put him in a cage where he can feel safe.
Vivian that was because I had seen two within several hours and just felt overwhelmed and afraid. I would do it if I had to because his life wasn't enjoyable anymore. I know I wouldn't let him suffer. If you read I have been busy in the last two days (around other life problems) getting help and finding out what I must do to give him a good life. I have the prescription and I have an appt with a specialist. Cost is an issue, but it isn't the only factor here. The economy hit us hard. I do have to consider all things including costs. There is no price on our love for him. But losing your home to give your dog a few more years isn't an option either. I am not saying Dub is going to die, but he isn't well right now and it isn't the seizures I mean. He has seriously taken a bad turn with him stomach problems. And that also has to be addressed once we have him stablized.

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