Sad days for Tate

Tate, our greyhound is a seizure dog. Starting about his 3rd birthday (and about 6 months after we got him), he had seizures.

Not minor tremors that can be missed, but epic grand mal epileptic seizures. The whole magilla.

It has been a quest for medications that work. Starting with phenobarbital, adding in Keppra, veering into the realm of medicinal marijuana, and now into KBr, we have a predictable pattern.

A seizure is followed by a change in medication, and a lengthened period until the next seizure. Then a gradual reduction in the interval time until we adjust the medications again.

From as long as 4 months, to as little as two weeks apart, there is one thing that is constant, they are terrifying and disorienting to poor Tate, who as a 90# greyhound, the violence of his convulsions is great.

Over the last year, there has been a troubling trend, towards “cluster” seizures. Cluster being more than one in a 24 hour period.

There are some indications when a seizure will be a cluster. If Tate bounces back quickly, or seems less disoriented, or it isn’t a terribly long or intense convulsive period, then a second seizure is almost a certainty.

Last night was awful. About 10:14, in bed, and he had a pretty big seizure. He was pretty disoriented, so I assumed this would be a solitary seizure.

How wrong I was.

He didn’t really settle down, he was whining. but he was also quite disoriented, and visually impaired.

Then at 11:15 he had a second seizure. It was as intense as the first seizure, maybe even a little more violent. Still, this fit in the pattern of cluster seizures. In the past, after the second seizure, he would settle down pretty quick and pretty much pass out.

But I stayed up to keep an eye on him. One thing out of the ordinary, is that he didn’t drink as much water as usual. (He typically will drain 2 or 3 bowls of water post seizure).

12:15, and he had a massive seizure. It was the most intense yet. Sadly for poor Tate, he was in the kitchen, and his leg that had some staples to close an unrelated injury were tugged open, so in addition to urine and drool, there was blood on the kitchen floor. For this seizure, I pulled out the big gun, the rectal infusion of Valium.

Sadly, against hope, it didn’t “instantly stop” the seizure as I was told it would.

Then, after struggling to get around, and getting stuck in corners a couple of times, I finally got him outside. Where he proceeded to run blindly into our fence.

D’oh, we need better lights outside.

Then, as he was hobbling around the back yard, he had a fourth seizure (about 12:24). Fortunately, this started slow (he was standing), and I got him on the grass. It was pretty intense too.

After this, he was clearly exhausted, and tired. About an hour later, he finally settled down to sleep, on the floor next to me.

So sad.