Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brody the newly diagnosed epileptic

Brody has started having seizures over the last couple of months, and over the last fortnight he has had many trips to the vet to try to figure things out.

The seizures started on the 9th of May on a Sunday morning at home. This first one was the worst (see the previous blog entry!) and very very scary. Since then he has had two more, the 8th of July and the 8th of August, all at home..... there is a pattern forming!

On the third seizure, as per agreement with my fabulous vet Lyn (see Raw Essentials) I took Brody off to VSG for further tests to see if there was any underlying conditions that were causing the seizures.
Neurological exams showed that there is little risk that there is a tumor / injury causing the seizures, but blood work showed that he had very low levels of cortisol. Because his sister has Addisons Disease, Brody went back into VSG the following week to have another blood test. This ruled out Addisons disease, so his diagnosis is idiopathic epilepsy.

Idiopathic epilepsy basically means that there is no apparent cause for seizures, as apposed to symptomatic epilepsy, meaning seizures are a symptom of another condition.

My options for treatment as far as conventional vet treatment is the use of anticonvulsant drugs such as Phenobarbitol or Potassium Bromide. Given the potential side effects of these drugs I was keen to look at other options, unless the severity of Brody's seizures, or the frequency changes.

After reading a fantastic book on treating epilepsy naturally, and talking to Lyn @ Raw Essentials I decided to trial Acupuncture as a treatment. On Saturday Brody had his first session with Elaine Bennett (of Peace Clinic).
He was fantastic, sat nicely for the needles and the laser treatment, and it was amazing - as soon as the treatment ended Brody curled up and napped on the matt in the treatment room.... he NEVER does this in a vet clinic!

He was super chilled out, relaxed and sleepy for two days or so after the treatment, and very settled. Brody has two more weekly treatments, and then monthly treatments if it helps with the seizures.

I have set up a Facebook page called 'Canine Epilepsy NZ', so if you are an owner of an epileptic dog, or know someone who is let them know about it!


  1. I will see if I can get some pics of Brody having acupuncture!!!

  2. I have a dog with canine epilepsy and we have been able to control it. In fact, he's 13 years old and hasn't had a seizure in over 5 years. I have a blog about him if you're interested, and I've written some articles that explain everything you need to know:

    Causes of Dog Seizures: http://www.corysstory.com/causes-of-dog-seizures/

    Canine Epilepsy Treatment: http://www.corysstory.com/treatment-for-canine-epilepsy/

    Cheers, and good luck!

  3. Thanks! I will have a look at your site.... Have you joined our Facebook group?

  4. Oh no - so sorry to hear about Brody! Epilepsy seems to be so common in dogs as so many of our blog friends seem to have it or have experienced it!

    Hope you have goot luck with the natural therapies.

    Hsin-Yi & Honey the Great Dane

  5. Thanks Hsin-Yi and Honey..... It's funny since Brody has been diagnosed there is another dog from the Kamal Obedience seminar I went to not log ago has started having seizures, it seems quite common! Or maybe its just that these days we are more attentive dog owners that are willing to spend more money keeping our four legged babies happy and healthy??!!? When I was a kid you would NEVER hear about a dog with something like epilepsy!

  6. Hi Kelly, sorry to here about the troubles you've had with Brody's epilepsy. Hopefully acupunture is beneficial for him. My family dog Moby, a crossbred terrier, developed a type of neuro problem causing hind leg paralysis & spasms. The vets recommended euthenasia but we tried acupunture and though at first it was slow progress, three years later he's a happy healthy wee man (at 12yrs old now) so I'm a big believer. He doesn't need it regularly anymore but if he has a relapse a couple of sessions sets him right again. Fingers crossed for you guys.

  7. Hi Emily,

    Its great to hear about some success with acupuncture. Brody has just had his second sessions, and we are waiting to see how it affects the seizures.

    Have you joined the Facebook group I have created - Canine Epilepsy NZ

    Kelly :-)