Many of you know I have an epileptic Rottweiler named Le-le (aka Stinkbutt, Slobberface). Le-le started having terrifying seizures years ago. As difficult as it is to witness, we’ve all become accustomed to dealing with them. The vet care here is not like in the US, so testing for brain tumors and other causative issues is not possible. We manage it with medication the best we can and aside from his occasional bouts he’s a big, happy goofball.
Having a large animal go into convulsions in the house is traumatizing and messy. Le-le loses control of his bowels. Urine and feces go everywhere. Over time, he seems to have been able to keep a small part of his brain online to hold in the poo until he can walk and go outside, but the pee is still beyond control.
Like I said, we’re used to it and have developed a protocol for attacks using the following steps.
- Launch from my bed mid-dream (they usually occur early in the morning) and swoop down on the dog to make sure he’s not banging his head or his limbs into anything. If The Hubs is around, he’s usually paralyzed in shock at this point.
- During the first stage, the dog is rigid and on his back. I throw a towel over his wee-wee to prevent projectile pee from drenching nearby furniture.
- Use another towel to wipe his foaming mouth as he chomps on his tongue.
- If I’m really on the ball, I can grab the mop and bleach to clean the floor as he finishes up the second stage of thrashing and kicking.
- Keep him calm and pet him until his breathing returns to normal.
- Guide him outside so he can finish any bathroom business.
- Meanwhile, take all towels and doggy bed to throw in the washer.
- Bathe him and feed him a huge breakfast with a 150 mg phenobarbital appetizer.
Shortly after that, everything returns to normal. I mark the seizures on my calendar so I can estimate when the next one is due. We’ve managed pretty well all these years.
Then last week I was startled awake by a huge bang. I flew from the bed, and there he was by the laundry room door. He had slammed his head into the door. This attack was unusually violent. Once the initial part was over, Le-le stumbled around the house in a panic, knocking things over, getting stuck in corners, crying and yelping. I had never seen him like that before. I was scared and worried. Was it brain damage? Was he in a permanent seizure state?
He regained his senses within a half an hour, but he just didn’t seem right. Then later in the day, he began drooling lakes of saliva onto the floor. It bubbled non-stop from his mouth. We thought maybe he was stung by an insect in the yard, but then another seizure started. We went through the whole routine again. After I washed him up, his face was twitchy and his eyes were glazed. He had a difficulty eating and he never stopped drooling.
The next morning, Le-le stumbled around the yard like he was drunk. He looked lost and disoriented. I thought, this is it. We’re going to have to put him down. I was a mess. I couldn’t sleep anticipating more attacks. He began pacing constantly throughout the night. I froze to listen every time Le-le moved. It was hell.
I imagined bringing him to the vet to be killed and just felt sick about it, but we had to end his suffering. We decided to wait till the weekend was over and make arrangements on Monday.
During the following days, we upped his dose of medication to try to drown the attacks. I increased his exercise and cut his caloric intake because he has gained weight recently, which makes his medication less effective. I gave him lots of affection and cuddles and kisses.
The drooling stopped Sunday. His energy returned Monday. We’ve been jogging and playing. Now he is back to happy-go-lucky Stinkbutt. His brother-from-another-mother, Teri, is being grouchy with him again–a very good sign the situation has returned to normal.
It seems Le-le’s not ready to give up yet. If he’s not ready, than neither am I.
So I’ll keep you posted with pupdates as we recover. If anyone knows any home remedies or alternative treatments for this sort of thing, please leave your advice in the comments section.