Join Date: Oct 2012
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my beloved golden w/ seizures
I am new to the forum and came straight to the seizure threads.
My 5 1/2 year old golden, Olive, had her first seizure when she was 3. The first episode lasted close to an hour and a half and ended at the vet hospital where they gave her valium intravenously. A similar episode came about 7 months later and then 4 more within the next year and a half. These weren't as long- they lasted a few minutes but then stopped by themselves, which gave me hope that I could control them at home and they wouldn't be life threatening for my girl. My vet said that we shouldn't medicate her unless the seizures were happening more than once a month. They didn't know what was causing them- epilepsy? a brain tumor?
About 4 months ago, Olive had her first seizure while we were out walking. Thankfully, my son was with me, he ran home and brought the car, we put Olive in and brought her home. This episode didn't stop by itself, though, she would seize for about 30 seconds, then seem to come out of it, start panting (which used to be the sign it was over), but then a couple of minutes later would seize again. This kept happening so we took her to the vet hospital (about 10 minutes away) where they gave her the valium to stop the seizing. They recommended she start taking phenobarbitol because these "cluster seizures" were dangerous and needed to be controlled. So we started her on 120mg a day. It was a month after this episode that we moved to a very rural location, about 1/2 hour by car to the nearest vet hospital. I was hopeful that the medication would control the seizures, but about 6 weeks ago she had another cluster seizure while we were out walking. This time my sister happened to be visiting, she brought the car, and we took her to the vet when the seizures weren't stopping. They gave her valium and raised her pheno dosage to 180mg a day, which is where we are at now.
Since we moved I've become crazy with worry that I would be alone with Olive when a seizure came on and I wouldn't be able to carry her home on my own. Or she would have a cluster seizure while I was at work, which is now a longer commute so I can't go home at lunchtime to walk her and check on her. Thankfully, I found the Guardian Angels website and got invaluable support and information from them. First, I found out that I can administer the valium at home when the seizures first start so my vet gave me a prescription and I keep the valium close by at all times. Also, I read Dr. Dodd's research about the possibility of that Olive had thyroid disease. She has other symptoms of thyroid disease as well. I never thought I'd be praying that my Olive would have thyroid disease! I had the blood test sent to Dr. Dodds and sure enough, she does have low thyroid function. She started on medication for that 2 days ago.
So that's where we are at. I love Olive so much- I know you all know about that. It upsets me so much to see her in distress but am hoping that we've turned a corner with the higher dose of meds, the valium for emergencies, and the thyroid intervention.
The Guardian Angels website is an incredible resource and I've been emailing back and forth with a woman who has helped me tremendously through the last few months. Even Dr. Dodds emailed me. I can't recommend them enough.
I am grateful to have found this forum- thank you for all the stories and information you all have shared. It truly helps to know I'm not alone in this. I hope somehow my experiences might help someone else as well.