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good to hear Bailey is home with you and know how frantic you must be right now, I would be the ( I am anyway ) same as you regards the MRI scan and hopefully it's not a brain tumour. Wishing you all the best for Bailey !!!!!
 

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I'm so glad that Bailey has come home to you. There are still many treatment options that can help you control her seizures and I think most dogs eventually take two or more anti-seizure meds at once.

In addition to Pheno, Charlie was on zonisamide, which helped to control his focal seizures. If your vet recommends that, note that it is much, much less expensive through Costco, which carries the generic version, than through other pharmacies. If there isn't a Costco near you, they have an online pharmacy and you don't have to be a member to use it. I stress this because through Costco the cost of zonisamide was only $56 per month for Charlie and it was over $400 per month elsewhere.

The decision not to get the MRI makes sense, though I ache for you in making it. Fear that seizures will happen while you're away is painfully familiar. You might think about where you can leave Bailey that is safe for her in the event of a seizure - where nothing will fall on her if she bumps into furniture and where she can't wedge her head or limbs in a harmful way. Perhaps her crate? Or a bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen? We resorted to gates across the stairs and across the doors to some rooms to limit Charlie's access.

With healing thoughts and prayers,
Lucy
 

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Oh, Elisabeth, I'm so sorry to hear about Bailey's seizures! I can only imagine how hard the last 48 hours have been for you. I hope you're able to get some rest and can find a way to relax a bit now that she's home, although I know how difficult that will be.

We'll be praying for you and Bailey!
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Thanks everyone, and thanks especially to Lucy for all your advice. I know that you know too well this agony, and I'm so sorry about your Charlie.

Bailey has been at home for several hours now, and has had a couple weird "seizure-like" events (maybe focal seizures?). She starts drooling like crazy and snapping her teeth as if she has food caught in them. They only last 30 seconds or so, but they are really scaring me. I am absolutely terrified that we are not going to make it through tonight without another big seizure. I called the emergency vet about it, and they prescribed her some potassium bromide to take in addition to the phenobarbitol. But, like the increased pb dose, it will take a few days before we see an effect. Those few days will be agonizing. Poor Bailey seems dazed, disoriented, sleepy and has forgotten to ask to go outside and instead is peeing in the house, which she NEVER does. I hope this is just an effect of her being in a concrete enclosure at the vet the past couple days, and not that she has forgotton housebreaking due to the prolonged seizure the other night. My husband and I are terrified that these meds won't work, and we will be faced having to make the most difficult of decisions. I just can't bear to think about it... my stomach is in knots and I am just sick about it all. I'm really praying that these meds help, and quickly. Seizures are just so scary to watch :(. I want my old Bailey back.
 

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I am so sorry that Bailey is having more seizures. With her being low norrmal on the Thyroid that could be some of the problem. When it comes back low normal, that is low for a golden. So putting her on thyroid meds is good. And hopefully will help. Her body should start accepting the increase of pheno pretty soon. Whenever I had to increase Beau's meds he accepted the meds pretty fast. Hopefully with the increase in pheno & thyroid she will have less of the facial seizures. He had those facial seizures too and with increase in meds the went down.

Good luck and give Bailey a kiss. I think the accidents are just accidents because of the meds.
 
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So sorry for all of you. I hope she does well through the night. Please let us know and very interested to find out her thyroid levels. Take care.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I should clarify on the thyroid meds... she was tested at a "low normal" after the first group of seizures, so we decided to put her on meds (Soloxine) just in case it was a contributing factor. We haven't had her levels rechecked in the 3 months since we started it, so maybe it would be wise to do so?
 

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Yes, please have her retested. Ruby had to be retested 6 to 8 weeks after starting the Soloxine. After the retesting the med was reduced just a smidge. How did Bailey do through the night?
 

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Bailey did OK during the night... we slept downstairs in the living room with her, in case we had another episode and had to get her to the vet. Dragging a 90 lb seizing dog down a flight of stairs was no easy task the other night, so we have decided to take turns sleeping downstairs with her. She has had no more seizures, nor any of the focal seizures, since 7pm last night. But the meds are once again really taking a toll on her. She is so very groggy and disoriented, unsteady on her feet, and just generally out of it. She will sometimes do her business outside, but other times refuses and will come in after a long walk around the yard and pee on the carpet. She just seem restless... cannot get comfortable. She is having a hard time putting her head down- it's weird. I'm hoping these are all just symptoms of the increased doses of her meds. The vet called back this morning with the results of her blood work, and the levels of phenobarbitol in her system were only at a 13.5, with a range of 15-40 being the effective range. So we are hoping that this is the reason for the recent batch of seizures, and once the meds are at a therapeutic level in her system the seizures will be under control. I'm thinking now that we should have her levels tested every couple months or so to verify that they are at the appropriate levels in her system? Supposedly the liver gets more and more efficient at processing the drugs over time and the levels in the blood start to decline. I'm guessing that is what has happened to Bailey. She now takes 145.8mg of phenobarbitol (1.5 pills) twice a day, and has started on the loading dose of potassium bromide. Hopefully this is enough to help control her seizures. I stayed home from work today because I couldn't bear to leave her alone until we felt better about things being under control.... but I hhave to return to work tomorrow, so I'm really really hoping for an uneventful day and night tonight. I just am terrified at the thought of her having a seizure, or even worse cluster seizures, while we are away. Has this happened to anyone?
 

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I know one time I came home and my foster dog was having a seizure. I dont know how long it was going on but I did what I normally do and started comforting him and gave him a phenobarbital under his tongue. It helped to bring him out of the seizure. My Pawley had a horrendous seizure several months ago, worse than anything that I have ever experienced with my Beau. He was knocking furniture and flipping over and over. It took all my strength to hold him down. Sometimes I think he might have had a seizure while I have been gone because he will have a smell on him just alittle offf. I know it is hard worrying about them while you are gone. Been there.
Just have to trust that the meds will help to control them.
 
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Thanks everyone, and thanks especially to Lucy for all your advice. I know that you know too well this agony, and I'm so sorry about your Charlie.

Bailey has been at home for several hours now, and has had a couple weird "seizure-like" events (maybe focal seizures?). She starts drooling like crazy and snapping her teeth as if she has food caught in them. They only last 30 seconds or so, but they are really scaring me. I am absolutely terrified that we are not going to make it through tonight without another big seizure. I called the emergency vet about it, and they prescribed her some potassium bromide to take in addition to the phenobarbitol. But, like the increased pb dose, it will take a few days before we see an effect. Those few days will be agonizing. Poor Bailey seems dazed, disoriented, sleepy and has forgotten to ask to go outside and instead is peeing in the house, which she NEVER does. I hope this is just an effect of her being in a concrete enclosure at the vet the past couple days, and not that she has forgotton housebreaking due to the prolonged seizure the other night. My husband and I are terrified that these meds won't work, and we will be faced having to make the most difficult of decisions. I just can't bear to think about it... my stomach is in knots and I am just sick about it all. I'm really praying that these meds help, and quickly. Seizures are just so scary to watch :(. I want my old Bailey back.
You are most welcome for any help I can give. That is the only way that I can make sense of what happened with Charlie - to use what we learned to support others. it is my way of honoring him, so thank you.

The snapping that you describe sounds like a classic focal seizure. For Charlie, an increase in focal seizures often signaled that a grand mal seizure was coming soon, but sometimes they were just part of the brain's winding down after a long grand mal. You are right to keep an eye on Bailey and please log these episodes.

The peeing indoors is probably the result of suppressed function because of the higher level of Pheno and possibly other meds. Bailey can't help this and the situation will almost certainly improve as she adjusts to the meds.

Breathe, Elisabeth. You love Bailey and she knows that. And the most important thing you can do for her is to create something normal in your life and hers. That is very, very hard to do, but you won't see your "old Bailey back" until she has you back.

Hugs,
Lucy
 

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Bailey did OK during the night... we slept downstairs in the living room with her, in case we had another episode and had to get her to the vet. Dragging a 90 lb seizing dog down a flight of stairs was no easy task the other night, so we have decided to take turns sleeping downstairs with her. She has had no more seizures, nor any of the focal seizures, since 7pm last night. But the meds are once again really taking a toll on her. She is so very groggy and disoriented, unsteady on her feet, and just generally out of it. She will sometimes do her business outside, but other times refuses and will come in after a long walk around the yard and pee on the carpet. She just seem restless... cannot get comfortable. She is having a hard time putting her head down- it's weird. I'm hoping these are all just symptoms of the increased doses of her meds. The vet called back this morning with the results of her blood work, and the levels of phenobarbitol in her system were only at a 13.5, with a range of 15-40 being the effective range. So we are hoping that this is the reason for the recent batch of seizures, and once the meds are at a therapeutic level in her system the seizures will be under control. I'm thinking now that we should have her levels tested every couple months or so to verify that they are at the appropriate levels in her system? Supposedly the liver gets more and more efficient at processing the drugs over time and the levels in the blood start to decline. I'm guessing that is what has happened to Bailey. She now takes 145.8mg of phenobarbitol (1.5 pills) twice a day, and has started on the loading dose of potassium bromide. Hopefully this is enough to help control her seizures. I stayed home from work today because I couldn't bear to leave her alone until we felt better about things being under control.... but I hhave to return to work tomorrow, so I'm really really hoping for an uneventful day and night tonight. I just am terrified at the thought of her having a seizure, or even worse cluster seizures, while we are away. Has this happened to anyone?
The symptoms you describe are typical of what happens after an increase in meds. This is a horrible, predictable stage that is likely to follow every increase in dosage. My heart aches along with yours.

Yes, you need to have the Pheno levels tested regularly to maintain therapeutic levels. Remember that Pheno and soloxine interact, so that more soloxine is required. That means you need too have Bailey's thyroid tests redone every 3 months or so, too. Your vet may not know about this interaction. Our didn't. But it is documented by the drug companies.

It's good that someone is sleeping downstairs with Bailey for a few nights, but I encourage you to think about the long term impact of this. You and your family have to go on with life, despite Bailey's illness. If you are exhausted or damage other parts of your life, that won't be good for her in the long run - or for you. We know the terror that seizures will happen while nobody is home. I think everyone with a seizure dog knows this. And clusters while we are away are the stuff of nightmares. Even so, we have to live our lives fully, in fairness to our human family as well as our canine one. This is hard and it definitely takes work to avoid guilt trips.

Now comes the hard part: Try to love Bailey and let her live a normal life to the extent that her illness allows. Try to live a normal life yourself. If you let seizures take over... well, to me that was like giving in to the devil and I fought it will all that I had. And we each have to make our own peace with the illness..

With you in spirit,
Lucy
 

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Discussion Starter #53
I know one time I came home and my foster dog was having a seizure. I dont know how long it was going on but I did what I normally do and started comforting him and gave him a phenobarbital under his tongue. It helped to bring him out of the seizure. My Pawley had a horrendous seizure several months ago, worse than anything that I have ever experienced with my Beau. He was knocking furniture and flipping over and over. It took all my strength to hold him down. Sometimes I think he might have had a seizure while I have been gone because he will have a smell on him just alittle offf. I know it is hard worrying about them while you are gone. Been there.
Just have to trust that the meds will help to control them.
Please tell me more about putting the phenobarbital under the tongue to stop a seizure. Do you just stick a pill under their tongue while seizing!? And does it really work to help stop them? I would love to know more about this!
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Does anyone know if excessive drooling can be a side effect of phenobarbitol or KBr? Bailey had been drooling a lot today (but not doing any of the snapping like yesterday, when she also drooled a lot). I can't find anything online, but thought maybe someone who had a dog on these meds might know. thanks in advance!
 

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Elisabeth, my vet did mention at Ella's last appointment that drooling can be a side effect of pheno, especially if a dosage has just been increased. He told me that if Ella drooled excessively for more than a few days to let him know, but otherwise it shouldn't be a problem.

How is Bailey this morning?
 

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Hoping your girl had a better day yesterday and night. Thinking of you today.
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Thanks everyone. We had a pretty uneventful night sleeping in the living room. Between the 3 kids and Bailey, I think someone was up all night long, do notich sleep was had. Bailey is SOOOO unsteady on her feet and having great difficulty walking around. She seems drunk! I feel so bad for her because she doesn't understand why she feels weird. She is fine while sleeping, but is restless when awake. Going outside is a major struggle- we walk her around and it takes her a good 30 min to get up the courage to go ( I think she is afraid to squat down). Hopefully they side effects start to diminish as she adjusts to the drugs. I'm at work today, and very worried about her at home.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Elisabeth, my vet did mention at Ella's last appointment that drooling can be a side effect of pheno, especially if a dosage has just been increased. He told me that if Ella drooled excessively for more than a few days to let him know, but otherwise it shouldn't be a problem.

How is Bailey this morning?
That's a relief to hear! Thanks!
 

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My vet told me to put a pheno pill under the tongue while he was having a seizure and it would help to pull them out. I dont know as it has to melt but it does seem to work. I did it for CoCo when he had his seizure and I did it for Beau his last seizures after I heard about it.
 
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Discussion Starter #60
The past few days have been so rough on poor Bailey, and it is hard to watch her. She can no longer get up on her own accord. She won't even get up to go to the bathroom, and is just peeing while laying down :( . So 4 times a day we force her up by helping lift her front end, then her back end, and stabilizes each paw. Once she is up, she walks around OK, but staggers a lot and sometimes just falls to the ground. PLEASE tell me this is normal side effects from the increased pb and KBr? Will she start getting a little mobility back? She is just having such a rough time, it kills me to see her like this. I'm wondering if we need to back off on her meds a bit? She is taking SOOOO manys pills, I'm afraid of what they may be doing to her (in addition to the Pheno and potassium bromide, she also is on soloxine for low thyroid, hydroxyzine for allergies, and an antibiotic as well as an antifungal to help clear up skin infections). She is still eating her food (once we get her up on all fours to do so), so I'm hoping that is a good sign. She has her re-check at the vet on Sat, so I'm hoping she starts to show improvement by then. This week has been so hard. I hate seeing her so miserable.
 
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