Story Name: Mad Max/Seizure Update
From: Jennifer & John Pobiak
My Jack Russell Story:
If you remember, we posted our story of our little JRT's struggle into his young life with seizures and the detective work involved in discovering the cause. It has been a REAL struggle for Max in his first year of life but we truly believe that the worst is now over. If you remember from our previous posting, we were preparing to move into our new home and still struggling to control Max's seizures and remove him from what we felt was a variety of molds and bacteria due to water damage in our home. (Please,you must understand that we have gone to great lengths to protect Max and help him but our vet bills had gone up and up and we were unable to board him or find someone willing to care for him,giving him medication and injections,if another seizures occured, until we could move to our new home.)
Well, one week before our move the worst was yet to come. In the middle of the night Max woke me trembling and my heart sank as I knew what was about to take place. I awoke my husband and said "I'm going to need your help, go get the syringes." Max had started to seizure and I sat on the floor with him wondering how long it would take to break the cluster pattern. (one seizure after another) After seizure number six and three valium injections later, I paged my vet and said "I don't think I can break the seizures...I think it's really bad this time". She told me to take him (once again) to the emergency vet hospital and she would see Max and I first thing in the morning. By the time we had arrived at the hospital, my little guy had had over twenty-two seizures and had gone into "status epilepticus" which is one continuous seizure. If the seizure lasts 30 minutes or longer,there was danger of death or brain damage. I agreed to go home for a couple of hours,to let them do their work and would pick him up to take him to my vet first thing in the morning. When I went to pick him up he was zonked out on some pretty heavy dosages of valium and phenabarbitol. By the time I reached my vet he had started seizuring again. My vet said they would have to get him under control and let him stay there until he stabilized. Little did I know that Max would remain at the hospital for a full week going in and out of seizures for the next three to four days. I went by, sometimes twice a day to hold him and talk to him. My vet said she had never seen such a little dog with so much will to live. Max was a real fighter! A week later, I finally begged her to let me bring him home and we realized that he would have to stay medicated until we were out of the old house and "out of the woods".
It was a sad day when I brought Max home as he wasn't the same dog. He didn't respond to stimuli, didn't ask to go outside,and he would bump into doors and walls. We could only pray that there was no brain damage but only time would tell. It was a VERY long week. Then, one morning, Max got up, stole John's socks and jumped at the door to go out. I knew we were back to normal! (If you call a JRT's troublemaking behavior normal.) I said a silent prayer of thanks.
UPDATE/UPDATE - We have now been in our new home (no carpet and all wood floors) six weeks. Maxwell has gone an incredible THREE MONTHS AND NO SEIZURES!! We are so thankful. We have been very cautious not to wean him off all medication yet, but my vet feels that this will be the next move now that he is stable and of course under the watchful eyes of his "family". I have also started a new job where I am actually able to take him to work with me...can you believe it?? I want to thank everyone who has been so kind to e-mail me with words of advice and kindness.
Once again, want to remind anyone whose JRT might be having seizures to check out all avenues. There are many, many different causes for seizures, ranging from low blood sugar, (hypoglycemia) enzyme deficiency, liver/kidney disease, nutritional problems, (such as thiamine deficiency) trauma or injury, ingestion of toxic plants and various allergies, (envivonmental or food related)and distemper.
We will keep you updated when we begin Max's next step toward health. Thanks...we've got to go now. Max wants to go chase some critters out of his new yard!
AN INTERESTING NOTE:Max's vet is now the proud owner of a little female JRT,"Zoe" ... Ain't that somthin'?
Return to List of Jack Russell Stories