For the past three years, Minnie, my Great Dane, has battled with a pretty nasty medical condition. One night in November 2011 she suddenly had a seizure and life was really never the same. The doctors diagnosed epilepsy but said they couldn’t be sure – she presented in such a strange manner… no two sets of seizures were ever the same, some times they clustered sometimes they took 30 minutes to recover from sometimes 5 minutes…
She immediately went on medications, and nothing “fixed” it. We struggled with her constant desire to eat EVERYTHING, she was put on a diet but lost no weight. She continued to have seizures every 3-4 weeks. Her attention span got worse and the specialist dog trainer I hired actually told me that the closest thing he could think of was that she actually had short term memory loss.
I was heart broken. I started to wonder about her quality of life. She was 30 lbs overweight (140lbs) and at almost seven years old I had to start thinking about her heart and her joints and I was really struggling.
Then, last week, the vet asked if I wanted to test her thyroid after I was adamant that I wasn’t over feeding her. I immediately agreed. Her levels came back at 0.5… half of what it should be. I began looking into hypothyroidism in dogs and the connection with seizures and there’s a possibility that it could all be linked. Her behavior problems too. I wanted to cry and in the same breath felt horrible that I hadn’t demanded they test everything three years ago when they were hesitant to give her a blanket epilepsy diagnosis.
She’s been started on thyroid medication and three days in she’s already starting to look a bit more like the dog I used to know. She listens, she calms down faster, she seems to know what’s going on. To know that for the rest of her life she’ll be able to live it in comfort and maybe with less seizures and happier, well that makes my heart sing a bit.