Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sophie, the diary of a Southern Belle (Epilepsy)


Sophie had two gran mal seizures over the wknd followed by a couple of petit mal seizures. 

If a dog is epileptic it is usually seen between ages 1-2. As Sophie is a rescue we have no record / information on that so we are assuming old dog epilepsy which can be caused by a number of factors: electrolytes out of whack, kidney problems, tick infection, stress, brain tumor. 

We are testing for what can be tested for up to MRI for brain tumor. Rationale being if she has a brain tumor (painless), then what? Sophie has not had a recurrence since Sat night & I am up most of the night every night watching her b/c that's when the episodes occur. 

So far nothing out of the ordinary has been revealed by the tests. She had xrays of chest, kidneys, pancreas, stomach w/o any negative results. We are waiting for urinalysis. Ticks negative. 

If Sophie has more episodes we will put her on anticonvulsants, i.e. phenobarbital or some variant. The prognosis for controlling epilepsy medically is optimistic, short of a brain tumor. If she has no other seizures it will be chalked off to idiopathic (don't know what the f**k it is) or possibly stress. 

There is some logic to the stress diagnosis as the first & most serious episode occurred within 24 hrs of bringing Ziggy into the mix. His extremely high level of activity causes stress even on us but he is sloooowly calming down, learning the routine of the house & some modicum of manners (he's +/- 7 mos old), very smart, very willing to learn, is a lover & is extremely cute. However, Sophie's health comes first so we're keeping our fingers crossed -- no more seizures & Ziggy's learning curve. 

I discussed all this w Sophie's foster mom as she has a right to know what's going on & she told me that she took in another foster shortly after Sophie came to live with her & that Sophie became so agitated that she moved the other foster elsewhere. Sophie had very little confidence when I got her (more than she had when she was first rescued) & she certainly has a lot more now but possibly not enough to convince herself of her position within the household. Stella, OTOH, could give less of a damn. 

I will update this entry as warranted.