Epilepsy and Ginnie by Kath Hardman
Ginnie Hardman has suffered from Primary Epilepsy since July 1995.
Ginnie has always been hyperactive and was described as “not an easy dog” by many people. This was an understatement! When I told my vet that Ginnie had fitted – his reaction was “Her screw has finally come loose then?” He prescribed Mysoline tablets straightaway and although she is fully insured, he was quite content to go with his gut feelings. He told me that as she was not showing any other signs of illness – at this stage he would not subject her to any further tests, but he would treat her for Primary Epilepsy and we should monitor the situation.
I bought a book “The Management of Epilepsy in Dogs” which helped explain the causes and treatment of epilepsy and provided a diary in which I recorded every fit and the dosage of medication at that time.
Kath Hardman’s Ginnie
And the vet was right, she is now 14 years old and has been on twice daily medication ever since that first diagnosis. Yes, we tried reducing the dosage, but if the fits returned we put the dosage back up. I bought a pill dispenser and every Saturday night I fill it with the next week’s dosages. Having given tablets morning and night to Ginnie for nearly 12 years it would be so easy to forget whether the dose had been given for that day.
If you have a dog with epilepsy please do as a good friend told me - treat them as a normal dog, carry on with your training and exercise and enjoy your life with them.
Ginnie has been competing in HTM since she was 7 years old. This sport has helped solve her aggressive behaviour and she soon stopped running off to find something good to do. We started HTM and Freestyle in 1999 and during her career she has won 33 HTM/FS Competitions, been placed 2nd 11 times and 3rd 3 times. A dog of a lifetime – yes! And at 14 yrs old she is very very fit!
Epilepsy or no epilepsy, she is my best friend and I would not swap her for all the world!
Kath Hardman and Ginnie