Monday, August 11, 2014

Tracking Gracie's Condition

So that I could monitor changes in Gracie's condition, I created a "report card" in Excel
(download a blank version of the MS Excel report card I created)
click to enlarge
 and have been keeping a log since her first seizure in  April 2013.  The log helps me see the big picture and remember conversations with her vet.  Here are some example entries...


Increasing KBr med.
Results from blood work show liver values improving. KBr level unchanged at 1.3, so no change since 12/6 KBr increase.  Will now go from 1.8ml to 2.0ml  starting tonight.  Watch for gastro-intestinal issues or extra sleepiness.  Don't want to cause those - but the ultimate goal is to prevent a seizure.  Since she had one at the 1.3 level, we figure it is ok to try increase in med. And recheck in 8 weeks.

Game plan
Do one thing at a time.  Up KBr and see if she tolerates.   Stop W/D to see if any stool changes.  If they loosen, add W/D to see if it helps.  (W/D is high fiber, which is good to absorb water for diarrhea but not very digestible so intestine has to work harder - not ideal with IBD.
10:15 PM
While on a walk, Grace began flailing her paw.  I picked her up thinking she had something in her paw but quickly saw she was air snapping and drooling.  I carried her to car and laid her down in the grass to wait for the seizure to pass.  After about 3 minutes she stopped and I held her in my lap as we drove home.  At home she was  good with walking (steady on feet) but was anxious and panting.  By 11:15pm she had settled down and went to sleep.
8:30 PM
While in the kitchen she started paddling paw and went into a full seizure.  Last about 3 minutes and it took about an hour to settle down and sleep.
Sliver moon
10:30 PM
Mild seizure while sleeping by door.  Foaming and legs running and air snapping.   Ended  < 1.5 min  Longer time to settle down and sleep ~ 2 hours.

2nd dose of heartworm prevention.
07/02/14 - 15

Difficulty walking.  Frequent falls.   Sometimes she can walk normally and other times she can't stay up for more that a few seconds.  Can stand and eat.  For a treat, she can walk across the lawn.  Placing leash under back legs like a sling helps steady her.  Back left leg crosses and collapses on her.

Vet Appt.
Talked about mobility issues.  No conclusive answers.  Seems to be a balance thing to me. Is it weakness, sedation or neurologic? Blood draw to check levels


Just returned home and at 4:30pm, she had a mild seizure.  Lasted < 90 seconds and was quick to recover.   No problem walking afterwards.  Got her 1st Hemp capsule on food with dinner.

3:30 AM, she had a mild seizure.  Lasted < 90 seconds and was quick to recover.   No problem walking afterwards and quick to settle down.  I was surprised  in the morning, that she was able to walk in the park without any issues and unaided.

Gracie was  kind of shaky today.  Mild seizure at 9:40 am with Mark. At lunch  and dinner she had some facial tremors.  On walk @ 10 pm she had a mild seizure lasting < 90 seconds and she was quick to recover.  No residual effects.  I gave her an addition hemp pill for a total of 3 today. She had another seizure at 11:20pm.

Spoke to vet.  Give her full 10 days on hemp and then see how she is doing.
  • Do nothing and live with random seizures
  • Add low dose KBr back in - not hot on this since it still didn't control seizures reliably
  • Try a different seizure medicine and hope she can tolerate it better

Mobility continues to improve.  Stools also more well-formed.  Weekend walks are back to normal.   8/11 - She crossed the street at a quick trot and leaped up over the curb!  What remains are the head tremors, soft stools and the occasional coordination issue indoors and outdoors.  She is now 18 days off KBr and 9 days on Canna Companion hemp capsules.

Looking back over the year, while on seizure medicine I can summarize to say:
  • 9 seizures while on potassium bromide (KBr) over 8 months
  • Bouts of diarrhea and urine infections have been common
  • Mobility and energy has decreased over time

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