Jack is a 7 year old male Cross Belgian Malinois and Basque Shepherd. He was rescued from a local kennel in March 2012, where he was abandoned 4 months earlier.
Since then, he´s become a member of the family. He even came abroad with me and my girlfriend when we moved to the UK looking for a job in January 2013.
We lived in the UK until Oct 2016, when we moved back to Spain.
Jack had his first fit in April 2016 (still in the UK) and started taking Phenobarbital when the second fit occurred. After that we moved back to Bilbao where one of the best European canine neurologists (Maria Ortega) conducted tests to remove the brain tumor, infections and thyroid disease.
Since then, Jack was diagnosed with "Idiopathic Epilepsy", which means "epilepsy with no cause found" and continued with a high dose of Phenobarbital, which worked well.
Around March 2017, fits occurred less frequently, around every 10 days or so. At this point our vet offered a second drug, KBr (Potassium Bromide) which stopped fits but led to unpleasant side effects.
Here are some images of the side effects when combining Phenobarbital with KBr: After this, I stopped using KBr and combined Phenobarbital with 10% CBD Oil, starting at a low dosage.
After a month Jack was looking much healthier and happier, although fits appeared again every two and a half weeks.
As I already said, Jack began to look less stressed (even less than before trying KBr) and I´m trying to adjust the dosage, which is now settled at 2mg /Kg per day, taken at breakfast and dinner.
This is going to be a trial and error process and can become expensive if the dosage needs to be increased above 4 or 5 mg/kg daily.
My goal is to find the correct CBD dosage for him that allows me to stop using even Phenobarbital. (I´m also considering growing a very high CBD cannabis variety if the dosage we found to be useful is economically unsustainable).
A more realistic goal is to give Jack 3 more years of good quality life with fits frequency stabilized in around 3-4 weeks without the side effects of conventional drugs, keeping the dose of Phenobarbital at a minimum.
Simultaneously, I´m also aware that, in case epilepsy gets worse and out of control, I will have to turn to euthanasia – as there is no point in him suffering and full of drugs.
Did you know about CBD before? What do you think about it?
When I was a teenager I was interested in Marijuana and knew about the effects of THC and CBD.
I was also interested in the medical applications of marijuana and Chemistry in general (I graduated as a Chemical Engineer although always worked in Mechanical Engineering.).
I discovered CBD 8 months ago whilst looking for alternative remedies for drug-resistant epilepsy, as Jack was looking really bad and we were thinking on putting him to sleep (he was suffering from various fits every week and a half, not recovering between episodes).
I started reading about how CBD and THC can be used to treat epilepsy, reading some promising papers about experiments being carried out on children with good results. I decided to give CBD a go with Jack, but was unsure to begin with.
What do I think about it? Well…I cannot put this into words. Jack is responding much better than I had anticipated. I feel like I have re-connected with Cannabis and think every day about the enormous potential CBD & THC have on treating severe conditions (not only epilepsy).
What is the name of the health problem Jack had?
Jack was diagnosed of Idiopathic Epilepsy on April 2016. He started to respond well to a high dose of Phenobarbital, having fits every 4-6 weeks. 8 months ago Jack´s epilepsy was confirmed as a "refractory epilepsy" (drug resistant epilepsy) which means there was no control of the disease having tried at least 2 drugs.
What benefits did Jack get with the CBD?
Jack has lasted 13 weeks with no seizures (and increasing!) He is also more relaxed, playful and happier. People in the neighborhood noticed this and they make comments about Jack looking younger.
I found no side effects at all. We even started training going running together again - and this activity was forbidden 10 months ago!
How many times does he take CBD a day? How many drops?
He now takes 0.6 ml of oil daily - 0.3ml for breakfast and 0.3ml for dinner.
In addition to the CBD, does Jack take any other products?
Jack is taking Phenobarbital as a first drug choice since he was first diagnosed.
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