Idiopathic epilepsy, pancreatitis...AKA: how dogs endeavor to keep us poor
Greetings all...I'm new to this forum and was referred here from a horsey bulletin board.
I guess I'll preface this post by saying that I'm kind of looking for anyone else out there that has gone through similar and what has worked for you and your dog.
5YO male lab, neutered, healthy weight, very active, never had any health issues. I know where parents and all siblings are and none of them have had seizures or any sort.
This spring, he began having focal seizures one morning...1-2 per minute...then a few petite mal, then a grand mal. He was tested for every possible poisoning under the sun and bloodwork was all within normal limits. My local veterinarian was unable to stop the seizures with IV valium so we were referred to a neurologist. Suspected possible meningitis.
Spinal tap was performed. Clear. Dog was put all the way under for a few hours and then brought back--and that finally knocked out the seizures.
Has been on phenobarbitol since. Once we got the phenobarb to a therapeutic dose, he has not had any more seizures that I'm aware of.
His diet is pretty controlled but he does go out to the farm most days and it's always possible that he can get into stuff.
Monday morning this week, he did not touch his food. He's a lab for crying out loud! He was not interested in his cheese/phenobarb "treat". His vitals were all normal, so I decided to give him the day to see how he was feeling. That evening, again, not interested in food. Started leash walking him to monitor urine and fecal output. No poop. Very lethargic. But not painful on palpation.
So I was thinking obstruction. (anyone else have a sock monster?)
Tuesday a.m., still not interested in food, took him on in. Ran CBC, chem, bile acids, blood phenobarb. His Amylase was about 3.5 times the normal upper limit--pancreatitis. Also some inflammation of the liver. Fasting bile acids test was sky high on the lipids.
He never vomited, ran a fever, or had diarhea. We put him on I/D and he's been eating that just fine. Normal stool as of yesterday a.m.
Faxed test results to neurologist and spoke w/ him last night. He suggests an ultrasound and the TLA testing. I am pretty much tapped out at this point after all of our vet bills this spring and about 500 bucks this week--and he's doing great otherwise--so I'm not sure I will be doing the additional stuff unless his condition shifts.
Plan right now is I/D food (nice and bland) and rerun chem/cbc and the bile acids at 10-14 days.
SO. My question to YOU all....anyone ELSE have a lab out there with idiopathic epilepsy and pancreatitis issues? Because the data I'm seeing indicates that there is some unknown correlation, but a correlation nonetheless. Any other stuff I ought to be watching for?
This dog is my "kid" so to speak and I am really trying to make sure I'm up to speed.