We made it through the first week of 2017, and we survived. We had a really rough weekend over here starting with Friday night. Around 9 pm, poor Bear started having a seizure. These seizures continued through Saturday evening. In total, he had 5 seizures in a 24 hour period of time.
We aren’t sure what caused this round of seizures. They were some pretty awful ones. At one point, we were almost certain that he had bitten off part of his tongue. He was doing this funky snapping thing with his mouth like he couldn’t find his tongue, and there was a fairly large glob of pink caught in his fur. He was freaking out, and we weren’t able to clean him up and examine him until he calmed down.
Fortunately, that glob turned out to just be a lot of blood. He did indeed bite his tongue, and I am sure that it hurt a lot. It was quite possibly still numb from the onslaught when he first came out of the seizure. Thankfully, it is still fully attached.
Bear hasn’t had a seizure since July when I posted our dog has epilepsy. The poor guy takes 98.7 mg of phenobarbital twice daily. According to a friend of mine, 40 mg is enough to knock a 300 pound biker on his ass. Bear is only around 65 pounds. I know that humans and dogs metabolize medication differently, but I can see that he walks around stoned all the time. I worry that if he continues to have seizures while on the medication, we will have to increase his dosage again.
Dogs on strong medications like phenobarbital have a shortened life span. According to my research, it can literally cut their life expectancy in half. This is a scary thought to me. On average, dogs live to be about 15 years old. Bear is 7 and a half now. That is half of his life expectancy. This happens because the medication causes severe liver damage.
Had the DEA not made it illegal, we may be looking into how effective cannabis oil could be for a dog with epilepsy. After all, it was showing great results for humans suffering from epilepsy. Instead, big pharm is not allowing anything natural that may help those who are suffering. I know, I’m talking about my dog here, but do you really think that those harsh legal drugs aren’t wreaking the same havoc on human livers as they do on our poor puppy?
As you know, I’m not really a political person. Heck, this may be my first post that even implies I have an opinion on anything our government is doing. Believe me, I have many. I keep my political opinions to myself as not to offend the many varying opinions that are out there. However when someone I love is suffering, I am highly opinionated.
My poor fur baby is suffering. He spent most of yesterday and today sleeping it off. Today, he did spend a little time chewing his bone. This is good because yesterday he would pick it up in his mouth and drop it again. I can only guess that it was too painful to chew. He did not spend much time with it, but he chewed it for a bit.
I feel helpless as I watch him suffer. I want to make him feel better. I want to find a way to make it so he never has to suffer from another seizure again. I’m not saying that the cannabis oil would actually work. I am saying that I wish there was an opportunity to give it a try. It bothers me that we live in a country where something given to us naturally (by God, Mother Nature, the Great Spirit, or whomever you believe created earth and all it’s occupants both plant and animal) is illegal, but there are companies using God only knows what chemicals to create medications, and we have no choice but to use these lesser quality products.
Why do I call them lesser quality? Because, in my opinion, anything man made is going to be less than something nature made. I believe in science, and I know there are some really great medications out there. But, the side effects are real. The risks are real.
Read the insert that comes with your medication. Almost always you will see a line that states All medication have risks and benefits. Your doctor has weighed the risk of you taking this medication against the benefits expected… The doctor has a really thick book called The Physician’s Desk Reference. This book lists all the side effects that have ever been reported for each medication available on the market during the year it was printed. It is updated every year.
Here is what I found for the human usage of phenobarbital as listed in the PDR. However, even with it being legalized for medical purposes in many states, marijuana is still not listed in the PDR. Does this mean that there are no proven side effects? No contraindications to prescribing it?
I’m also a mother. I know that my dog’s medication is destroying his liver. I know that I almost lost my son when his ADHD medications did destroy his liver. Yet, the FDA approves of all these medications that fill a thick book to list all the potential for harm that these medications bring. Am I the only one confused here?