Our baby Denali had two long, scary seizures on Sunday. The past three days we have cautiously been watching for another… but luckily, knock on wood, salt over the shoulder, blow an eyelash, fingers crossed, wish upon a star… it has not happened. Our dogs are five and a half years old and Denali has had a few seizures in the past with at least six months separating each attack. It had been nearly a year and a half since his last seizure.
Without warning Denali will roll onto his stomach, claws scratching at the floor as he tries to get up. He is unable to because his whole body tightens into a crumbled mass. His eyes become vacant, pupils wide, tears flowing. For his protection, I sit with him laying on his side, braced between my legs. He is still able to move, but I prevent him from thrashing and rolling about on the floor. I gently stroke his side and tell him it’s going to be ok, but from what I read, he is unconscious and can’t hear me. The literature also says he is not in pain… but anyone who has gone through this will not be convinced. We have never thought to grab a watch or look at the clock to time how long the seizures are… but they feel like an eternity. The Sunday morning seizure felt like it was five minutes – longer than any I remember – and the night seizure felt more “normal” at around two minutes.
Our dogs mean so much to us – they are our children and they are pampered and spoiled and showered with copious amounts of love. It is heartbreaking when one of these attacks occur. We keep trying to pinpoint something, ANYTHING out of the ordinary that we did wrong to trigger his seizure, simply because we want to be able to say “we will never do that again.” But the truth is that seizures are complicated. They do not always equal epilepsy, they can be inherited, attributed to growth abnormalities (he has had large rear hocks/ankles since he was a pup), toxins or lyme disease (we deal with a lot of ticks around here, but he has never tested positive for lyme). I just read something about toxoplasmosis from eating cat feces (not exposed – and even though they eat deer poo, the vet assures us it’s ok – it’s still gross), raw meat and get this… raw vegetables – what?! We give our dogs chunks of raw carrot all the time as a healthy snack and they love it – I certainly hope this is not the reason – although if it was, his seizures would likely happen more often. Aside from drugs, there is not much you can do for seizures. We have not wanted to go the drug route (and have been advised that it is not the best option at this point) because Denali’s seizures are so few and far between. Plus, there are severe side affects like liver destruction, AND, I have talked to two people who give their dogs phenobarbital and their dogs STILL have seizures.
I love you my little DZdoo. Please don’t scare us again for at least another year and a half.