November 5, 2017
I am struggling to write this update as it was a very difficult decision to make. Oakley was a big oaf who walked into things, got stuck in the most ridiculous places and goof of a foster dog. I only had him one month but from the get go it was evident that Oakley's quirks and life were not of a typical/normal dog. He was becoming more active and doing fairly well when he had a very bad week of seizure activity. The last cluster seizures ended up with him at the dog hospital. When I got him home he was not the same dog I had had prior to the seizures. His medication was once again increased so he basically slept all the time. It was clear that the seizures and medication had taken a toll on his well-being and life. With a lot of thought, discussion amongst vets, other GRRoW members and the surrendering owners, it was decided that his quality of life was not longer there. It was one of the most difficult trips to the vet and I so wanted to turn around but it was what was best for Oakley. We went for a walk and he had a cheeseburger before we went to the vet. I miss him dearly as he touched my heart in so many ways.
October 17, 2017
I received Oakley about one week ago. He had an MRI done and there are no abnormalities in his brain so his seizures are definitely epileptic in nature. He is an interesting dog....quirky. He will chew on his own legs like they are a toy but luckily he is easily re-directed. He tries to get up on the bed but doesn't have the strength to jump so he tries to crawl. I came home to the covers pulled down off the bed. He also will get wound up and pull on my clothes. He will also chew on his leash. I got a chain to attach to the leash so he won't be able to chew his way off. He does love to play tug, chew bones and throw a kong up in the air and try to catch it on the bounce. He is becoming very active and we found he needs to have a fenced in yard. We will be working on obedience since he hasn't had any formal training. He does know sit and will come when called occasionally.
August 24, 2017
Oakley had his last seizure on August 12, 6 days after being put on new medications. However, he has not had a seizure since then. We have noticed that the new medication regime has reduced his grogginess. He seems much more animated now, especially in the morning. He frolics like a puppy (though he is pretty clumsy and his tail tends to knock things over!). The downside is that he has started counter surfing (what happened to those peaches I had sitting on the counter??) and also some inappropriate chewing (including computer cords). :( He will have his blood levels checked in about 6 weeks. If he has not had any seizures for 8 weeks, we can pursue the neuter surgery, and think about placing him up for adoption. I hope there is a kind heart out there that would be willing to give this guy a forever home.
August 1, 2017:
Oakley's seizures remain an issue and his medications will be adjusted to see if they can be better controlled with less sedation. He is now on a medical hold until his health is better. Watch for progress on this sweet boy.
July 18, 2017:
Oakley's situation has improved somewhat. He has been on a higher dose of phenobarbital, and it seems to control the seizures better. However he did have a double seizure recently (7/16). It had been 25 days since the last one. However, we had just changed the protein in our dog food form game bird to fish, so maybe that was a factor. We switched him back to game bird. The downside to his higher med levels are that they leave him very groggy and wobbly. It's hard for him to even go for a walk. He spends a good part of the day sleeping in his crate. We try to let him spend some time on the deck or backyard so he can enjoy a morning breeze and fresh air, but he seems to prefer the house. His recent blood tests show that the levels of medication are high but not exceeding therapeutic levels. Breakfast and supper time seem to be times in which Oakley is the most animated. He does love to eat (and perhaps prior to meal times, the phenobarbital levels are lower). The downside is that Oakley likes to get us up before 6 am by continually barking and whining outside our bedroom door. This morning when we did not get up right away, he also pushed the door open into a spare bedroom and got into my sewing fabric and other stuff. He won't take "no" for an answer. Even though the meds leave him dopey, he can still be be "naughty." He likes to try to escape by pushing the front screen/storm door open in the front of the house if the latch doesn't quite catch. Since we live on a busy street, and he will only run if you call him. We have learned we have to keep the front door and storm door closed. Bringing in groceries or loading the car can be tricky. We are really hoping we can get to a point soon in which his seizures are controlled but he isn't so groggy. Fingers crossed.
June 22, 2017:
Oakley has settled well into our home. It took a few weeks, but he seems pretty comfortable now. He even goes in and out of the crate on his own (although he doesn't like to have the door closed.) The inappropriate chewing has subsided. It helps to provide him with Kongs and raw bones to take the place of blankets and furniture. He likes to chew on the food bowls so we have to keep them up.
He has been continuing to have seizures. They had been coming about every 5 to 6 days, and not real bad. We were really amazed that he had recently gone 12 days without a seizure. We had hope the medications were starting to control it. Unfortunately, yesterday morning he had a cluster of four seizures over a period of about 20 minutes. They all lasted about 30 seconds but one was bad enough for him to lose bladder and bowel control. He has an appointment at the UW-Madison Vet School coming up next week. Maybe we will get some answers that will help him.
May 25, 2017:
Oakley is a 15 month old male dog who came into GRRoW because he gets seizures. His family was so sad to give him up. After two restless days and nights, Oakley is starting to settle into our home. He had his formal assessment today and passed with flying colors. So far, he is getting along with our other two goldens.
We have already learned some of his quirks. We have to keep bathroom doors shut because he likes to drink out of the toilet and eat tissues out of waste baskets. He also needs to have things to chew on or he will mouth his paws or try to rip up the blanket. He came with a big rubber bone, but he's eating the pieces so we have switched up to raw beef bones. And he is the sloppiest drinker we have ever had. We have to mop each time he takes a drink.
His vet visit went well on Monday. We learned today that his blood tests came out within a normal range for levels of phenobarbital and potassium bromide, and his kidney and liver enzyme levels are fine. We are going to have to hold off on the neuter surgery for a while because of the seizures. The vet would like to see how things go in for the next few weeks before persuing other options.