Today is the anniversary of when we said our goodbyes to Skeamer. It’s hard for me to believe it’s been 8 years. She was our first cat and will always hold a special place in my heart.
Today also marks Trinity being on phenobarbital a month. Praise the Lord, we have not seen a seizure since March 23rd. I was told after one month that we’d wean her off the phenobarb and see if she’s still having them. That they are not bad enough to risk seeing if she’s still having them or if she could’ve fallen unbeknownst to me and had brain swelling. Because of prior commitments I’m not starting the weaning down until Saturday. I was told the extra few days is not an issue. She’s really good at being pilled, but I’m not looking forward to the liquid as we dose down. I am not able to cut the phenobarb any more than quartered so I have no choice. It’s likely she’ll need to go back on an anti-seizure med but they think it’s worth taking the risk of another seizure to see. I was told by another person that I should have Valium ready as we taper off. I am going to ask to have the Valium on hand although I’m not sure when I’d give it because shortly after a seizure she looked normal, but I’ll ask.
I was told that if she has a seizure again I should put her on Keppra or Zonisamide because they are less sedating than phenobarb. She is MUCH better than she was when they first put her on it but still pretty sedated- even on 1/4 off a 1/4 g tablet a month in. If she follows it with another closely timed seizure then she’d have to go back on phenobarb because it gets to a level state sooner than the other two. Then I have to go thru comatose kitty all over again, well I guess if she has a seizure right away that it won’t take as long to get back used to the drug. I’m assuming this will be a life long treatment and how long that is depends on why she’s having them. Or like my last girl- she had kidney problems for 7 years but we lost her to cancer.
I’ve been reading everything I can get my hands on, and learned that some cats have the same sedating effect, on the two newer drugs as they do on Phenobarb. That was my only reason for changing something that was working. Wait, that’s not true. I was also doing it because I was told you don’t have to monitor the drug in the system or the tax on the liver with the Keppra or Zozi. Later I was told it’s more because a test isn’t really available to test the drug in the cats system than that the test wouldn’t be needed. I have also learned something I find interesting. Some of the other cats in the Yahoo group that their cats have seizures- some are prone to OCD behaviors like Trinity (is in my opinion). I wonder if they have bad, jerking, moaning dreams too like both of my cats?
She stresses pretty bad at the vet and if the 2 new drugs are not most of the time less sedating, and if her liver is doing okay on the phenobarb, I’m not so sure I shouldn’t stick with what’s working if she needs to go back on it and just test every 3 or 6 months (forgot what I was told about timing of the 2 test). I guess I probably need to have her potassium rechecked too at some point since she’s now being given once a day.
I love it when I see my girl act herself. It’s a little bit every day now that she runs or plays. Here’s a video of her playing catch on Sunday. I was really doubting what I was putting her thru when she was zombied out and didn’t hardly move. I’m wondering if the phenobarb tablets loses any effectiveness if cut and left in the cutter? They are so small I try not to handle them any more than necessary but I see NO pattern to how dopey she is like when she started on it. She used to be the dopiest a few hours after each dose. Now there is no rhyme or reason to the timing of that. When I went to get 5 more tablets of phenobarb (that for some reason cost the same as 10) my vet gave some DL-methonine tablets that I can give with her grain free food instead of the c/d food with it in it when I see things that look like urinary pain/ crystals. I just don’t want to feed that anymore for several reasons.
Thursday and Friday she was playful and alert for a good part of the day. Saturday I thought she might have had a mild mild seizure and possible again Sunday but she could’ve just been very dopey. She was moaning (they both have bad dreams a lot) and when I went to wake her up she was really delayed in doing so. I even picked her up and set her on the floor to watch her but when she blinked to, her eyes were not dilated and she looked and acted okay. Sunday morning shortly after her pill she was wide and glassy eyed but then played.
Let me add that she was diagnosed w. struvite crystals in August 2014 and was for the 1st time but on food (s/d for a bit then c/d) with grain that I didn’t want to feed. I see her eye run more on c/d and she bites at her feet. Every time I put her back on Wellness within a few weeks I see she needs back on c/d or at least given methionine. I only bring in food the puzzle because I read of a lady who’s cat stopped seizing when put on grain free food. My cats have been on grain free until I had to do Hills r/x for her for the crystals. I’m looking into adding Methionine to a better grain free, and possible other than Wellness because of things I’ve been reading.
Here are the two spreadsheets I’ve started for both on those. Methionine and wet food. I still want to look into methionine that doesn’t have to be pilled. The spreadsheets on the are a work in progress and are taking a back seat to the seizures. I tried a few water fountains without success until the 3rd one. I didn’t want to buy it because it was plastic but it’s the only one she drank from. Tyler still doesn’t use it but she does. I plan to post a review on my social pages but not until the seizure issue feels under control.
When she 1st got on Pheno she was typically out for the 1st few hours after pilling. Now there is no reasoning to when she’s fine and when she’s dopey. I will say she’s often less dopey than before but now it’s like it hits with no timing consistency with being given the pill. She has started standing up to her brother and actually being a little aggressive at times. She used to would back down or not follow thru like he does to her but she’s started.
I’m wondering if we should still do the taper down and I’m having second thoughts about changing from the low dose phenobarb when it is keeping the seizure from happening.