Apr 9, 2015

Standing strong with epilepsy

You read that right.
But it's not me. It is my baby girl, my cheeky-smart-goofy black Labrador Marilyn a.k.a Midnight Blonde.
She was diagnosed with Canine Epilepsy before she turned two. Her (probably) first seizure was before my very eyes. I was shocked in an assumption that she got food poisoning. Turned out, it was (is) Epilepsy.

And our life's been a tad of a roller coaster ever since.

Here's a simple explanation about it: 

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes the dog to have sudden, uncontrolled, recurring physical attacks, with or without loss of consciousness. This may sometimes occur for unknown reasons (idiopathic) or due to genetic abnormalities. 

And Marilyn has it. She has done several tests which ruled out other suspects and is proven as healthy and young enough to be on Phenobarbital. The vet has provided me with the right kind of diet and exercise plan. The tests were not cheap, and neither does her medicine and special diet, but she is family, so I do not mind.

What's a bit disturbing is that it will not cure it. It will just help her to distance the episodes. Any drastic changes in routine, or major swings of my emotions may trigger her gran mal. She cannot be too tired, too excited, or too stressed.
And since we have a strong bond ... I always always know when she's going to have her seizure.

However, even though I have handled her for (what seems to bee too often and too long) episodes, my heart is always floored. I am much calmer now, and learning a lot from her brave heart.
At this stage, her seizures might last to 7 minutes, which equals to eternity. Ranging from fit and spasm to total body unconsciousness to the point that she is losing control of her bladder. I lost my calm when she peed herself during one horrific episode. "It's okay baby... I am here... we're okay..." are my words of encouragement as I am trying hard not to form rivers down my cheeks. I am never sure if I say it to calm her of myself. Well, the latter, obvi.
But as soon as she's relaxed, she will immediately kiss me as if saying "I am back, Mama."
Mahoni, her best friend will usually sit next to me the whole time. Giving me support more that anyone can understand.

I am now in search of other types of medicine. She is responding well to Phenobarbital but in the longer run, it will eat her kidney alive. If anyone out there can give more information, please let me know.
It took me months to share this story of mine and now I am brave enough and is actually asking for advice and moral support. 

But the most important thing that I want to convey is, even with epilepsy, she still is, my cheeky-smart-goofy baby girl.
She has epilepsy, but it does not have her. 

ps: Read this What you need to know about Canine Epilepsy

Update as per June 2017
Her seizure now last from 12 minutes to 2hr long and she would actually pooped if it was that strong.
The worst was in February,  where in less than one week she had a 1,5 hr and 2 hr long attack which causing her a high fever for 7 days long.

Update as per June 2018
Her recent test shows her liver is functioning perfectly despite her multiplied Phenobarbital dosage. But we had two cluster episodes this year that force us to rushed her to the pet hospital so she can get sedative shots. Both cluster episodes lasted nearly three hours long. High fever keeps following after cluster episodes with the highest temperature being 41degrees.

We are alternating acupuncture for her too.

I love you too

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