Dog ID: 17-019
June 4, 2021:
On a spring Sunday afternoon, Charlemagne (Charlie) had his last seizure. The seizures had become more severe, more frequent, more unpredictable. Charlie’s response to the seizures was showing how difficult it was for him to cope. The poor man was tired. His brain became his worst enemy. So, that Sunday afternoon, I laid on the floor next to him, holding his tired body, with my face next to his, with his grateful eyes staring into mine. He laid his head down and took his last breath. It was a release for him, over the rainbow bridge. His very bestie, Maggie, greeted him on the other side, biting him where it hurts to remind him that she is the boss. Rest well, my love.
May 10 2021:
Charlie has had an improving time since his last seizure. There have been no more since that Monday in February. Yeah! On the other hand, his blood counts were slowly dropping and the medical team that cared for Charlie when he had the stomach blockage was contacted. They suggested treating him for a bleeding ulcer. Two weeks of Prilosec later, he is no longer anemic! Other issues such as adjusting to higher does of medication and being treated for outer ear infections are resolved. All in all, it is a good report.
April 2, 2021:
Oh, the spring equinox, a time for seizures. Charlie had a tough day, with six seizures in a short period of time. There was no room at the vet hospital, and everything he needed was at home. So, home he stayed; with lots of support from the neurology team at UW. Medications were given every 6, 8 and 12 hours, plus after each seizure. Charlie and his person were exhausted at the end of day 3. Then, he could go back to his happy life. Seizure free.
March 15, 2021:
Charlie was admitted to the hospital at the end of February for cluster seizures. He had 3 seizures one day and required a sedative drip to stop them. The UW Vet School neurology team changed his meds and the seizures stopped. He does not do well on sedative drips and was barking so much that the decision was made to send him home early. Unfortunately, it took a while for the sedative to wear off. Several hours later, he settled down and laid his weary head on the cushy rim of his dog bed. Another crisis ended.
January 3, 2021:
Charlie is enjoying the holiday season with the snow. Like most Goldens, he loves the snow: rolling in it, leaping over the piles of it, romping along the trails covered by it. He tolerated the human part of it: small parties (of immediate family), gift wrapping and unwrapping (seems like a futile task), and the lovely prime rib at the big celebration (with juices dripping on his head).
Health wise, Charlie is doing GREAT! Since his month of hospitalizations, vet visits, injections and blood draws, and medication changes, he has been doing very well. He is so much more preppy on his new diet and medication changes. He is happy to be seizure free and digestion regulated. He likes his new diet and new energy. Now, the resident humans only need to adjust to longer walks and play sessions.
October 18, 2020:
It is autumn: Charlie’s favorite weather! He loves the squirrels scampering about, the chewy sticks on the ground and the falling leaves. Hanging out in the front yard is a favorite pastime: watching the neighborhood, making sure everything is the way it should be. Charlie is still seizure free!
September 24, 2020:
Charlie has gone another month without having a seizure. Yeah! That makes 1 year 7 months.
Charlie is enjoying the cooler weather. He is not a fan of heat, preferring to lay over the air conditioning vent. Now he is outside playing with his neighborhood golden retriever friends, running around chasing squirrels and visiting the neighbors. He is an ambassador in the cul-de-sac.
August 12, 2020:
Charlie got through the hot month of July by laying over the air conditioner vent on the floor. He is not a fan of the heat and humidity. Trips outside were short. He made every one of them look like he was headed for the gallows. August and its cool nights are a thing Charlie appreciates. Charlie continues to be seizure free. He had lab work recently, which showed that the medication levels, after being tweaked, are in the target range. He continues to go to the holistic vet for acupuncture once a month. He truly benefits from these treatments and I think they are what keep him seizure free.
July 9, 2020:
Charlie has been busy this spring helping to foster Belle. Now that Belle has gone to her forever home, Charlie has settled into his old routine. He loves to ride in the car, sleep over the air conditioning vent, and take walks at his pace (and not Belle’s). He has had a long bout of diarrhea, which is dangerous for him, as he does not absorb his medications. But, we continue to see the holistic vet, and are getting back on top of this chronic issue. No seizures! That is almost 1.5 years! And Charlie is turning 7 years old on July 18.
May 10, 2020:
Charlie has now gone one year and four months without a seizure! Hooray! We tried to stretch out his acupuncture treatments from every four weeks to every six weeks, but he developed diarrhea. That is a pesky problem he has, which causes his medications to travel too rapidly through his system and not be absorbed. He just seems to need more attention to stay healthy. So, we carry on….
February 7, 2020:
During these cold, snowy months, Charlie has been a happy dog playing in the snow. He loves to eat the snow, roll in the snow and smell the dog pee frozen in the snow. Walks are the highlight of his day.
We moved to a new place in January. Charlie loved all the action and exploring the new house. He has adapted to condo living and enjoys the neighbor’s young, wiggly black golden mix named Winry. And Winry loves Charlie, much to Charlie’s chagrin, as she loves him all over. Charlie is a mellow dog. But, he looks forward to ‘seeing’ her.
Charlie and the resident cat have had to adapt to living with each other in this new arrangement. They previously allowed each other a wide berth, carefully watching the other for any quick movements. Now, everyone is on the bed, snuggled in for the long winter nights.
The best news of all is the Charlie has gone ONE YEAR WITHOUT A SEIZURE! He is still considered medically fragile. He takes a boat load of medication twice a day and receives acupuncture once a month. Blood levels are monitored closely, as his medications can be toxic. But, he is a happy dog that enjoys life, especially riding in the car!
July 26, 2019:
Charlie is doing well. His Bark Fit (a fit bit for dogs) shows that he spends 90% of his time sleeping! It’s a dog’s life. The Bark Fit was placed by the UW Veterinary Neurology service as part of a study. We are having fun getting in his steps every day. He has not been cooperative on the hot days, choosing to just walk around the block. One definitely knows when he is done walking and is ready to go home. As far as seizures, Charlie continues to be seizure-free, with his last one at the end of January. He continues to receive monthly acupuncture.
April 24, 2019:
Charlie is a big, goofy white golden retriever who wows people with his good looks and easy-going personality. He is mild mannered until the word “Car!” is spoken. Then, his head pops up erect and his tail swings happily. He sounds like Scooby-Doo before barking loudly in anticipation of his favorite activity: riding in the car.
The remainder of Charlie’s time is spent snoozing in a quiet corner, walking with his resident dog pals and enjoying his food slowly. This fall there was a big wedding with lots of visitors at the house. Charlie loved the hustle and bustle. But, after everything quieted down, Charlie started having lots of seizures. His best friend, Maggie, the ultimate alpha dog, died in December and Charlie mourned her deeply. He manifested this mourning by having a daily seizure for a few days. He began adjusting to the quieter house and then, happily, another dog came to live with him. And another after that.
Charlie was hospitalized at the end of January for 3 days. He came home on some medication changes, and continued to have acupuncture and take Chinese herbs. And, an unprecedented thing happened. Charlie has gone 3 months without a seizure! Hip hip hooray! We are hoping for continued good medical control and for very few seizures.
October 14, 2018:
Charlie had a busy summer, There were many trips to the vet. There was a wedding. And, he helped foster a dog named Sunny.
It was a summer filled with seizures. Charlie spent time in the UW Vet Hospital becoming even more well known by the neurology service. His meds were adjusted twice and are now given three times a day. This has led to an adjustment for the family to make sure he gets his meds on time. We now keep a log, and everyone has learned to check it when they come home. Does Charlie need his meds?
Charlie continues to see a vet for acupuncture once a month. He also receives Chinese herbs. A second herbal mix was added after this string of seizure episodes and it seems to have done the trick. He has gone 5 weeks without a seizure! The goal is one seizure every 2-3 months. He has never gone that long without a seizure.
Favorite activities include car rides. And as a true golden retriever, he also loves to greet people at the door. One of the young ladies of the family got married and Charlie had more than 2 weeks of enjoying lots of visitors. He greeted them all with his relaxed charm.
This summer brought a new dog to foster, Sunny. He stayed for 3 months, until he was medically cleared for adoption. (The house felt like an infirmary!). Charlie shared his walks and space with the young pup with his usual easy-going manner. He tried to teach Sunny about the joys of car rides, but Sunny remained dubious.
We are looking forward to snow. Charlie loves the snow and makes awesome snow angels.
June 11, 2018:
Charlie has become a forever foster dog.
March 20th, 2018:
Charlie went from November 29 to January 9 without having a seizure and then he had two in one day. He had another seizure on February 12. It was decided to try a holistic vet for 4 – 6 weeks to see if there is any improvement. The holistic vet recommended a diet that is less than 20% carbs. That is near impossible to find or outrageously expensive. We did some research so we can make our own. It will be a raw diet, as cooking meat causes it to lose many of its nutrients. It looks like a good option. We fed one of our own dogs a raw diet for many years with great success. Charlie is also getting Chinese herbs.
On March 7 Charlie had three seizures so we took him to the UW-Madison Veterinarian Hospital where he spent the night. The vet report said: cluster seizures indicate that Charlie’s idiopathic epilepsy is not being well controlled currently. His diet change to a raw diet three weeks ago is one possible cause of this worsening, since any change in salt intake can affect his circulating levels of Potassium Bromide. We expect to increase his Potassium Bromide dose, however, we want to see what his current level is before we decide how much to increase it. It is important that Charlie stay on a consistent salt intake. Please let us know if you are considering switching his diet again.
Idiopathic/unknown epilepsy is a seizure disorder, which is often genetic, and results from a misfiring of the neurons in the brain. We attempt to control the seizures with drugs, however it is important to understand that the underlying disease (epilepsy) does not resolve with medications and therefore Charlie is likely to continue to have seizures for the remainder of his life. The goal of the medication is to reduce the frequency and severity of the seizures.
To manage Charlie’s current history of cluster seizures, an extra dose of phenobarbital was added for three days.
Charlie had another seizure on March 17. His cluster buster therapy has changed from an extra dose of phenobarbital for three days to versed shot up his nose. The phenobarbital extra dosing cause Charlie to not be able to walk without staggering and falling. He sees the holistic vet on Monday. Improvements have been made by the holistic vet. His chronic ear problems and colitis have resolved.
December 3, 2017:
Charlemagne has been in foster care for 6 months now, due to ongoing medical care for a seizure disorder. During that time, he has been evaluated by UW-Madison Veterinarian Hospital, and was neutered at the local vet clinic. A MRI revealed that Charlie, as he is called, has a very small defect in his brain that is causing him to have seizures. These seizures are controlled by medications and the vets have been tweeting his medications to allow Charlie to live a relatively seizure free life. Unfortunately, he has been having more breakthrough seizures lately. The goal is one seizure every 6-8 weeks.
Charlie is a delightful dog. He loves to go on walks and to be outside “helping” with whatever job needs to be done. He has been well trained and is responsive to voice commands. He ignores the resident cat and enjoys playing with the resident dog. Charlie loves to snuggle and sometimes thinks he is a lap dog. Car rides are the highlight of his day. Even though his medications make him very mellow, he is always ready for an adventure. His disposition is gentle and loving.
Charlie will make a wonderful pet. He is charming and companionable. The only down side is the occasional seizure and more frequent vet visits than the usual dog. He takes medications 3 times a day with a monthly cost around $250. Fortunately, he takes pills easily. We have enjoyed fostering Charlie and whoever adopts him will enjoy him, too. He truly is the nicest of dogs.
September 10, 2017:
Charlie has been seizure free for almost three months. He has been catching up on vaccinations and will be ready for adoption at the end of September. He continues to charm everyone with his calm but playful disposition and is a snuggler, too. We are working on getting his medication costs down to a number as low as possible so he does not break the monthly budget. We have found prescriptions can be filled through a Canadian pharmacy for a third of the cost. But, he is definitely worth the cost of the medications!
August 9, 2017:
Medically, Charlie has been doing well. He has been seizure-free for several weeks and sailed through the neutering surgery. His hips were deemed normal, and the medications for hip arthritis were stopped. He only takes medications to remain seizure-free.
Charlie is a sweetheart of a dog. He is so mellow, not letting anything ruffle his fur. He allows the resident dog to be the top dog and peers at the resident cat with a bored eye. When he needs something, he quietly walks over to you and looks with big limped eyes until his needs are met. He is truly a gentleman and very well trained. He will make a family a wonderful dog!
August 2, 2017:
Charlie is a four year old white golden retriever with a mellow, happy disposition. He has idiopathic epilepsy and a wobbly gait due to the anti-seizure medications. But, when he puts his mind to it, he can run like the wind. He has been trained very well and obeys commands like a champ. His manners are awesome.
Charlie was in his foster home only 2 days when he started having cluster seizures. He was rushed off to the the emergency vet clinic and the next day, he was transferred to UW Veterinary Hospital. He had an MRI and lumbar puncture to rule out tumors or infections. The veterinarians stated there is no reason for the seizures, it is just the cross he has to bear. His medications were increased. Fortunately, he takes pills well, once they are hidden in his wet dog food. He is a grazer with his food, liking to enjoy every bite, and does not notice the pills as they are covered in tasty dog food.
Charlie is a lover, wanting to sit his entire 90 pounds on your lap. Despite the wobbly gait, he can jump up on the furniture when invited. He is bored by the resident cat and gets along well with the resident dog, who is a bit crabby that he came to live here. But, he takes everything in his stride and does well with everyone, human and pet. He truly is a wonderful dog and we feel lucky to have the opportunity to care for him.
June 22, 2017:
Charlie is new in foster care. More information will follow.