Story Name: Jack Russells & Seizures
From: Jennifer & John Pobiak
My Jack Russell Story:
My JRT, "Maxwell" is now one year old. Aproximately eight months ago, the poor little guy would be lying on the floor snoozing peacefully and go into a seizure. The first time this happened I was hysterical and immediately rushed him to the vet. By the time we reached the vet he would be coming out of it and recuperating fairly quickly. These seizures would come about every three to four weeks and developed into what is called "cluster seizures", which happen one after the other in succession, increasing in intensity. As much as six or seven in a row..a truly frightening experience!!)
Poor Max was on very heavy doses of phenabarbitol and the little guy hardly acted as if the medication affected him. (He has one heck of a liver!) Finally, after $1,200 in vet bills, a "doggie" neuro-surgeon who suggested a $1,400 MRI,and an emergency clinic vet who suggested that it might be kinder to put little Max to sleep, (How dare she!!?)our gut instinct was that something wasn't quite right. We noticed how Max never had a seizure anywhere other than our home, and my poor husband had started having some very strange allergic reactions with wheezing, coughing, and skin rashes.
Well, you almost have to be a detective to figure this all out, but I had been keeping a fairly accurate log on the dog on his seizures and where he was, what he ate, etc., etc.
Since August, our nice, fairly new,6 yr. old condo with the vaulted ceilings had suffered much water damage with the deluge of rain we had been getting. There was water damage to the interior walls and mold and bacteria inside the walls, under the carpets and subflooring.(Luckily we are renting!!)After going to a specialist at Georgetown University and receiving allergy testing, we found we were both highly allergic to mold and both had severe upper respiratory infections. We are now in the process of vacating the property and letting them solve this problem themselves. The very odd thing about all this is that my gut instinct was to take Max to another vet and try a different approach. The vet & I felt as if Max was reacting to something in his environment. She said that many JRTs are very sensitive to airborne and food allergins and terriers in general have a history of allergies. We slowly and sytematically removed and then reintroduced various foods into his diet,(down to bottled water and NO rawhides..sorry Max) changed his environment,(whenever he would start to have a seizure, I would immediately remove him from his environment and take him to her home/office to board overnight. The change was dramatic.(UNDERSTATEMENT) Within the next six to eight weeks we have totally weaned Max off all medicine and anytime he starts to exhibit pre-seizure activity like facial tics etc., I immediately take him to a friends house and he is completely normal again and does not go into a seizure.We have bought a new home and are moving in about three more weeks. I am so glad I went with my gut instincts on this and fought to take care of my little guy and get an answer to my nagging doubts. The truth was something just didn't add up and it was just a gut instinct to not blindly accept the first course of action. It just goes to show you that your dog can be as human and react to as much environmental allergins and pollutants as human beings can. Sorry this was so long but I feel we saved this little guy's life. Always, always get a second opinion!! Thanks and "MAD MAX" thanks you too!
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