November Epilepsy Awareness Month: Meet Epi-Star LUNA


Epi-Star "Luna"

My #FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong November Epilepsy Awareness Month “Epi-Star” features I have been writing this month (based on the concept of my book EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy), where I highlight some amazing dogs who have/had Canine Epilepsy (also known as Epi-dogs), but never let that stop them from living life. Today, I'd like to introduce you to a beautiful Siberian Husky girl named “Luna," who even with seizures and a recent diagnosis of cancer, is a true warrior dog and enjoys life.

 

When Cela Nash first welcomed beautiful Luna home from the shelter in June of 2016, she was estimated to be about four years old. “I had had her about four months. At that time, she was overweight, and I was working on getting her down to a good weight.” Cela had her vet run a full panel of tests and she says, they “found she was borderline low thyroid, so I did a zinc test and found she was low. I started zinc supplements and her level improved.”

 

Cela Nash's beautiful girl enjoys her life. Since March of this year, 
she has not had a seizure on her new medication regimen!
 

Many times, Siberian Huskies, or “snow dogs” can be deficient in zinc, which can trigger seizures. To listen to one of our FiveSibes #TheSibeVibe podcasts where I talk with Margit Maxwell of The Divine Dog Project about zinc deficiency and seizures in Huskies, tune in below.



 

But then Cela says, “About a year later, she developed an atypical seizure disorder. In early November 2017, she started having these weird episodes. She had been lying down, and I noticed she had been incontinent. She had a hard time getting up and was a bit wobbly.  She could walk around, but her balance was off.  She seemed to have impaired vision. She would lie down again and not want to move, and urine would continue to leak. Luna could hold her head up, but it would move back and forth a bit from the shoulder. The whole thing would last about two hours and she would be "off" the next day.” But thankfully, said Cela, Luna experienced “no unconsciousness.”  

 

Luna pictured her her first week in her forever home after being adopted from a shelter by hu-mom, Cela Nash.

 

The advice from her vet was “watch and wait,” which many times is routine with first-time seizures as sometimes a dog can have one seizure in a lifetime and be done. But, more often, they go on to have more seizures, and many times, they could be deemed "idiopathic" or no known cause, which is far better than as a result of an illness or injury.

To read my post on seizure triggers, please visit HERE.

Cela said their vet ran bloodwork, and it “was normal.” Cela explains that Luna went on to have “a couple more of these episodes and my vet recommended a neurologist.” The neurologist’s exam was also normal. “Luna was started on Keppra ER two every 12 hours. The neurologist said the goal was to control these episodes to once every two to three months.” 

 

Cela said Luna “seemed to do better in the summer” but then seizures started up again in November/December for “every month or so. I tried CBD to no effect. Then, in 2020, Luna lost her "summer break" and Cela said the episodes came year round. 

 

“Then in June of 2021, the episodes changed,” recalls Cela. “One day she collapsed, legs had running motions, she was drooling, but no loss of consciousness. She seemed very anxious. I notified the neurologist, and she said it sounded like the disorder was progressing to more classic seizure characteristics, so she increased the Keppra to three every 12 hours, and this helped in that the episodes went back to the previous presentation.”


Fast forward t January of this year, and Cela said “Luna started having more of the second type of episode more often, every two to four weeks. I got the nasal spray from the neurologist and that helped. She also increased the Keppra to four tabs, that had no effect, so in March she said it was time to add another med.” 


Cela was given three choices for the second medication, and she said she selected “Zonisamide based on the reported side effects.”


And, Cela happily reports, “Since March of this year, Luna has been free of these neuro episodes!”

 

Luna out on a walk with her favorite toy she 
enjoys bringing along with her! 
 

About six months ago, Cela says Luna developed cancer. “She is now going on 11, still doing fairly well. good energy, and appetite. Even with her cancer, she is still happy…I appreciate every moment I have with her.” 

 

“Since March of this year, Luna has been free of these neuro episodes! She is now going on 11, still doing fairly well. good energy, and appetite. Even with her cancer, she is still happy…I appreciate every moment I have with her.”  ~Cela Nash

 

 💜

 

Note: These are the personal stories of Epi-dogs as told by their families. As always, discuss any medications, alternative treatments, new foods, etc., with your veterinarian first before giving to your dog. 

 

 

 Other Stories in the Epi-Star Series:

 
Epi-Star Gibson of FiveSibes, go HERE
 
Epi-Star Emma, go HERE
 
Epi-Stars Quinn & Sue go HERE. 
 
Epi-Star Ruby, the Therapy Dog, go HERE. 
 
Epi-Star Gibbs, the Therapy Dog, go HERE.
 
Epi-Star Jackie, Guiding Eyes for the Blind Ambassador/IBM Neurodiversity Mascot, go HERE.
 
Epi-Star Manilow, go HERE

Epi-Star Cheyenne, go HERE.
 
Epi-Star Lily, go  HERE.
 

 

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