Maggie, my 8.5 year old Moodle, is alive today because Dr Kaori Kanemitsu discovered and treated the unusually complicated underlying conditions triggering her focal seizures. She remains the most challenging canine seizure case that Dr KK has ever treated. I will be forever grateful to her for not giving up on my beautiful little dog. It’s a life-long condition, but with careful management from Dr KK it is under control and she is able to live a happy and normal life.
Maggie had her first seizure when she was about 2. It was characterised by stiff and jerking limbs, shaking, panting and visual disturbances Thankfully she doesn’t suffer from the type of seizure that causes incontinence or frothing at the mouth, nevertheless they tend to cause her great anxiety and she often acts out of character in the day leading up to one. Seizures would last about a minute or two with not too many ill-effects afterwards other than hunger and then lethargy. I initially took her to my local vet and they prescribed potassium bromide which is a daily medication used to treat dogs with epilepsy. She wasn’t getting them very frequently at that stage, perhaps once every few months. She may not have had them more frequently either had I not put her on medication. With the benefit of hindsight, since it was the first seizure she’d had, I would not have warranted them frequent enough to consider daily medication straight away. Also, I wasn’t familiar with alternative medicine for dogs at the time and still had faith in the medical system for my own health, so I had no inclination to question the veterinary advice I had received.
Fast forward a couple of years… Maggie’s seizures increased in frequency, so the vet told me to increase the dose of potassium bromide. I did so, but it did not improve the number of seizures she was getting. She had started getting them almost daily. I took her to a holistic vet who did acupuncture and homeopathy. He was unable to get results from either and suggested ‘gold beading’, a very costly procedure where little gold beads are inserted under general anaesthetic at the acupuncture points as a form of ‘constant acupuncture’. This also did nothing to improve her symptoms. In hindsight again, I should have thought that if the acupuncture points he was needling weren’t effecting any change that having constant stimulation of the same points was not going to do anything either. I was pretty desperate though and he’d had success with other dogs previously. I wish I had stumbled across Dr KK’s website first. Anyway, I became a bit jaded about holistic veterinary care being the answer for Maggie’s seizures, which were happening two or three times in a row about three times a day. This resulted in me seeking out advice from the specialist vet. She suggested another medication called Keppra. This medication didn’t reduce the frequency of seizures and simply doped her out for most of the day. After a few weeks on this medication it was clear she wasn’t going to respond to it and the vet told me I should seriously consider putting her down.
I was not ready to give up. Having concluded that Maggie was not going to be helped by traditional medical treatment and I had reached the end of the line there, I desperately started searching the net again for holistic options and came across Dr KK’s website. I called her immediately and explained the situation. She gave me hope that Maggie could be treated and her symptoms effectively managed with Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine. For a number of months it was hard to get it under control because Maggie was not a typical seizure case. It became apparent that she had mild pancreatic inflammation contributing to her seizure condition. She has patella issues that sometimes feed into the seizure condition too. Also, the medication she was on weakened her liver, which is something that also increase seizures. This is why most of the time a dog will initially improve on medication, but after a while, the condition will return due to the effects of long term use of medication on the liver. So the vet increasing her medication and then in addition putting her on even stronger medication only made her worse. We weaned her off the medication gradually while starting Chinese herbs and attending frequent acupuncture treatments. It took a bit of tweaking over a number of months with the herbal formulas to see significant improvements, but we got there in the end. It was a really hard slog in the beginning but it has all been worth it. Maggie is medication free and mostly seizure free too, with the exception of certain times of the year like a change in season or a long period of really hot humid weather that exacerbates her particular condition. However, it’s only one or two seizures every few months, as opposed to two or three every day, so I can’t complain and neither can Maggie. She owes her life to Dr KK. If such a complex seizure case as Maggie can be helped, you should feel confident too that there is hope for your pet under Dr KK’s care.You just need to trust in the process and the expertise of this incredibly knowledgable, caring and talented vet. It takes commitment, time and effort, but at the end of the day, she’s happy and healthy and that’s all that matters. She’s playful, affectionate, loving and a great mate for our other little dog who I know would be lost without her sidekick. If you think you’re out of options, don’t despair. Give Dr KK a call.