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Leslie
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Some of you may know that I was picked to be Helo's mom by a golden retriever rescue in May 2011. I knew he had seizures when I got him and for the first 3 months he would have a couple of seizures every 2 weeks. On Aug. 16, 2011 he had 5 seizures in a 12 hour period. He had been on phenobarb since I adopted him and every time he had seizures the vet would tell me to increase his phenobarb. Well that wasn't helping at all so after the cluster on Aug. 16 I took him to a different vet and he was put on potassium bromide and that ended his seizures for 2 years and 2 months.

Tonight he had 3 seizures at 6:10, 6:45 and 7:00 p.m. Three seizures in an hour is almost unbearable. :( After the third one he was blind and pacing and I had to hold his collar and help him pace in a circle through our kitchen and living room so I could guide him, otherwise he was running into walls, getting stuck behind furniture and in corners. We paced for 20 minutes before he collapsed on the kitchen floor and finally rested. I called the emergency vet in a panic (and in tears). She met me at the animal hospital and checked Helo out. He had been seizure free for an hour by then. He had a normal temp and his gums looked good. She gave him Valium and he started shaking and almost paddling with his front legs. This went on for 10-15 minutes like he was having a mini-seizure and it was freaking the vet out. She said she'd never had a dog act like then when given valium. I was planning to take some valium home just in case, but after that reaction I didn't want to. She also drew his blood and everything came back normal except his ALT which was 900. Normal goes up to 100. So we will have to have his liver checked out soon. :( Way too much bad news for me tonight.

I think I may know what caused his seizures. Last month I bought a bag of Natural Choice grain free fish dog food. My dogs have been using that brand for a year but usually the turkey or lamb. This is the first bag of fish I've bought. A week or so ago I noticed Helo was scratching a lot so I thought maybe he was allergic to the fish dog food so I quit giving it to him and he quit itching. I was still feeding it to Marilyn. This morning Marilyn didn't eat her's and I forgot to put it up where Helo couldn't get it. He LOVES food and will eat anything so he snuck into the room with the food and ate her bowl of the fish flavored food. I thought no big deal. He might itch a bit. After a few hours I noticed his face was swollen!!! He was all puffy so I gave him a Benadryl. I guess his allergy to the fish food was worse than I thought. Then he had the seizures a couple hours after that so they definitely could be caused by the food. I really hope that is the cause because that's an easy fix. I assume he doesn't have a brain tumor since he was seizure free for 2 years and 2 months. He has never had an MRI to my knowledge. I will have to have some tests done to see what's wrong with his liver. I don't know if liver problems can cause seizures or if it's a totally new problem. Helo is approximately 8 years old, maybe 9. He was found as a stray so the rescue doesn't know how old he is. He has been in great health except for a nagging ear infection and he is on thyroid medication. He goes on my 3 mile walk/runs every other day and loves that.

The vet just said to increase his potassium bromide to 5ml for the next few days and see what happens. I just pray so hard that he doesn't have anymore seizures. The ones he had tonight seem so much worse than the ones he had 2 years ago. It just breaks my heart.

I thought I'd start this thread so I can add to it as the days go by and keep track of his progress. I hope I don't have to add very much and it ends up being a short thread.

Please keep Helo in your thoughts and prayers! I'm thankful there is a place I can go for support on this terrible path.
 

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My thoughts and good wishes are with you and sweet Helo. I feel so bad for him. Thank you for giving him such loving, caring home.
 

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New Mommy
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Prayers for you and your sweet boy. I think you may be on to something with the food. Keep us posted !! XXOO
 
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I am so sorry Helo had some bad seizures tonight. I hope it was just a reaction to the food and maybe the Benadryl. I hope tests for his liver will be fine. Good luck with everything. I will keep Helo in my thoughts and prayers for good results and no more seizures!!
 

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You are an excellent mom and as a doctor I never saw such care to even humans but look at you, you are taking care of Helo better than a vet,keep an eye on her medications and try to check the light system and the TV at your house, epilepsy is induced by flashing lights so check your house lights,good luck:)

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WOW what a scary night. i had a cat years ago that had an opposite reaciton to valium - it was NOT very helpful at all!

So after wall was said and done, did Helo's sight come back? Sure hope you get this back under control. I know how hard it is to figure this stuff out!
 

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Leslie
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Discussion Starter #8
Good morning. We made it through the night with no seizures. The valium wore off about 1:00 a.m. and Helo did not have a restful rest of the night. He was up every hour or so, coming over to me for reassurance. I think he was also looking for something to eat. He loves food and I know seizures make them very hungry. He just had a double breakfast and is still looking for more. He still seems a bit anxious and doesn't want to lay down and relax but he can see again and is more his normal self (although not 100%). I am exhausted and am glad I don't work today. I think I'll be taking a few naps!
 

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Leslie
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Discussion Starter #10
I'll just be watching him closely today and giving him the increased dose of potassium bromide. I might wait a week and have his ALT level rechecked and if it's still high I'll have to decide what's next to check out his liver. My vet doesn't have an ultrasound machine so I may have to take him to a specialty vet 1 hour away. I live in a small town in rural Utah, an hour away from any large cities.
 

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You and Helo have had such a horrid night! I hope today brings peace and no more seizures.

Being hypothyroid can cause seizures. When my Charlie was on Pheno, we learned that it interacts with thyroid meds, so that more thyroxine is needed. Each increase in Pheno is likely to trigger a need for more thyroxine. It might be that the this a factor in the recurrence of Helo's seizures.

Holding Helo and you in my thoughts and prayers,
Lucy
 

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Leslie
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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you all for the replies. GoldensGirl: Helo hasn't been on phenobarb since January. He's only on Potassium Bromide now and he is hypothyroid. I should probably have his thyroid checked again to make sure he is getting the right dose.
He seems anxious this morning and is having trouble settling and relaxing. I believe that is part of the aftermath of seizures so I hope he is back to his old self soon. Poor boy. He went through a lot last night. It was really awful.
 

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Leslie
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Discussion Starter #15
Helo had a good day yesterday. He was able to relax after noon and could sleep. He was back to his old self by evening. Then at 11:25 p.m. he had another seizure. We had been asleep for 2 hours so at least he was already laying down. He paced afterwards for about an hour and then laid down and went to sleep. He was up again at 3:12 seizing. Now he's pacing and wanting to eat. I'm so thankful he isn't blind this time. I am going to take him off this food completely but I don't know what to feed him that won't trigger a seizure. I feel so bad for my sweet boy.
 

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Leslie
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It's 8:00 a.m. and he didn't have anymore seizures after the 3:12 one. They weren't as bad as the seizures on Saturday evening (so thankful for that). He seems almost normal this morning but very hungry. I made some rice and ground turkey for him since I don' t have any other brands of dog food in the house.
 

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Sorry Helo had more seizures. I'm sending a prayer they are done now and hopefully you can figure out what spurred these. Hawk sends Helo hugs.....literally I opened this post and he came and laid his head in my lap wagging his tail!...

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Yes, there is often a restless phase after seizures, with lots of pacing and panting. It helps to raise the blood sugar by feeding them something like Hagen Daz vanilla ice cream ( this brand because of no harmful additives) and a full extra meal of their normal food. Remember that one seizure burns almost as many calories as running a marathon for us!

Know that we are here to help if we can.

Hugs and prayers,
Lucy
 
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