A sad Christmas for Casey
I hope my subject line warned people who want to remain happy today away. Yesterday we learned a lot more about what is going on with our 8.5 year-old spotted mutt, Casey Jones. He woke us up at 7 am with what I figured was a seizure. He was lying in his favorite spot on our bed, on his side. He was breathing very fast, drooling, and his feet were running a mile a minute. We touched him and called his name. He came out of it after a few minutes, but continued to pant and stagger on the bed with some pawing. As he calmed, he continued to pant for several minutes more. His pupils were fully dilated and he was confused and in distress.
We called the ER, and the vet advised us to bring him in if he had a second one, but get in touch with our vet as soon as she opened. She was off all weekend, for the holiday, though.
Casey had a second one just as we were falling asleep at 8:30. It was not as long lasting, however. We called the ER back and then thought about it more. Casey started attacking his sister-dog for no particular reason (sometimes resource guarding, sometimes not) about a year and a half ago. Six months ago he was diagnosed with progressive blindness. The blindness came and went, though, so that was very weird. With the ER vet saying he would start him on anti-seizure meds and keep him for observation, I considered other options. I checked with our specialty ER (where Bina had a CT last spring) and they suggested we go straight to a Neurological ER about 40 minutes away. I called there and got an appointment with a neurologist for 11 am.
The neuro exam shows left-sided deficits. Bloodwork and chest x-rays show nothing wrong there. provisional diagnosis: right forebrain lesion, cause undetermined. It couoldl be a tumor, an inflammation, or a fungal infection. I opted to not do an MRI because I know I would not do the surgery anyhow. Luckily, the doc had a treatment plan for us that did not need the MRI. We are giving 15 mg of Prednisone twice a day in order to try to reduce swelling in the tissue around the suspected tumor. That can decrease the symptoms. After 3 days, we start phenobarbital for the seizures. The delay is so we can see what effect the pred has. If it helps, it indicates that there is a brain tumor or inflammation. I guessed that if the pred makes things worse, it indicates that there is a fungal infection, and the doc said that can be true.
So we wait and we watch and we mourn. We know that Casey won't live long, but there is no way to make a prediction without the MRI. He had another seizure at 1:30 this morning. We are hoping that now that he has 24 hours on the pred, things will calm down with the seizures. It is so hard to see him with the seizure. It breaks my heart.
Now the aggression and loss of eyesight make sense. I kind of figured that there was another shoe to drop, both of those symptoms seemed neurological to me. I am a little relieved to know my dear cuddle-boy is not viscous at heart (just in his brain). The eyesight coming and going was another clue. I chose the neurologist because 1+1+1 was adding up to three, and I wanted someone who could see the whole picture and not lead us down several paths on the way to a diagnosis.
Any of my Forum Friends have experience with seizures? Brain tumors? How did it go for you? Thanks for reading, I know you all will be our best support through the days to come.
Here is a link that might be useful: Casey