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My goal is to share my experience and resources with other pup parents that are on the canine epilepsy journey. I'm not a doctor and my content should not be mistaken for medical advice. 

  • Jess

Realizing Our Canine Epilepsy Journey Had Only Just Begun

A few weeks had passed since Bear, my then 6 year old Maltese, had his first seizure. At this point, I was holding my breath and hoping it was a fluke after I changed his dog food. I had done TONS of research by now on canine epilepsy, and i still felt lost.


It was the beginning of the first wave of being on COVID lockdown. I was working from home and getting ready to go go into a virtual meeting. Out of no where, I heard a noise. It sounded like Bear was throwing a toy up against the wall, nonstop. I went to go see what he was doing, and sure enough, he was having another seizure. 


I started freaking out. This time, I was alone and I still wasn’t even sure if these were seizures. This was only the second time this had happened and first time, the vet couldn’t confirm if it were a seizure. I grabbed my keys and purse. By this time, Bear had stopped seizing. I put Bear in the car, and once again, we were on our way to the emergency room.


When we got there, they did much of the same as last time. Checked him out, took bloodwork, etc. But this time, they brought up medicine. The way it was explained to me, seizure medication for dogs is the same medication that is used to treat human epilepsy. And, that this medication is typically “forever medicine”. 


“Forever medicine” got my attention. Apparently, once I’d make the decision to put Bear on epilepsy medicine, he’d likely have to be on it for the rest of his life. This scared me. I was told that I’d be able to take him off of it if I really wanted to, but that this would be really difficult to do, and can be dangerous. 


Another option was leaving Bear at the emergency room for 24 hour observation. I decided not to. He had just been through a seizure and he was scared as it was, I couldn’t possibly leave him there for 24 hours. I just couldn’t do it.


Another week or two had gone by. We were still in lockdown, and for the most part, Bear was by my side most of the day. It was Saturday, and I heard the same banging that I heard the last time. I screamed for my husband (then boyfriend). This time, I had done enough research to know a few things I should do. I told Alexa to start a timer, so I could time how long the seizure lasted. My husband, Joey, ran and got ice so Bear’s body didn’t overheat.


He was paddling, foaming at the mouth, and not responding. We just kept talking to him, so if he could hear us, he knew that he wasn't alone. After a little over a minute, Bear started coming out of it, and he began walking around (which I later learned was called “pacing”).


A few minutes went by and Bear started seizing again. A 2nd seizure in only 15 minutes? I was beside myself. This is when I realized that this wasn't a fluke, and that our canine epilepsy journey had only just begun. For the 3rd time this month we were back in the car, on our way to the emergency room. 


-Jess


**The purpose of my blog is to help share resources and stories to support you and your pup on the canine epilepsy journey. Please note that I'm not a veterinarian and none of this content should be mistaken for medical advice.


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