As many of you may know, I have two chinchillas who suffer from idiopathic epilepsy, Maureen and Muad'dib. Maureen has been having seizures since 1999 with her last bad episode of seizures in 2000. (A single seizure every 4-6 months is the norm, but she has had two episodes where she had seizures every 5-10 minutes for hours, the last of which was in 2000.) Well, last week, her son Muad'Dib had his first prolonged episode, seizing on and off for 2 hours. Of course, by the time we got to a vet that would treat him, he was fine. So on Friday I took him to his regular vet for blood work to rule out vitamin deficiency, lead poisening, or any treatable causes of seizure.
For reference, I brought in a couple of Maureen's CBC from 2000. So all was pretty much as expected. NO nutritional problems or high levels of poisen. His electrolites, particularly his potassium were a little out of wack, but that is probably a result of having seizures more than a cause. The main issue seems to be with two of his liver enzymes (I don't have their names with me at work, if anyone is interested in the specific enzymes, I'll post them tonight.) For Muad'dib, one was a little high was one was 10 times higher than it ought to be. For Maureen's blood work, one was normal and and then one that was high for Muad'dib was a little high for her. (Standard values were given by both labs and were quite similar.) To that end, the vet has suggested that both suffer from some metabolic problem, which is not severe enough to cause frequent seizures or cause them to loose weight or quality of life.
The vet specializes in traditional medicine and even does acupunture. They suggested giving both chins milk thistle on their raisins. I looked it up, and it is supposed to promote liver health, but I have never heard of it before. Have any of you?
I'm going to give it a try, but I don't think it will do much. If their seizures increase in frequency, I will discontinue it, if not, what the heck. Any opinions?