Hi all. Apologies for not being around much, as per usual we have been dealing with another bout of seizure/post seizure issues so that has had us a bit scattered lately. I hope we are over the hump but as we all know, epilepsy is a trickster and you never know when things will change, could be at any moment. Right now we are three weeks seizure free (knock on wood it stays that way) so that's a wonderful thing.
Speaking of the last episode, we had a bit of a breakthrough. I had read about the ice pack method awhile ago, which you can read more about here, it's really interesting. I had been working in my office and he was in my room, napping and I suddenly heard his tags rattling - I waited a moment because I thought he may just be moving around, rubbing his face on the bed as he does or scratching but then the rattling was too steady so I ran to my room and sure enough, he was having a seizure. I ran and grabbed the ice pack I had made a week or so earlier from the freezer and placed it in the right spot on his back, held it there, and waited. About 15 seconds, give or take, went by, and the seizure stopped, so I went to get the vanilla ice cream (Haagen Daz) and Rescue Remedy, brought it back and scooped a spoonful into his mouth (I'm grateful he doesn't have any front teeth because it makes it much easier to get it in his mouth at times like this). Before I knew it he had righted himself, got up and walked over to get some water. I was shocked because he is never very coherent after an episode, he's usually very dazed, confused and stumbles around. While he did pace around a bit it wasn't nearly to the extent it usually is, I was really amazed.
I hoped we were in the clear but then after dinner that night he had another, so we repeated the ice pack trick, but this time I kept it in place for a time after the seizure subsided, ice cream and RR again and this time he just popped up like nothing had happened! I couldn't believe my eyes, it was like he hadn't had a seizure at all, much less two in a day, we even went outside for a walk and he was fine, acting normal (for him), came inside, and went to bed, literally no post-octal behavior at all. Even better, he didn't cluster!! This was huge, not only did the seizure last only a short time, but he didn't cluster AND he didn't have a post-ictal phase that went on and on and the only thing we did different was the ice pack on his back. I'm a believer.
Now, because he has had these breakthrough seizures we decided to try adding a very low dose of phenobarbital to try and stop them. Even though it was the first drug we tried with not the best results (made him very out of it and horrible ataxia) I thought maybe a very low dose would be okay. Nope, not even the super low dose of 1/4 tablet is tolerated well, it just wipes him out, poor guy. After speaking with the neurologist we decided to wean him off of it and try just the Keppra XR, we can increase it if we need to, and in case of seizure use what she calls the "cluster buster," Clorazdipot, which we will use in place of the valium protocol.
So that's where we are at, weaning off the phenobarbital, even though it's a very small dose we still need to wean off and just after a few days he's more alert which is great. In another week or so he should be off it completely. He tolerates the Keppra XR well so if we need to increase that I don't think we would have an issue, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
Until then, we will keep on keeping on. I've found that dosing him three times a day with CBD seems to be helpful, with a larger dose in the morning and evening and about a half dose midday. I've also started cooking for him, which he loves, as well as adding magnesium, vitamin C, taurine, and fish oil supplements. Of course the Life Gold is amazing and Angus has started taking it as well.
Keep my boy in your thoughts, let's say a little prayer the seizure monster stays away!!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian. I advise against any medical diagnosis or treatments made without direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The information available here is not a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified veterinarian. Products and links to products I may share are not endorsements of any kind unless otherwise stated. Information found on this blog is meant for informational purposes only to share what we have personally done to take charge of Connor's health, in tandem with his neurologist and regular veterinarian. Always check with your own veterinarian if you have any concerns about your pet’s condition or treatment.