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Old September 5th, 2016, 11:54 AM
Icemodeled Icemodeled is offline
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Vet had us lower dose of Keppra for our dog and he went into clusters/status!

We have an amazing 4 year old austrailian shepherd. He's always been very healthy. Little over 3 months ago we changed his dog food from diamond natural(he's ate since birth) to pedigree. This was due to a move, diamond was going to be hard to find at our new location so figured we would switch to a dog food easier to find. It seems shortly after that he had his first full seizure. It was so scary, didn't understand what was happening. After talking with vet, they had us wait to see if he had more. 2 weeks and he did. Each one he recovered instant and they were around 1-3 min long. After having those 2 he went on Keppra. A very low dose, 250mg twice a day. For 2 months he was seizure free and we had forgotten about it all(other then to give his pills twice a day).

So, then our vet recommended us weaning him off Keppra. She believed his seizures may of been triggered from him being on trifexis flea pills - he has always been using. Within a week to week and half we gave him the lowest dosage of Keppra - 125mg for the entire day. That day, he had 4 seizures! I called and was told to give an extra dose then continue back to his previous dosing the next day. For 24 hours he was fine. Then at 8pm the next night he started to frantically run around. He was scared, seemed to be seeing things and was running into everything. It lasted an hour, which lead to a seizure. After, he didn't seem to quite recover. Another hour and he had another full seizure. After this he starting having partials(12 altogether maybe) in between full seizures. It continued on. We were on the phone many times. Vet kept saying to give more and more Keppra.. But it didn't stop them. He was at the point were he wasn't coming out of them and we were scared to death. Rushed him to the ER vet(seizured entire way there and as we brought him in). They used Valium diazepam and he did respond. After using phenobarbital his seizure stopped. We were very surprised as the vet told us how bad it was and his temp was so high! It was a horrible experience, for him and us that I never want to go through again! I'm scared to death it will happen again!

So after staying overnight and at the vet the next day he came home and has been on Keppra and phenobarbital. 500mg 2x a day Keppra and 60mg 2x a day pheno. He has the side effects which are lessening but hasn't been as bad as I read could be. He is very responsive and is pretty much himself besides the side effects(weak legs, tired). It's been 6 days and no seizures so far. Will be going to vet in a week for check up and blood test again. I am so on edge.. It's been really hard for me to get back to a normal after that 6 hour episode. I feel so bad for him.. And so worried he will have another like it. I constantly am watching him and checking and listening. If he yawns I start to panic.. Until I see it's JUST a yawn. How do owners with epileptic dogs not stress over when/if a seizure will happen? I'm just so worried.

I just wondered if the cluster and status epilepticus was a result only from the medication change? Is it going to be likely he has it again since he did once? I know nobody can say for sure, but do you have any experience with it yourself?

We are about out of pedigree and definitely think we need to get him on grain free, seems corn can be a trigger? Could that of started it in the first place? Any suggestions for good grain free food..? Anything that is more affordable, I know many are very pricey? The pills alone are quite costly.. Plus the vet bills. It's worth it though if it controls his seizures(sure hope so) like it did before. I so wish we hadn't taken him off Keppra and feel that his dose was dropped to quickly - also, we changed vets due to the move and our new vet said he also believes lowering the dose was to quick and shouldn't of been done since he was well controlled.

I just feel like we may of cost him his life or shortened his lifespan by dropping the meds.. I have read dogs who have had status or severe clusters have a shorter lifespan expectancy then those who never experience those. I just feel so sad.. He is doing well recovering but am concerned for his future. Am I worrying to much? Is it possible he may still be well controlled again? Anyone with any experience with epileptic dogs who has opinions and advice would be so appreciated. I know I'm rambling and asked a ton of questions..!
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Old September 6th, 2016, 09:31 AM
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hazelrunpack hazelrunpack is offline
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So sorry you're going through this with your boy!

I have very little experience with seizures, but I can address a small part of your post--the part about the food. No grain, high quality food is pricey, yes, but typically you end up feeding far less, so it almost makes up for the higher cost. We actually ended up saving money when we switched our dogs over to no grain many years back. And if the new food can help control his seizures, it's more than a fair trade.

With luck, someone who's dealt with seizures will chime in soon. Hang in there!
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