September 27, 2019: After so much trying and hoping, we made the decision to say farewell to Andrew. With every seizure lowering this threshold for the next, we were unable to get them under control with medication. He was still having upwards of nine per day. He would get worse with each medication change before returning to the status quo and was aware when they were coming, and during the episodes. Without his comfort dog, or someone home to hold him through the seizures, Andrew was afraid and would try to run from them. Some left him blind for periods of time and he was increasingly becoming incontinent. We tried additional holistic approaches and as a last resort, tried taking him off some of the medication to see if some detox might change things. Although he seized less, they were more violent and longer, lasting almost 30 minutes.
Andrew is now at peace with no more fear, no more head banging, no more running except to frolic at the bridge where we will all see him again someday.
May 14, 2019: Young Andrew comes from Mexico. Originally with a different rescue, we took him in after he started having seizures. Andrew went for a neurological consult today after the seizures came back and increased in intensity. He cries during the episodes, whether from anxiety or pain we aren’t sure.
He is in a wonderful, experienced foster home with a young female pup that will lay across him to calm him after his episodes.
Click here to see her calming him after his latest seizure.
The next step is a MRI and other testing that will cost about $3,000. Hopefully we will find the cause and there will be treatment available. Seizures take their toll.
May 19, 2019: Andrew continues to have seizures, about 8-10 times a night. Under guidance of his neurologist, we have increased the dosage of his medications. While they have lessened in severity they are still occurring too frequently.
The results of his MRI and lumbar puncture are normal. Most recently we did a PCR panel to rule out distemper as the cause. Andrew’s neurologist is recommending that he be admitted to the hospital for IV sedation and administration of medications to stop the seizures and break the cycle. He will be admitted tomorrow and will stay in the hospital for 24 – 48 hrs. The cost of this stay is estimated at approximately $2,000.
Update May 24, 2019: Andrew continued to have episodes frequently and increasing in length. SCGRR followed the neurologist’s recommendation to admit him on May 21 to attempt to halt the cycle of seizures. The first level involved a valium equivalent sedation with IV seizure medication but Andrew had another seizure. So we went to the next level which required critical care monitoring as he spent the night under anesthesia and more medication. He did well on that and awoke seizure free the next morning, staying seizure free for the day.
He was released that evening with the addition of a 3rd oral anti-seizure medicine. Later that night, he had further episodes lasting up to 10 minutes and now is having 6-10 each day. The episodes are not full body, they are categorized as atypical and focal. They are lessening in duration so we are hopeful. We are proceeding with an epilepsy diagnosis at the moment. Neurology is disappointed in the results and his condition continues to be very guarded. The neurologist has prescribed the 4th medicine, potassium bromide, but that can take up to a month to take full effect.
We will be monitoring Andrew over the next few days and journaling all episodes with hope to see a trend in the right direction. We want a quality life for this boy and aren’t quite ready to give up on him yet. Please hold him in your thoughts!
June 3, 2019: Andrew went in for a recheck with his neurologist today. He continues to have mostly short seizures, about 6-10 a day. We’ve been keeping a journal of everything. Tests were run, a liver chemistry panel to make sure he continues to tolerate the medication. His next recheck will be in six weeks to check potassium bromide levels, a medication he started late last week.
This is one of the more difficult epilepsy cases our veterinarians have seen. We will continue to stay on top of things to make sure quality of life is considered above all else. In the meantime, he loves his foster family. He has a young lab mix pal that is his comfort dog.
July 29, 2019: Andrew had a neuro follow-up last week. After checking blood levels, the vet increased the potassium bromide and Keppra doses which we hope will have the most positive impact. He still experiences seizures 5 – 7 times per day, which is down a bit after we stopped the Phenobarbital however the duration of each are up a bit. He actually had one at the neurologist. Stress certainly seems to be one factor. His fur siblings comfort him when no humans are around. He adores the 5 yr human sibling and wakes her up joyfully every morning.
August 23, 2019:
Andrew continues to have seizures and it’s a process of trial and adjustment to work through anti-seizure medications. He has been weaned off Phenobarbital and is in the process of coming off Zonisamide, we believe both were counter-productive for him. We’ve also increased his Keppra and Potassium Bromide doses which we believe are more helpful. We’ve managed to reduce his seizures back to about 6 per night / early morning and reduce the duration for most to under 1 minute but there are still a few 4-5 minute ones. They continue to be focal and he is fully aware – very different from a grand mal type seizure. We have another anti-seizure medicine to try but we wait in between all changes to see what helps or was doesn’t. We are also getting more scientific guidance on the use of VetCBD so that we get dosing correct.
Overall Andrew is still a happy boy with a good quality of life. His foster family loves him dearly and is committed to him if we can find a viable drug therapy that works best for him. We are currently looking to create a padded pen for Andrew in the night as a new baby is on the way into the household and his momma might need to be handling baby duty in the night while also keeping Andrew safe during his seizures.
Update September 25, 2019:
Andrew had to make a change in his living situation. With a new baby in the home, it was just too much to put on the family to continue the constant care he needs. Changes were made last night to reduce or stop his medication under supervision of a foster family member. It’s a last ditch effort to see if we can get a change in the seizure patterns without many more months of trial and error on medications. His seizures are not good, now averaging about 30 min total each 24 hr period. Some are shorter but yesterday he had one that lasted 10 minutes. The medication is just not working.
With no one home to hold him, he is aware and panics. It is taking its toll. If my some miracle a detox works, we would be ecstatic. If not we will likely say goodbye to him this week.