Being in Southern California, heartworm is very rare. We don't treat. I hope all the problems with the drugs are worked out before we ever have to use it!
ZONISAMIDE is what Cornell's neurological group recommended. At the time, Jasper was having attacks that actually floored him to the point he would be knocked down for at least one day and some times several days. After discussing with our vet, we decided to hold-off on any meds as to not mask what might be really going on as we still had heart workups and ultrasounds to do. We are averaging about 1 minor attack a week right now. Thanks TedGlad to hear your dog is doing better.
We had one similar to your dog come in through our neurology department. Full workup showed nothing, diagnosis was absence seizures. The dog has been doing very well on keppra, no episodes.
Heartworm meds could easily be stopped, just test yearly. Sentinel is generally one of the less "side effect" ones out there. If the episodes continue to be in remission, I would definitely recommend keeping off the heartworm meds.
Has the neurologist suggested a medication trial?
I just experienced almost the same. See link http://www.poodleforum.com/29-poodle-health/72705-little-no-warning.htmlRecently, have run into a problem with one of our male neutered Standard Poodles, Jasper (8 ½ years old). Never any illnesses or sickness before this. I’m lucky enough to be with our dogs 24 x 7, so he gets run several times each day. I’m afraid to run him now because of this problem. He’s not happy about that at all! He has always been super strong, until now. Sometimes he will throw-up yellow bile before, sometimes, not. Attack can happen anytime of the day with or without warning. He’ll be fine and then all of a sudden, starts slowing down and then starts staggering, sometimes he will fall down. He will standup, but will be unsteady on his feet and weak. We’ve captured these attacks on video for Cornell and our vets. This has been going on since the middle of June. The first time this happened (he was outside), I carried him into the house and held him in my arms, my wife and I thought that we had lost him. We thought that he had a stroke. Took six hours for him to recover. Took him to our vet, thorough checkup including blood work. Couldn’t find anything wrong. A couple of weeks go by, Jasper has another attack. Off to our vet, they send us to Cornell Medical Center for an emergency visit. Spend the day there, lots of tests and they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. Because he stabilized, they released him. The next day (Saturday), he had 4 attacks and I told my wife that I expected he would be gone by the morning. We called Cornell’s Emergency Room and they told us if we brought him in they would release him if he stabilized. It is 1 1/2 hour drive for us to Cornell, so, we stayed up all night with him. The next morning he was fine. At Cornell’s recommendation, we then had full neurological set of tests run including MRI (brain scan) spinal tap, x-rays of his major body areas including chest. Then heart testing set including EKG and ultrasound of his heart. Then ultrasound of his lungs, abdomen, liver, kidneys, intestines and colon. We’ve run approximately $1.5k in blood work tests (including special Thyroid and Diabetes tests) with nothing showing up. We’ve run urine tests, Acid Bile, Addison’s and Cushing’s tests and all have come back clear. Cornell Medical staff is stumped, our local vet and local animal hospital are also. Cornell’s recommendation was to put Jasper on seizure meds, which we’re reluctant to do because we want to identify the problem and just not mask it or cover it up. I’ve had dogs with seizures and these don’t look or feel like seizures to me. We’ve contacted Jasper’s breeder (great person with 30 years of experience) and she has never seen anything like this in her lines.
After all this, we went 30 days and he was back to normal. Full of energy and strong. Then out of the blue, he threw-up and it started all over again. Now, the attacks are more minor and instead of collapsing, he just gets really slow. Almost like he is moving in slow motion. He now, usually recovers in less than two hours from each of the episodes.
He’s been on Blue Buffalo dog food for several years. The only thing that we change is the flavor. Throughout this Jasper has been extremely thirsty, urinates a lot more and is starving. We think that this condition could be gastric related. We’ve checked for all kinds of poisoning. As a note, our other two dogs are fine.
Jasper is a wonderful and loving friend! Everyone that meets him loves him! We love him and want to help him, but are at a loss as what to do next. All these test show nothing! Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance - Ted.