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Huskies, Seizures and Phenobarb

This forum is for dog lovers seeking everyday advice and suggestions on health-related issues. Remember, however, that advice on a public forum simply can't be a substitute for proper medical attention. Only your vet can say assuredly what is best for your dog.

  
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Cooper

It's all about- playing!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 4:02am PST 
Cooper just started having seizures. frown His first was on May 27. The second (I think -- I was at work when it happened, but he looked "suspicious" when I got home) on June 22. But, this past weekend was the worst -- one on Saturday and two on Sunday.

I took him to the e-vet Sunday after his second seizure. They kept him overnight for "observation," did blood work that came back normal, and started him on 60 mg phenobarb a day.

He has not had a seizure since 3:45 p.m. Sunday, which is a blessing, but the pheno is really throwing him for a loop! I know it's a side effect that will go away in a few weeks, but he's like a drunk puppy in a china shop. And, my daughter said that he whined all day yesterday while I was at work.

I hold my breath when he yawns, for fear it's not a yawn, but the onset of another seizure. I hold my breath when he takes naps and when he wakes up from naps, because that's when most of his seizures have occurred.

Anyway, I'm writing because I'd like to know if there are any Husky "success" stories. It seems everyone I've talked to who has owned a husky that has had seizures and were put on pheno, ended in a tragic story. I know other breeds have "success" stories, but I need to hear a husky "success" story so that I can feel better about this. Cooper is only 15 months old, and this is just so not fair for him.
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Fred

I love the sound- of my own voice
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 5:31am PST 
I have no idea about huskies and seizures, just wanted to send some hugs to cooper and you hug
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Cooper

It's all about- playing!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 6:33am PST 
Thank you. That's very sweet. smile
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Kiki - My Angel- Baby Girl

Hey, hey! Drop- the meat, I'm a- waitin'!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 6:55am PST 
I have liver problems and had some seizures last year. We saw Dr. Jean Dodds and she put me on the GARD diet and the seizures went away. The diet has been used successfully to treat dogs with epilepsy.

You can check it out at

http://www.canine-epilepsy-guardian-angels.com/liver_diet.htm

http://dogtorj.net/id16.html

We use both fish and chicken (no skin) in the diet. We also add Italian flat leaf parsley, scrambled or hard boiled eggs twice a week. Look into it and let us know if you need help.

You should also look for a group on Yahoo for dogs with seizures. We are in a Yahoo group for Liver disease and it really helps. Everyone there has dogs with the same disease so they are very knowledgeable and helpful. Most vets don't know what they are doing so I would not trust vets totally with the treatments. Our first vet told mom to feed me anything I want to eat so my liver got worst.

Hope you will be better soon.
hug
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Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 7:35am PST 
Tanuk went through a seizing spell a few months ago. Not a husky, but similar. No one had ever heard of a mal seizing, and yet when I looked up the AKC profile it said a lesser health concern was seizures. Go figure. We elected not to do further tests or try pheno as yet, since his were not severe or frequent. I did a lot of research and removed any possible stimuli (flashes, noises, food, etc). We put him on a grain-free diet which is often recommended in epileptic patients, and it turned out he was allergic to grains anyway. He has not had another seizure in awhile now, so our paws are crossed. I've had several friends with epileptic dogs of other breeds, but none ever put the dog on pheno until they absolutely had to. In one case the dog was having constant seizures and in the other the dog was having grand mals and not waking up. I feel like it might be better to hold out until these situations, especially since pheno can have such lasting effects. I hope I offered at least a little bit of help to you. Please keep us posted on Cooper! hug
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Cherokee- Forever- Loved Cherry

Our Precious- Angel Cherry
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 8:08am PST 
You might want to check out this group:

http://www.dogster.com/group/The_shakers-4670

hug
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Cooper

It's all about- playing!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 9:16am PST 
Thanks for all of the suggestions.
Unfortunately, I am now the only Husky in the seizure group. frown
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Tanuk CGC

Sherpa Tanuk of- Everest
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 10:47am PST 
Yeah, we're probably the only malamute, and I found they didn't respond very fast. Every little bit helps though.
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Toby

They call me- Snags!!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 10:58am PST 
We have huskies and fortunately do not have problems with seizures. Our prayers are with you and Cooper, and we hope you guys get through it. I love my Huskies, and don't know what I would do without them around everyday...

Good luck, and God speed!
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Ocean- (1988-2001)

I smell- chocolate!
 
 
Barked: Wed Jul 8, '09 3:56pm PST 
Success story: Ocean (husky mix) had epilepsy and was on phenobarbital for about ten years. She lived to a ripe old age (13); eventually I had to have her put to sleep because of conditions unrelated to either the epilepsy or the phenobarbital. IIRC sixty milligrams is a fairly high dose -- you might want to see if you can control the seizures with a lower dose with fewer side effects. I think we started at 30 and increased it over the years to 45 and then 60. Or ask if you can do it in reverse: reduce the dosage after the seizures are under control.

The seizures are scary but they aren't really harmful unless they are intense and prolonged. I think they freaked me more than her, although she would feel them coming on and if I wasn't with her she would try to come and find me. Once, one of the other dogs in our household even came and got me when Ocean had a seizure outside.

She did still have occasional seizures on the phenobarbital, but the incidence of seizures decreased *dramatically* (from every couple of months to once a year or so) when we got her flea allergy under control (Advantage had just come on the market), so you might want to see if there is an environmental trigger to your dog's seizures that you can eliminate.

Good luck!

Edited by author Wed Jul 8, '09 3:58pm PST

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