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Starbuck the Wonder Dog Update
Posted by: Dale Franks on Wednesday, April 11, 2007

So, the week before last, Starbuck had 6 epileptic seizures over the weekend. So, we raised her meds to 90mg of Phenobarbital every twelve hours, and 2cc of Potassium Bromide per day. Last weekend, she had five more. So, we added to the above, 1mg of Clonazipam before bed.

Apparently, what happens is that, anytime we take her out of the house and into the real world—dog park, beach, or like last weekend, just spending the day in the truck as we went about our errands, she simply gets too much stimulation, and as soon as she goes to sleep, she gets hit with clusters of seizures.

We could, I suppose, get a neurological consult, but, frankly, I can't afford $3,500 to get a spinal tap and CAT scan for a dog, and I doubt I would if I could afford it.

At this point, if the drug regimen doesn't work so that she can have a normal life, rather than being a permanently drugged shut-in, then we may have to make some tough decisions.

She's only 21 weeks old. This is so sad.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

What a bummer. Let’s hope the drugs work. I’d hate to be in your place.
Written By: James E. Fish
I’d like to remain optimistic, but... ugh. That’s awful.
Written By: Bryan Pick
Oh, man, hate to hear it. She’s a cutie pie. Keep us updated.
Written By: Aaron Harnly
I wish you well with this, Dale.
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
Very sad indeed. Stay strong.
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
I’m really sorry to hear it.
Written By: Tom Perkins
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Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Does she suffer during these seizures?
Written By: Phil Smith
URL: http://

as far as I know epilepsy is no reason to put a dog to sleep, unless it really does suffer.

What are you feeding her? From what I have read it is important not to feed epileptic dogs any cereals. Cereals make up a large part of mixed fodder you can buy in the shop, but if you make sure that an epileptic dog doesn’t eat any cereals, seizures can be reduced or avoided altogether. I’m getting that info from this German-language forum, but here is an English language site so you can read up on this stuff yourself.

Written By: Ralf Goergens
I’d prefer not to euthanize the animal myself, obviously. the bottom line, however, is if the seizures can’t be controlled, and continue to occur in clusters, then eventually the animal will either become brain damaged, which will most likely lead to increased and unpredictable aggression—a dangerous condition in a 60-pound carnivore—or she will simply go into status epilepticus, and have to be put down anyway.

This is not a case where the animal is having a seizure every few weeks. It’s a case where the animal literally cannot leave the house without suffering seizures every few hours for the next two days, and must at all times be so heavily dosed with barbituates that all she can do is stumble about the living room. This is not an optimal quality of life for a large, active animal.

I perhaps should also have mentioned that, in addition to the other medications, we are giving her intra-anal diazepam when she has seizures, and it appears to have little affect in controlling them.

Oh, and she’s allergic to the potassium bromide, which means she needs regular steroid injections, because the allergic reaction causes her to break out in hives over her entire body, which puts her in very real physical misery.

So, believe me, we are not thinking about euthanasia because we find her seizures occasionally inconvenient.
Written By: Dale Franks
So, believe me, we are not thinking about euthanasia because we find her seizures occasionally inconvenient.

I didn’t think you would just because of inconvenience.
Written By: Ralf Goergens
Sorry Dale, she looks like a cool dog.
Written By: looker
URL: http://

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