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Darcy started fitting on 17th December 2002, Aged 7 months.

19th December 2002 - Single Grand mal seizure

10th January 2003 - 3 generalised seizures but remained standing (I call these partial seizures even though they are generalised in nature) 

15th February 2003 - 1 partial seizure in the afternoon, followed by a grand mal seizure about 9pm. I put him to bed at 10.30pm but by the next morning he was very poorly. He had obviously been fitting all night and was very disorientated. He was totally blind and confused. He paced around, bumping into things. Following various tests at the vets, which showed nothing conclusive, he was put on permanent medication.

28th May 2003 - 1 partial seizure in the afternoon, follwed by a grand mal in the evening (this seems to be his pattern). However, as Darcy had had his annual booster on 23rd May, I suggested that this may have been a factor...

25th August 2003 - 2 grandmal seizures and 2 partial seizures (not his normal pattern). Then the next day he had a further grandmal seizure. We had been on holiday in the lake district and had been adding Chlorine tablets to our drinking water. Darcy's medication levels were checked and his Potassium Bromide level had fallen well below the therapeutic range. After 3 weeks his levels were back to well-within the therapeutic range so we concluded that the added Chlorine in the water had replaced the Bromide, causing breakthrough fitting.

31st January 2004 - 1 partial fit in the afternoon - fortunately he did not have any further fits that day - I am hoping it was due to the extra Phenobarbitone tablet I gave him after the first seizure.

28th March 2004 - Darcy had 7 grand mal seizures and one partial seizure. It was very upsetting. He had been very poorly the previous week and had been on antibiotics for a urine infection. Could the infection or the antibiotics have caused the fits? Possibly? We will probably never know.  We had lots of blood tests, which were all normal although he continues to have very dilute urine. His case was referred to a neurologist who recommended increasing his medication. He was on 90mg of Phenobarbitone twice a day and about 400mg of Potassium bromide twice a day. It made him quite sleepy although he seems much better now (11th April). Back to the vets in a couple of weeks to have his levels checked We have not got the bottom of the dilute urine problem - but it could be that he simply drinks more because of the Potassium Bromide medication.

4th June 2004 - Single Grand Mal Seizure at 1.15pm. It was quite a bad seizure lasting several minutes. I was preparing myself for further seizures. I gave Darcy and extra 30mg of Phenobarbitone. I stayed with him all day and he was very restless, however, by 11pm he had not had any more fits. We went to bed and I put the Baby Monitor on so that I could hear him. By 2am everything was still quiet so I switched the monitor off. In the morning I went downstairs a bit apprehensive but everything was A-OK. Fingers crossed that that is it for a bit. It is very unusual for Darcy to have only 1 seizure - perhaps that is the result of the increased medication? We are due to go back to the vets next week anyway...

5th July 2004 - Single Grand Mal Seizure at 11.40pm. It was very similar to the one last month. Although it was late I didn't want to go to bed. I tried to sleep with Darcy in the bedroom but he doesn't like it and wants to go to bed. He paced around for about 30 minutes then he kept me awake until about 2.30am when I eventually put him downstairs to bed. I am pretty sure that he didn't have any more. I had a long chat with the vet today and agreed to increase the Potassium Bromide by another 81mg per day (now one and a half tablets in the morning and one and a quarter in the evening). Take it from there. As I said to the vet, I would rather have single seizures monthly than cluster seizures every 3 to 4 months...

After having increased the potassium bromide, we had a problem involving a bag of dog food that had gone off. It made Darcy ill. He became very unsteady on his feet but I couldn't tell if this was related to the food, or the increase in medication. After a month he was still very week and unstable so I concluded that the potassium bromide was probably too high. I decided to reduce the KBr by the same amount that I had increased it in July. I reduced the tablets over a period of 2 months. At the same time I changed Darcy's food to a product with slightly less salt (chloride). I knew that this would affect the KBr but hoped that the reduction I had planned would resolve this issue.

8th October 2004 - singe Grand Mal Seizure. I wasn't at home. I had gone away for the weekend. My husband, George witnessed the seizure. There was only the one. I don't think the seizure was related to the food change or the reduction in medication - I think he would have had the seizure anyway... (no evidence - just a feeling)

Since October Darcy seemed to get a lot better but, by December was getting floppy and unstable on his feet again. In January I took Darcy to the vets and had his medication levels checked. The Potassium Bromide had gone sky high (presumably due to the food change) So we are now trying to reduce the dosage of KBr... He is now on 325mg of KBr twice a day, (instead of 400mg)

June 2005 - Still no fits and Darcy is back to his lively, enthusiastic self. His KBr levels have come down to within the therapeutic range and I am so pleased to get my dog back. He is just fantastic and we have started competing again. He is happy and so am I..!

December 2005 - Darcy has had a good year. Once his medication was reduced in the early part of 2005, he became much better in himself. One of the side effects of the medication is the amount of water that he has to drink to counteract the salty potassium bromide. Drinking more means urinating more and this has always been a problem as it means we cannot leave him for more than 3 hours at a time as he needs to go out in the garden. we have now reduced the amount of potassium bromide he is having by almost half as his lower salt diet means he is getting more benefit from a lesser dosage. This has had a much improved effect on his drinking and wee-ing. He is also much steadier on his feet. He has had no fits since October 2004.

11th April 2006 - Darcy had a fit, out of the blue this evening. I went to call him from the garden and he didn’t come. I knew instantly that something was wrong. He was lying out on the path, having just finished a fit. Fortunately he only had one fit that evening. That fit broke a period of 18 months with no fits.

1st May 2006 - Darcy had a fit whilst he was eating his breakfast. He just keeled over in mid munch. Although he only had the one fit, it triggered me to have his medication levels checked as two fits in a month are not a co-incidence. The results showed that his medication levels had fallen. The potassium Bromide had reduced below the therapeutic range. We increased the dosage but I still wonder why this should happen. I questioned whether his food may have changed as Naturediet changed their manufacturing processes in February this year and the food definitely doesn’t look the same.  I contacted Naturediet and they assured me that the ingredients have not changed although the cooking process has. They said they would carry out some analysis but I still haven’t got the results and it is now July. In the meantime, they seem to have had ongoing technical problems with their new plant and they don’t seem to be able to keep up with demand. Hence I can’t get a regular supply of the food. I have put up with this uncertainty from some time now and I can’t keep buying odd pots of the food from wherever I can find them, so I’ve made the decision to change him onto Forthglade Lifestage food. Hopefully this will be OK, but I will have to get his Potassium Bromide levels checked regularly during the changeover.

12th July 2006 - Darcy had a fit whilst he was asleep at the top of the stairs. Unfortunately, ths caused him to fall down the stairs and I was really worried that he had hurt himself. He was certainly very shaken but he seems OK now.

11th August 2006- Darcy had another fit. I had his Bromide levels checked and they had fallen to below the level of detection. This must be because the chloride level in the Forthglade food is higher than Naturediet. I am going to change him back to Naturediet.

Autumn 2006 - I did a lot more research about the various foods on the market. Even having changed Darcy back to Naturediet, he just couldn’t seem to tolerate it any more. I don’t know if the change in the manufacturing process affected it, but he just seemed to have permanent colitis.  I needed to find a low salt complete food and eventually settled on Burns adult complete food. We had to slightly alter the medication, but we worked this out over time. The Burns food seemed to suit him and he went a couple of months with no fits.

Spring 2007 - Darcy had a nasty urine infection which took ages to clear up with antibiotics. The antibiotics seemed to cause some fits. Once this was resolved, Darcy continued to have a few fits, including a nasty cluster, and we measured the medication levels again, as well as a full screen for indicators of liver or kidney problems. The Potassium Bromide was well within the therapeutic range but he Phenobarbitone level had fallen. Otherwise, he seemed healthy. We had to increase the epiphen to 105mg twice a day. We also increased the Potassium Bromide. He continued to have a few fits, but no more clusters. 

June 2007 - Another nasty urine infection. 3 lots of antibiotics seemed to sort him out.

August 2007 - I had the medication levels checked as I thought Darcy was very floppy. It showed that the Potassium Bromide as too high, so we reduced it.

September 2007 - a blood test showed that Darcy’s immunity levels were low so I had his vaccinations done.

October 2007 - Darcy was drinking and wee-ing loads. He also seemed a bit bloated. We went back to vets for blood tests. He had a bile-acid test done and this showed that his liver function was impaired. In the couple of weeks that followed, he deteriorated badly and started to show signs of severe hepatic encephalopothy. This meant that he became very distressed, including blindness and head-pressing. He had a night of fitting and we made the decision to let him go. We couldnt let him go on suffering...