Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Musings from the Momster and the Monster

This post probably should be entitled "The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown".

The Momster here for today's post.  Let me take you through what transpired today.  I had made an appointment for Ciara to see the vet today to discuss her elevated anxiety levels and to have her thyroid levels checked.  She has been on thyroid meds for about 18 months for low thyroid.  I get her meds from Dr. Foster and Smith because their prices for soloxine are incredibly low compared to the vet.  I usually order 450 tablets at a time just to avoid the shipping charges:)  It is just about time to do a new order. But since Ciara is due to have her thyroid levels checked in December to see how she is doing,  I wanted to do the test a month early so I wouldn't buy a bunch of the wrong dose in the event that she needed a higher dose.

Our appointment was set for 11:30 a.m.  I had planned to do some errands earlier this morning but for a variety of odd reasons, I never did get out to the store.  Around 10:15, I heard some noise from the kitchen and found Ciara in a deep sleep with some barking and growling coming from her.  I thought it a bit odd but figured she was just dreaming of being the big, bad dog that she is NOT.  She is the sweetest, gentlest little princess ever.  So I went back to my ironing.  

Now it is time for the BAD.  10:36 - bam - a big seizure hits!!!  She hasn't had one that I am aware of since mid-August.  It was pretty much the same intensity and duration as her previous ones.  And the same foaming at the mouth and urinating, etc.  So hmmm, I figured this might be why she has been so very anxious and upset for the past two weeks.  Some of you may remember that we had similar behavior right before her very first seizures.

She spent most of her day outside doing this.

Back to the story of the day.  So off we go to the vet's, have our discussion about the anxiety, the seizure this morning, the options - putting her back on seizure meds, putting her on anti-anxiety meds, working on behavior modification techniques.  Without prolonging the story too much, there are many reasons NOT to do any of the above.  In the end we decided to try her on Anxitane, a non-prescription calming tablet that she would take daily for a while to see how things would go, and then maybe wean her to only dosing it when we thought she might have a more anxious day.  Both the neurologist and the vet want to try NOT to have her take anti-seizure meds because she is so young and the seizures don't seem to be happening that frequently.  Most of the anti-anxiety drugs are meant to be used short term in combination with behavior modification training to try to get the dog accustomed to the triggers of the anxiety.  Because it appears that her anxiety may be seizure connected, behavior modification may not be possible.   So I was willing to see how this Anxitane would work.  If not, I talked to the vet about trying the zylkene that a few commenters had mentioned or the essential oils (although I have tried them in the past without much luck).

And now for the GOOD - I was expecting a call tonight from the vet's with the thyroid test results because they are now able to do it in-house.  The call came at 5:30 p.m.  and the vet asked me if I had a few minutes to chat.  My heart dropped - I didn't think that sounded like good news.  Well, it turns out that her thyroid levels that were once too low are now sky high - 6.2.  Her last values were 3.6 in December 2013.  The normal range is 2.5-4.0.  I guess it was a good thing I pushed for the thyroid test.  The vet thinks this could have a lot to do with the anxiety, panting, and general malaise that Ciara is exhibiting.  So tomorrow we are going to reduce her thyroid meds from 0.7 mg to 0.5 mg and retest in a month.  Meanwhile I need to hold off on the Anxitane so we are only changing one thing at a time.  I see this as GOOD news because maybe we can reduce the anxiety levels without medicating her.  I did ask the vet if he thought that the seizures could be caused by the high thyroid, but he said it is typically low thyroid that can be linked to seizures.  It does make me wonder though.  So much is still in that realm of the UNKNOWN.

Hopefully it won't be long before this agitated little girl is back to her sweet self.

Thanks to all for the comments and suggestions - they all gave me a starting point for my own research and some knowledge for discussion points with the vet.

Tomorrow Phantom will be making his visit to the vet to have them check his toe and tail and ear lumps again.  Boots are not going to work with him, so we are back to the bitter orange cream and a lot of monitoring of the old boy.



Cinnamon said...

Continued Prayers for Ciara & Phantom.

xo Cinnamon

rottrover said...

Oh Ciara!! Our mom wonders if your elevated thyroid/anxiety levels could have triggered - or contributed to - your seizure. Our angel brother Buddy, who had seizures could get triggered by stressful situations, though the seizure may not have happened until the next day. In any event, we are sending rottie hugs to you and good vibes to Phantom, who we think might not be thrilled with a rottie hug ;-) Keep us posted!

-Bart, Ruby and Otto

Anonymous said...

Whew, and we thought being gone to never never land for two whole weeks was a mess.....get well Ciara.

The Mad Scots

Two French Bulldogs said...

Oh Ciara, we are keeping all our feets crossed for you. Those bad seizure monsters better go away for good
Lily & Edward

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Oh Ciara,
I wish for all the boo boo's and monsters, to just go away!

I wish that calmness will help you find YOUR way.,, Ciara, just like you used to feel.

And I wish for your family to keep believing that answers will come,,, we must keep believing!

And mom....I wish for calmness
to be painted in your skys,

KB Bear said...

Well, that was quite a day. Poor Ciara and poor you for going through the seizure and all the stuff before it.

I hope with all my heart that reducing her thyroid levels makes a difference. I also take thyroid hormone, and mine went too high for a while. I had shaky hands, felt hot all the time, etc etc. It makes a big difference. So, I hope that Ciara feels a ton better when she's back to normal thyroid levels.

We are having our own excitement here. The roads are all closed, and the Runner is stuck down in town...

Ruby said...

Oh yeah, high thyroid definitely could trigger the anxiety and restlessness. At least it does in peeps, I'm sure it could in pups. My Aunt has thyroid problems and she has a mistake in her medication dose that was too high, and she had the same symptoms. Makes sense. Paws crossed that this could be the culprit! Good info on the anxiety supplements! Ma says I've been 'off the charts' lately and that she wishes she had some doggie downers! What??! She was just kiddin' of course (sort of...☺), butt no calming supplements have ever worked before, butts these she hasn't tried. Good info Blogville!
Anyhu, Tell Ciara and Phantom that I am sendin' TONS of POTP their way!
And tell Lightning that I haven't been gettin' into too much troubles...okays, maybe I tell a little white lie...☺
Ruby ♥

Idaho PugRanch said...

We hope the reduction in thyroid medicine will help Ciara. Prayers for her and Phantom tomorrow
Mr Bailey & Hazel

Bella Roxy & Macdui said...

You are on a roller coaster. Hope Ciara can calm down without major medication. And it's good you that the thyroid test.

Paws crossed for Ciara and Phantom.

Dory and the Mama said...

My goodness, what a roller coaster ride you and Ciara have been on! We are crossing our paws and sending POTP that things even out and she is back to her old self again soon!!

We are also sending POTP for Phantom that he isn't bothered too muc by his lumps and bumps :-)
Dory, Jakey, Arty and Bilbo

Millie and Walter said...

Poor Ciara. We hope you get better soon.

Ann Adamus said...

Just sending love and gentle hugs to all.

Molly TheWally said...

Paws and fingers crossed that Clara's problems do all link up to the thyroid and it will just be a matter of getting the dosage right. Good luck to Phantom for today. Have a terrific Tuesday.
Best wishes Molly

Mitch and Molly said...

We're crankin' up the AireZen for both Ciara and Phantom and our paws will be crossed!

Love ya lots♥
Mitch and Molly

Jeanne Pursell said...

Oh Kathie...I am so sorry to hear about this. We are saying prayers for both Ciara and Phantom...sure hope that things are improving and that no new meds will have to be introduced. Good luck at the vet...we will be thinking of you guys.
Jeanne, Chloe and LadyBug

Sagira said...

Sending lots of good thoughts to Ciara. Glad she is in your home and getting the BEST care possible. She is such a sweet girl and hate to hear about her having these awful seizures. :( Good luck at the vet today Phantom!

Brian said...

We hope that evil monster leaves you along dear Ciara. We are all sending our most gentle purrs to you Phantom.

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

We have our Paws Crossed tightly for Ciara and Phantom.

How Sam Sees It said...

We will be sending prayers and healing vibes to your furkids! I may have to talk to our vet about trying Anxitane for Monty - he has been having increased anxiety since Sam passed.

Monty and Harlow

Amber DaWeenie said...

Continuing to send prayers and POTP to you Ciara. And great big PawHugs...

Anonymous said...

I hope so much Ciara is back to her sweet self soon. And I will cross my paws for Phantoms appointment, you are in my heart and in my thoughts and I wish you more good news tomorrow.

Savannah's Paw Tracks said...

Oh Kathie. And sweet Ciara. Purring up a storm that the wicked seizures leave woo alone. And really purring for Phantoms visit to go well. Play bows, Savannah

Marg said...

Oh Kathie, so sorry you and Ciara are going through all this. And it is good news that Maybe just maybe they thyroid is causing the uneasiness for Ciara and that in itself caused the seizure.
And we will all keep our paws crossed for Phantom. And sending tons of gigantic purrs and a woof and some hee haws. You sure are in our thoughts and prayers.

Sketching with Dogs said...

So sorry to hear Ciara has had another seizure. I hope the anxiety pills and the new thyroid dosage helps and keeps her seizure free. Good luck to Phantom for his vet visit.
Sending love and hugs.
Dip Elliot and Lynne

Madi and Mom said...



Jenna,Mark Drady said...

Oh poor sweet Ciara <3
I have been thinking of you and Phantom, I hope you feel better soon Ciara, and Phantom I hope your vet visit goes ok pal!
ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

FiveSibesMom said...

As you know from our Emails, I am here for you and Ciara ANY time...I am so sorry you went through this...I know how scary it can be. The "good" news is indeed good! Gibson also is on medication for hypothyroidism. And this was something we touched on with the chief of neurology from North Carolina State U College of Vet Medicine who is my guest on this Sunday's show. Her specialty is Canine Epilepsy. I'll send you the link when it's up - you can also listen in on iTunes. But she covers a lot of ground. And sometimes the thyroid can also trigger seizures. It is a slippery slope this Canine Epilepsy journey...but know I'm here and sending you both big, big hugs (And Gibson says "wooo!") xo