Thursday, February 21, 2008

Henry's Improvement

I want to share an observation we have made about Henry. Henry used to frequently act as if he was about to go in seizure, but not necessarily always go in seizure. He'd become very flinchy and his legs would start a sort of paddle motion and his mouth would start opening and closing, but he was still very aware of his environment. Me or my husband would call each other and we'd sit by him and pray and wait, and it would never really start.

We adopted him 4 months ago, he has had one grand mal in our care, and it was terrible. He sounded like an out of balance washing machine on the spin cycle. His legs paddled furiously, and it looked like his jaw was going to break because it was locked open so wide, and he made the same vibration in his throat as our Alfalfa did when he took his last breaths and died. And yes he defeceated and urinated. For an hour and ten minutes afterwards, he RAN! And his brain did not seem to compute not bumping into things, and he was frantically smashing into walls and furniture very hard. I went outside with him. This was 3 o'clock in the morning, I stood there in the freezing cold and cried as Henry ran back and forth in the yard, running into the fence, the swing set, and the garage. (It was impossible to stop him, I tried) Then we went inside, and we both slept on a large sleeping bag in the family room. It took Henry several days to get back to what was considered normal for him. We took Henry to the vet the next morning, and it turned out he had a urinary tract infection. For your normal dog, a urinary tract infection does not trigger a grand mal. A dog who has epilepsy basically has a much lower threshold for environmental/physical stresses and will as a result seize.

Many of you may have noticed I did not take Henry in to the emergency vet right away. If your dog has not been diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy as Henry has, and had as many diagnosable causes as possible ruled out, you need to get your dog/cat to a vet IMMEDIATELY if they have a seizure, as they may have been poisoned or somethng of that nature. Henry has been diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy, so many tests have already been done on him trying to determine the cause. According to the vet, nothing really causes them, they just happen, but I disagree. I think non diagnosable causes are causing the seizures. Such as the kibble, vaccinations and etc.

If your dog has been diagnosed with idiopathic epilepsy, your vet will give you guidelines on when you should bring in your dog.

Not all dogs who have seizures seize this badly. We had another dog with epilepsy and his seizures were so much milder. Fortunately, this was Henry's first grand mal where he did not cluster. I believe this was due to a new med he was on, Potassium Bromide. Can you imagine if he would have gone on to have two or three more seizures like that within a short time? When Henry was on phenobarbital and valium, he still continued to have multiple seizures, but they were a day apart instead of an hour apart, which was some improvement, but not enough. The Potassium Bromide was added, and the side effects became unbearable. So we kept Henry on the med that was making the biggest difference,(potassium bromide) and under our vet's supervision, we weaned him off the phenobarbital very slowly. His side effects are much more bearable now. Alot of dogs who have clusters seem to do very well with Potassium Bromide. There's some trial and error involved in figuring it all out.

Anyways, now that I have described how severe Henry's seizures are, you can understand why we were so frantic about him having another. We sincerely hope Henry never has to go through that again. Anyways, about when Henry would act like he was about to go in seizure, but then never actually go in seizure, since we started the BARF diet, Henry has not done this at all! His shakiness is all gone, and I swear, all involuntary movements seem to have dissapeared. This used to be a daily occurence that he would become twitchy and almost go in seizure but not actually go in siezure, and it was getting progressively worse in the weeks before we started the BARF diet.

I really think we started the BARF diet just in time before things would have gotten much worse.

Me and my husband are quite relieved to see Henry doing so well, and that both boys made it through the diet transition just fine! =)


Mrs.B said...

I'm so glad Henry's doing so much better! I am surprised that it has made such a difference so quickly.--Natural healing usually takes quite a bit of time. How wonderful! (o:

And yes, I can understand why you wouldn't wish for him to have anymore seizures--they sound TERRIBLE.


Emily said...

Mrs. B., before we started, we though Henry would probably be worse in the beginning and then much better in the long run. We are amazed Henry had almost no trouble at all with the switch! The same for Riley! =)

I keep wondering if Henry was allergic/sensitive to something commonly found in kibble and perhaps that is why he is doing better so quickly?

I bet the naturally occuring taurine which raw chicken is a good source of is helping too! =) Henry used to get his taurine in capsule form, but now he gets the real deal through raw meat.

For others who have dogs with epilepsy and reading the comments and wondering about taurine, here is a little bit of info on taurine: There are mor elinks in my sidebar. Taurine is also good for heart disease.

Stansislaw posted his 'Stinkyhead syndrome' =P dissapearing after starting BARF. I'll go get the link to that and post it in the next comment...

Emily said...

Link to Satnislaw's pot about his Stinkyhead:

Emily said...

Argh! I wish I could fix typos in my comments! ;)