Thursday, November 17, 2011

My agility dog has epilepsy

You wouldn't know if from looking at her now-waiting anxiously by the door to go outside and play and bark at the neighbor's dog.  And for that I am thankful.  But that wasn't the scene just 4 hours ago when Legend had her third seizure.  I was putting down food bowls (like usual) when she ran out of the kitchen into the living room.  That is not a normal behavior for her.  She knew what was coming and so did I.  When I got around the corner to look she was already starting to twitch.  Before I could get there she fell and hit her head on the brick fireplace and then knocked the fire screen over on her.  I wonder if she has a headache today?  But it seemed very short and she had a much shorter post-ictal phase this time.  She looked worried for a few minutes but did not spend 20 minutes growling at me and hiding in the bedroom.  Actually within a few minutes she was trying to get her food bowl down from the counter where I had left her uneaten breakfast. 

Obviously I'm disappointed.  This was not what I was hoping for.  I was still clinging to the hope that there would be no more, but certainly hadn't planned on another one just 3 weeks from the last one.  So we are starting on Phenobarbital today.  Some people have asked me if I have considered other drugs but to be honest Phenobarb is cheap (not that that really matters), easily available and reliable.  All drugs can have side effects, some are just different.  So that's where we are starting.  If we don't like the side effects or the results we always have the option to switch to something else. 

We have a trial next weekend so I'm not sure if she will get to run or not.  I was hoping we wouldn't have to start medication until later but that's the way the cookie crumbles.   I know I could probably wait another week to start but with only 3 weeks in between I felt it was better to start her on something now.  Time will tell. 

I could spend a lot of time moping around doing the whole "why me, why my dog, why now" thing but I guess that doesn't really change anything does it?  And Legend clearly isn't spending any time feeling sorry for herself.  So if she's ok, I am too. I guess.

12 comments:

tervnmal said...

Well crap that is never what anyone wants to hear. I am so sorry. But glad you have the knowledge, the means and everything else to give her the best treatment approach possible. Hugs to both of you.

Karissa said...

I'm so sorry the news wasn't better. Legend is lucky to have someone like you looking out for her.

Blue said...

Oh no. I was really hoping for you and Legend that she wouldn't have any more seizures :(

I'm glad that at least her post-ictal phase was better this time. I think the post-ictal phase can almost be more stressful than the seizure itself.

Hoping that Legend responds well to the Phenobarb and you're able to keep doing agility with her!!

manymuddypaws said...

Crappy. But at least you know for sure what it is and it isn't some brain tumour or something even more terrifying... (you know me- glass half empty...)

I've known a few dogs with epilepsy that still play agility and stuff.

Hugs to Legend!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

So sorry to hear this. I hope the medicine helps Legend and that maybe she doesn't continue to have seizures. Hugs to you guys!

Sue said...

I'm sorry to hear this. We all wish our dogs could remain healthy to the end, but I've learned that doesn't always happen. Samba and I are coping with her illness. Most of the time she copes better than I do. Good luck with the treatment.

K-Koira said...

Poor pup. And poor you for having to deal with it. But you guys will get through it. Legend will likely be able to forget about even having any issues shortly after any episodes. And hopefully, with treatment, there won't be any more episodes for you to have to worry about either.

It does seem strange that every time it has been when you are putting the food bowls down. That doesn't follow the normal course of epilepsy that I have heard of. But then, I would have no other guesses on what it would be.

Diana said...

Ugh! Sorry. I hope he medication works and the side effects are minimal.

Border Collie Mom said...

So sorry. It seems that there are more epileptic dogs all the time- maybe we just hear about them more (?) When it is not so raw in your mind, perhaps you could write a post on it from a vet's perspective... what should an owner do during an episode? I think someone would need to call for help for ME. She is lucky to have you to take care of her... Hugs to you both.

Nicki said...

That's a good idea Lori-I will add it to my list.

Of course we don't know where Legend came from-puppy mill, back yard breeder??? but I have heard of or read about several people who have what I presume are high dollar, performance bred dogs with epilepsy. It makes one question if priorities are correct when breeding dogs.

K-Koira said...

Unfortunately epilepsy often shows up late enough in life that a dog may already have been bred one or more times before showing the signs of epilepsy- Hopefully the breeders of those puppies would contact the new owners and urge sterilization if the dogs are still intact and being planned for breeding, but I can certainly see how this is one of the harder diseases to prevent in a breeding program.

What would help a lot would be a genetic test to determine epilepsy, such as they have for many other diseases. Hopefully further studies will allow this to be possible in the future.

Nicki said...

Yes. It does unfortunately show up too late in life but not always. And I don't believe any dog should be bred more than once-there are already too many dogs.