Saturday, March 12, 2011

Once more, with feeling.

Mostly feeling of desperation. Kinley just took his first Keppra (the generic but the generic name is like some kind of Lovecraftian mega monster with a bajillion consonant). The plan now is to wean him off the Zonisimide while giving him Keppra three times a day. This so far has resulted in Kinley staggering about gamely while I try not to burst into tears.

I had to go to Costco this morning to get it. On a Saturday. But since it's you know, brain drugs it wasn't likely to wait until Monday. It was crazy there. Luckily after parking (a twenty minute fiasco) I was able to run into the pharmacy and leave, post haste.

I have a little chart of his meds, since they have to be reduced every three days until he is only taking the Keppra. It has to be given like so 8:00 am, 2:00 pm, 8:00 pm. Luckily Kinley travels well in the car because on half days I'll have to dose him in the school parking lot.

Ah, how I remember the days when dosing in the school parking lot meant something utterly different.

Keppra is a relatively new drug in regard to canine epilepsy and until very recently, like Zonisomide was crazy expensive. While I am not happy to have a need for it, I am grateful it's affordable, it is used when a dog is resistant to other meds and is having several seizures a month.

In Kinley's case he will seize on and off all day, because they are focal seizure they look benign but they are just as damaging as a Grand Mal and inflict repeat damage on a very well specific (focal) part of the brain. I'm going to post a video of one of Kinleys' first seizures. it makes me sad, but if you ever see your dog doing this, he's not just being a weirdo.

In Kinley's case he's being a weirdo with seizures, but you get my drift.

Since this was taken, his seizures are more dynamic and there is involvement with his neck. Meaning he will be twisted around as if he is looking at his flank. The longest was 11 minutes and that was the one that sent us to South Paws. He will also paw the area of his skull (right side over his eye) where the damaged brain area is.

Usually focal seizures are caused by brain injury or infection and we had a horrible week where everything was in consensus that he had a brain tumor. This was given the rapidity and severity of his seizures. Thankfully, this was not the case. Since we know he was shot with a shotgun at 4 months, it is more then likely this was a result of brain trauma either as a direct result of the shooting or other abuse.

So far there are no negative behavioral changes, that is really my biggest fear at the moment, but not one that is usually realized.

 He just slid down the stairs. Kinley is an extreme dog and this is why this aspect of it is so hard, he is used to running and leaping and bounding and can't fathom why he is so clumsy all of a sudden.


  1. My dachshund had epilepsy. He had the shaky seizures - sometimes fairly often, sometimes not for months and months. He was on phenobarbital when we got him and stayed on it his whole life, tho the dosage changed here and there. It made him loopy and (possibly) fat (I say possibly because he was a dachshund, so it's hard to know if it was the pheno or just his hungry disposition). After a seizure he'd be really loopy for a bit but luckily he was the kind of dog that did not mind sitting on the couch for a few hours and watching Law&Order while he got himself back together.

    It was a sad thing but he was overall a very happy dog. I'm sorry to hear your Kinley is having trouble - hopefully they'll figure out the meds soon and things will be much better.

  2. Also you should know that posting a comment here is difficult because once you have signed in to whatever account, etc. and you are ready to type the verification there is no way to see the whole word unless you kind of select the blank space beside it and keep selecting downward (know what I mean?) so that it scrolls within the box.

    I dunno what that's about, tho.

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