After Chancellor’s last seizure, I posted this question to a great yahoo group for dogs with seizures K9 Epileptics: I’ve noticed a pattern over the past 3 – one being springtime and the other happening after the last Keppra of the night. I’m thinking I need to increase the evening dosage. Has anyone noticed this in their dogs? We just had levels done and hypothyroid pill increased by 1/2 tablet to 7 per day and Keppra levels were good. Waiting on the kBr at the moment.

Noticing patterns are so important and taking a proactive stance on treatment of your dog is vital. The answers I received were wonderfully revealing (the difference you’ll see is Chancellor is NOT on PB (phenobarbitol) but IS ON kBr (potassium bromide). The references to half life differences if a dog is on PB vs. kBr were interesting to note.

Answer from list leader Alexandra: Technically, there is not a scientifically determined ‘range’ for dogs (in Keppra),so they (veterinarians) are going by human values. I am not sure if human ranges are the same for therapeutic ranges in dogs (for PB?) but it is what we all are going off of. Is Chancellor on PB? From Plumb’s vet manual for Keppra – the half life in a dog for Keppra while on PB (I would need to re-read to be precise) is ~1.73 hours (half of the half life without PB). I dose 4 times a day, but even that would fall short on coverage. I am not sure how often you dose, but you might consider giving an extra dose at bedtime. We give meds (Keppra) at 11pm, then again at 5-6am (Keppra). Could be that the Kbr needs adjusting.

This was my gut feeling in watching Chancellor’s behavior and will be a consideration after some more research.

Another post was equally as interesting and certainly food for thought.

By Lynne: I routinely up PB from 105mg BID to 120mg BID when the
temperatures get above 80 degrees (F) for more than a week. If he gets
twitchy, his evening PB will be increased another 15mg. Once the
temperatures back down to the 70s and below, we’ll drop his dose back down.
We’ve been doing this for about three years now.

NOTE: Chancellor’s last seizure was during the BIG full moon, a time when temperatures do change and even other unexplained phenomena may be occurring. Shows how sensitive dogs are to their surrounding environment, weather, atmospheric changes.

These are considerations veterinarians need to take more seriously when treating a dog with seizures and provide proper protocols for dog owners.

Fourteen days to the day and hour of the last. In June seizures lengthened 24 days between and now the 14 day pattern has returned. Chancellor knows when he is about to have a seizure and comes to get me. This time he gently licked me so I would get up 659 a.m. and I was able to get Kody Bear out of the room and Chancellor situated in a comfortable bed with head rests He fought it, as he does, but his body didn’t win and the seizure took over lasting six minutes this time. Only one other time has a seizure lasted this long. It wasn’t particularly violent, little saliva was lost, and a small amount of urine deposited. Eye dilation caused sight disorientation and always he has increased hunger about 1/2 hour later. I uploaded vitamins and minerals into his system Chancellor never complains, he worries more about me. We live with these seizures, not FOR them and after a year they are what they are and I continue studying, researching, hoping I can lengthen time between, lessen the violence or completely stop the seizures altogether. Please put Chancellor in your thoughts today and give your dogs a hug!

What might cause seizure activity? This is one quest of study. Blog posts will reap the rewards of my research.

One cause might be the giving of Benadryl – to humans and canines. Yet, I constantly hear about dog owners giving this over-the-counter medication to their canines and often in recommendation by their veterinarians. It is taken for bee stings commonly and reduces swelling and reaction. It isn’t to say Benadryl causes seizures in all canines, but there is study indicating it could. Dogs who have seizures should not be given Benadryl.

Triglycerides

Human fact: When it comes to triglycerides, there’s good news and there’s bad news. In the proper amounts, these common types of fat are necessary for optimum health. In fact, they make up about 95% of the body’s fatty tissue. However, it’s a case of too much of a good thing. High triglycerides levels lead to debilitating conditions such as diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, hypothyroidism, heart disease and more. A normal range for triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dL in humans.

According to AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) 24 to 105 mg/dl is normal triglyceride range for canines, so as in humans less than 150 mg/dl is a normal range. In some breeds, hypothyroidism can be a cause of seizures. So the value of triglycerides in a blood panel can be telling. Evaluating the canine diet regularly may be important in avoiding seizures or working with and decreasing the violence of a seizure or increasing time between activity. Anything pet owners can do is one step toward comfort for their pet.

According to a Veterinary Medicine study epileptic dogs treated with Phenobarbitol alone or in conjunction with Potassium Bromide were more likely to be hypertriglyceridemic. Hypertriglyceridemia has previously been hypothesized to be a risk factor for developing pancreatitis. Read the study here: http://veterinarymedicine.dvm360.com/vetmed/Medicine/The-effect-of-phenobarbital-on-serum-triglyceride-/ArticleStandard/Article/detail/596596.

Pinpointing causes is very hard for the dog owner and veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your medical professional. And please realize each dog’s case and experience with seizures is different and unique. What might be true for one dog, may not be for another.

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