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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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Updates again. Dublin made it 5 weeks without a seizure and last week started having smaller ones. We raised his pheno dose and he started having clusters yesterday afternoon. He has seized now every 4-6 hours. Been up all night with him and had him at the vet first thing this morning. They have added potassium bromide tonight to try to stop this cycle. I am frightened using another drug, and near choked him to death when I gave him this liquid. I shot it too fast down his throat I guess and then cried when he started to wheeze badly from it. I feel like a moron but they sure didn't tell me how to give it to him. I just read at Guardian Angels that I can put it on his food or on bread. Duh.....I need instructions for everything! My fingers are crossed this will help him. My vet consulted with a neuro specialist to try to save on costs rather than me rushing to see one right away. But we might have too soon anyway if this doesn't work. Anyone out there have any advice I am all eyes! Thanks

Potassiumbromide is also available in capsules or tablets. To prevent clustering it is a good idea to give him one extra dose pheno right after the first seizure.
Hi Susan
I think you are doing the very best you can for Dublin - it is all a learning curve. Does he take the medicine well or does he resist? If the latter try giving a nice treat afterwards so at least he gets something nice. I am sure others on the site have advice for you. Hope Dublin stabilizes quickly and you both can chill out in the park
We saw the neuro today and he basically said that given his age, 2 and his breed that this doesn't require an MRI at this time. He said he see's irish setters and border collies more than other breeds that seem to have resistant to medication epilepsy. That was heart breaking. We aren't changing anything right now except he thought since Dub is STARVING all day and night long that maybe adding some rice to bulk up his food would help him. They do not want him to gain weight from all this. He wakes me every two hours all night long begging me to feed him. It is so hard to resist and I am worn out!
I have started giving him small like 1/4 cup meals throughout the day to try to spread out his amount of intake for the day. Nights are a big problem. You would think with that much medication in him he would zonk out right? Nope he sleeps great for the first half and then is up. He told me to keep taking him out and hike and run and play to keep him happy and to keep his weight in check. Lucky he is thin but he has gained already four lbs. And sad as this sounds it didn't seem that hopeful to us. Meaning he has seized so often and they feel if they can keep it to two a month it is a success in his case. And when we max out on how much we can give him, well I knew what he meant. We have to let him go then. So I will enjoy each day with him and live like it is our last each day so that we don't miss special times. I don't think he will be an epilepsy success story unfortunately. But anymore time we have together is worth it. I found soaking his meds in a wedge of bread was easiest to give it. And he took it fine.
Dear Susan,

I know what you are going trough now, but don't give up to soon! Setters are not resistant to medication, they just break down Pheno very quickly. You just started with the Potassiumbromide and it takes 4 months before the blood level reaches a steady state. How long is Dub on medication now? Two months?
My Ginger was clustering from the first day, almost 4 years ago. In the meantime she had about a 150 seizures but between the seizures she is a very happy dog! 150 sounds a lot, but the most where very mild and she recovered quickly.
That is music to my ears Astrid, thank you! I am so glad you told me this. I felt this neuro gave us no hope at all really. I hope to make a liar out of him then and we will have our crazy Dub with us for a long time. The one bright spot, I feel, is that when he does seize now some of them are way smaller in nature and we can talk him back within a minute. And he stopped urinating during them which is a god send. Easy to deal with.
Agree with Astrid on not giving up too soon. I know it seems like this has already been going on forever but in the spectrum of time it can take to find all you can to help Dub it is still very early. There are still many things you can try from meds to diet to chemical exposure (heartworm and flea/tick preventatives, home, garden, etc) to alternative therapies and you've got to give each time to see if they are having a positive effect. Remember that medically the ultimate goal is not to prevent our dogs from ever seizing again (although we can hope!) but to reduce frequency and duration while providing quality of life. It will take time to get a track record on Dub since he's just become an epi dog (hope your keeping a log!) and probably even longer to find the best solutions.

Potassium bromide if felt by some who have expertise in seizure disorders to be even better than phenobarbital for dogs who cluster. Hopefully the addition will help Dub. Remember that it will take time to build in his system just as the pheno did so it may take time to figure out whether or not it is helping. Some of that could even be compounded by the fact that seizures are so new with Dub that you don't really even have a track record on any type of seizure pattern quite yet. I've been logging my own dog for so long that I know his seizure pattern (ie. mine with meds will still have a seizure or small cluster about every 4 weeks almost like clockwork although he will skip a month here and there).

Dub may never feel like you aren't starving him to death. Mine still thinks I'm starving him and it's been 4 years. I'm not sure how well rice will work to ease the feeling. It's pretty easily digested and loaded with carbs which don't agree with some seizure dogs. Alternative may be to add green beans or carrots to his diet that will add bulk, fiber and take longer to digest without greatly increasing calories. Fresh or frozen would be best, especially with the potassium bromide whose absorption can be affected by salt intake (canned veggies tend to have lots of added salt).

Please keep updating how Dub is doing when you can. Appears that lots of us here are interested in how both of you are doing in your journey with epi. We're pulling for you in our house!
Thank you for your reply. I wasn't too keen on adding rice because I felt that it might add to my problems. I will try some green beans. Hopefully won't give him a loose tummy. I have been taking a quarter cup of his food at a time, so that he has meals spread out more during the day. And if I tire him out enough, sleeping is my salvation from his begging. Last night he only woke me once to bathroom and didn't ask for food which was awesome. But he had a super busy day and was exhausted. Now with two days of rain, getting him tired out will be my challenge after work today. I have kept a log. And for some reason the neuro thought Dub had been on this journey for a year now. Maybe that is why he acted like he was struggling with meds. I was like, NO WAY he just started this is August. Two months ago. I felt like it was a bit soon to chalk him off as medication resistant.
Thanks Vivian
they don't do a loading dose when already on pheno he told me. The very first dose of the Kbr did stop his clustering and he has been on it now for four days. So far so good. The neuro actually told me to consider putting him on a low calorie food to avoid problems later on since he is so hungry all the time. I told him I would think about it, but any food change in the past made my dog very ill. And no he never mentioned the salt in the food thing. Mmmmm I am not to please about that doctor right now. I told my husband when we left there (after waiting an hour past our appt time to see him) that I felt like I threw the money away. I got most of my help from the Guardian Angel site. I have a few question please. When do you give the once a day dose of the Kbr? I have been doing it with his evening dose of pheno since I want him tired at night versus the daytime. Should it be spread out though? Or is together fine? The doctor said nothing about that to us. He never mentioned about blood tests either although our regular vet is so helpful and on top of that and has shown me she will call this guy with questions if she is unsure of anything. So I do trust her judgment. He is due for a pheno blood test in two weeks since they upped the dose a week ago of that. Is it a seperate test for the Kbr? Thank you so very much for your insight, guidance and help. I am lost without you all.

Ginger was on one dose (500 mg) KBr from the first day we started with it. The KBr levels should be checked for the first time after 6 weeks, then after 4 months and after that every 6 months.

About food, what are you feeding Dub? I agree with Katy and Vivian that dogs who are on KBr are not allowed to eat salty things so don't give him anything from your dinner table. Salt lowers the KBr level very quickly. Epileptics are also sensitive to chemical preservatives in dog food, so I am only feeding her with brands (Acana, Orijen dry food and Energique frozen fresh food) that are free of it.
I am seeing Dr. Darrin at the Vet Specialty Center in Buffalo Grove IL. They are a wonderful place and we used them for Dermology with our last dog. There are only a couple neuro's in the area and the other one wanted me to take out a loan before I came in so they could do MRI's etc. That turned me off right away. Dublin stopped clustering after the first dose of bromide and we saw him two days later. Maybe that is why he didn't do a loading dose? HE told me he didn't have too because he was on pheno. My regular vet spoke to me last night and said twice a day is fine on the bromide. So I started that today even though he seems to be tolerating it on the evening only dose. I am so sorry to hear of your loss Vivian. And thankfully I don't give Dublin salty foods. I will be even more careful now that I know this. They didn't say anything about that either.
Ohhhh vivian, does that hind leg weakness happen to all dogs? Will it go away with time? That doesn't sound good at all. Not if I want an active dog. Sigh.....this sucks more everyday. He said given his breed and age that an MRI would be a waste of money at this point. I told him I do not have that kind of money. My boy loves to run. I would hate to see him unhappy if his body doesn't go along with his mind. Do you find it does effect your dogs activity then?




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