3 months ago, I was unaware that dogs could suffer from epilepsy. It wasn’t until my dog experienced a seizure that I became familiar with this condition.
I’m lucky that I haven’t witnessed Maisie lose control as I know I’d feel helpless when unable to comfort her. Instead I was made aware that she had a fit from a phone call home. The words fit and epilepsy immediately caused me to worry and think the worse and it’s times like that when I wish I was just 5 minutes from home so I could be cuddled up with my favourite Springer Spaniel. After her first two episodes and a run of blood tests, my parents were simply advised to keep an eye on her. Then like Jack, Maisie suffered from a cluster of seizures and was put on regular medication.
Maisie takes the drug, epiphen twice a day and it’s naturally become a part of her daily routine as well as ours. It should be given at roughly the same time so Maisie takes it at 8am and 8pm as inconsistency can trigger seizures. A liquid form is available but like most, Maisie takes it in the form of tablets. These are so miniscule that there’s no need to hide them in your dog’s favourite food, a trick we often used so it’s saved us a lot of cheese. Like any medication, there runs the risk of side effects but I feel the knowledge of them can alter our interpretation of Maisie’s behaviour as we’ve become cautious. Whilst we may have let a few things slide during puppy training (just look at the way she’s sat on the sofa like the Queen of Sheba), Maisie was never a dog to beg for food. Yet in the last few months, she’s done just that and it’s caused her to eat whatever she finds. Why she finds attraction in animals faeces is beyond me but it certainly makes me not want to be the receiver of one of her wet kisses. Whether she’s sleepier is hard to tell, she’s always been a dog who enjoys a nap but outside she’s still full of energy.
Since suffering from epilepsy, the only changes are her medication and a new fashion piece, a tag for emergencies which Maisie models perfectly, if I do say so myself. Maisie is my living proof that epilepsy does not control a dogs life. Of course, it’s always something we will keep our eye on but for now Maisie is continuing to lead a normal healthy life as my selfie-taking partner in crime, suffering from no fits since the medication.
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By Emma Upshall