Anyone deal with neurologic issues in dog?

ladybugfruitJuly 30, 2009

yesterday evening my neighbor's dog had what looked like a was awful, she called me panicked and I went right over and poor baby was yelping as though she'd been hit by a car and at the same time she was trying to run and her gait was very unstable, she peed all over herself and could barely stand. We rushed her to the ER vet and basically the doc told us that whatever it was was rarely seen. Hopefully she will get an appointment with the neurologist today. One of the things that has puzzled me the most is Mandy is pressing her head against stuff. The doc said that it was an indicator of where leisons on the brain probably were, but it's just been so upsetting. This is the 3rd time she has had an episode like this in 6 weeks. Both times before were not anywhere close to this time and both times neighbor took Mandy to the vet immediately ( and nobody caught it was neurological). Blood work is clean, fecal is clean, heart is healthy. I've done some research online and nothing I have found fits her symptoms. I am very worried for her. Has anyone dealt with anything like this? I know prognosis is probably not good, but I am thankful that we have one of the best neuro vets in the country.


Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

How old is Mandy? What breed? Had she had any neuro issues in the past? Did the episodes occur after eating? What time of day did the episodes occur? Is she still head pressing or was than an episode? Is she completely normal between episodes?

There is absolutely no way to guess a prognosis without knowing the cause. She could have a simple bacterial infection causing those signs. Or it could be worse. I've treated some pretty awful looking neuro cases that responded very well with proper treatment.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 1:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That is encouraging meghane, thanks for hope :-). Let's see, she's 9, and shepherd/husky mix, episode did not occur after eating, but it was observed by her owner that it was after she had been outside playing for about 10 minutes ( guessing maybe heat + too much exercise may set it off), no head pressing noticed between episodes, pretty much normal between episodes. Other sidenotes, she is a very picky eater ( always has been)and often not overly interested, although her weight is fine ( yes vet checked the mouth and teeth, all good) and she has storm phobia, so while she was doing better last night, we had a huge thunderstorm and she can be anxious about storms several days beforehand sometimes ( her owner gives her benadryl). Since yesterdays episode, she has been drinking ALOT of water and has had some accidents in the house ( not like her at all & my neighbor stayed home today to monitor her). Got a call back from the neuro vet and they don't consider it an emergency since she is better today, so the appt is next Wednesday. In the meantime, the regular vet is going to give some meds in case there is another episode in between ( she will get them later today)and the vet has also contacted A&M vet school to see if they will take her.
Now, question Meghane, this is my first experience with brain issues, if it were a bacterial/viral infection wouldn't something odd show up somewhere on the blood work?
Thanks so much for your input...this is scary stuff.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2009 at 4:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Encephalitis doesn't usually show up on bloodwork because of the blood-brain barrier. Sometimes high WBC other times nothing abnormal at all. Viruses rarely show up as anything at all unless tested specifically with titers, which can get expensive, and are not done unless there is a strong suspicion.

Don't get too encouraged yet:( Most common cause of those types of neuro issues in an older dog is brain tumor, especially lymphoma. Other causes are recrudescent distemper virus (not good either), or infection. Sometimes we never find a cause.

Seizures during the day is odd. Usually seizures occur when the pet is relaxed, just waking up or just settling down for sleep. At least with epileptic seizures. Other causes can do weird things at weird times. She unfortunately reminds me of a patient I had with similar symptoms, same breed (although he was male), same age, and it ended up being lymphoma. Found it by aspirating lymph nodes. Hopefully that's not going on with your neighbor's dog, maybe it's something more treatable.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 8:41AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yea, I did some more research last night and did find that statistically given her age, the prognosis is not good, but I kinda knew that, just holding out hope. I've personally dealt with lymphoma with two of my own dogs but never dealt with it in the brain. So, in this other similar case, were the rest of the nodes normal? One of my habits now is palpating around node areas on a regular basis with pretty much all of the dogs in my me paranoid, but that's how I discovered the problem in both of my own dogs. None of her typical nodes ( axillary, popliteal etc) are enlarged....but like you indicate, it may present very different in the brain. I will go read up on the other possibilities that you mentioned as well. Thank you SO much meghane for your insight and knowledge. Your regular contributions to this site are VERY appreciated by many I am sure. I know I do! Thanks I will keep you posted as I know anything.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 9:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My patient's lymph nodes were not enlarged when I aspirated them, but got enlarged soon afterward. Once his peripheral lymph nodes got enlarged, his neurologic issues seemed to progress much faster. He went downhill fast and ended up dying pretty suddenly at home. He was a really cool dog, and I miss him. Hopefully that's not what is wrong with your neighbor's dog.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2009 at 12:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, so far Mandy has the vet and us both stumped. She went to the neuro this morning and she did well on the neuroloic test and nothing unususal showed up on the MRI of her brain. No stroke, lesions or tumors. They will do a spinal tap in the morning. There is something definitely wrong with this dog, but it is puzzling.
I guess I watch too much animal planet, but the thought occurred to me, what if she has some sort of internal worm or parasite? Would the MRI be able to indicate their presence?

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 7:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Oh this is so sad. I so pray for a good out come. Keeping fingers and toes crossed.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 8:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

That's very interesting that nothing showed up on Mandy's MRI. Is she still having any seizures or head pressing or other symptoms?

There are parasites that can migrate to the brain and encyst, but you'd see the the cyst on MRI. Not a bad thought though. BTW, these parasites can affect humans too, and most people die. So don't eat tainted raw pork. I can't think of any parasites that would cause such severe symptoms and not show up.

Only things I can come up with are bacterial infection or viral encephalitis (distemper, rabies). Please keep us posted, it is an odd case and I'd love to hear they figured out what is wrong and get Mandy well again.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2009 at 8:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

okay, so the spinal tap was negative and basically the neuro vet referred to an internist next. Now, I wasn't with my neighbor when she picked Mandy up today, but she said the doc mentioned Cushings ( which I had already been sniffing down that path this morning in my research). I've had a little more time to dig around tonight and here is what I have come up with after putting symptoms and observations together. I *think ( will clarify in the AM) her ALT's were slightly elevated on recent bloodwork, of course we have the idiopathic seizures ( which btw she has not had another since last week and no head pressing or circling), increased thirst and urination ( including in the house which she has never done), she had developed some new "bumps" on her body in the last several months ( all checked, nothing bad by themselves), she pants way more than she used to, she's more lethargic and not interested in playing anymore, I have observed some random muscle weakness and tonight my neighbor made a comment about Mandy getting fatter...not an increase in food but I read there can be muscle redistribution to appear as the dog is getting fatter, and she has German Shepherd in her which has a higher disposition for it. Gonna call our regular vet in the morning and get her input.
Not a direction I would have gone, but I kept going back to the increase in thirst as a point of reference and there are more symptoms of Cushings than anything else that has been explored.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2009 at 10:11PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
how many of you like mice?
They are Ginny and scabbers.I don't have them now because...
which dog should I get?!
I am confused on which breed of dog to get and I need...
ACL tear in dog's knee
Hi everyone, Our dog Maggie was just diagnosed with...
itching dogs -- please read
Wanted to let you all know bout a product called Biotin...
Need recommendation for an easy grip leash
I've seen several when google searching the subject,...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™