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.