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Old 12-04-2012, 01:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Update on Bianca's seizures.

Hi, all. First off - thank you to everyone who responded to my thread about B's mystery illness. It's been a tough week.

I wanted to post a thread and basically tell everyone my story. Also because I'm still a little stressed, and writing it out always helps.

Last week, little B came up to me with what I thought was snot dripping down her nose. It was everywhere. For the rest of the evening, she did it a few more times, and then became very lethargic. I took her to the vet the next morning, which was Wednesday. They checked her out, took her temperature, and advised that it was probably just an upper-respiratory infection. They put her on a nasal decongestent, an antibiotic, and we were on our way.

For the rest of Wednesday, she had an episode at least once every 1-2 hours where she would have a face full of "snot". I never witnessed it happening - I'd just look down from my desk and she'd be covered in it. We stayed home with her that night, and she had several more episodes. Thursday rolled around and she wasn't any better. She wouldn't get out of bed in the morning, wouldn't play, etc. She was still eating and drinking just fine, however, and didn't have a temp. I called the vet back again and they told me that it was probably just the medication that she was on. Thursday night, she had frequent episodes where she'd have the "snot" coming all around her face. She also had started twitching - her lips, nose, etc. Every time she would have an episode, she'd freak out and start running around, digging at the carpet, wiping her paws, basically acting as if someone had shocked her and she was skittish. She almost fell out of bed several times Thursday - we were up all night.

Friday morning, my boyfriend took her back to the vet after capturing her behavior on video. He showed the vet, and as they were there, she had another. The vet immediately told him that she was actually having a small seizure. They told us she was most likely epileptic (did not do any tests, at all), gave us valium and phenabarbitol, and sent us on our way.

Saturday, she had a grand mal seizure. Before hand, she had episodes where she would go completely stiff and stare at the ceiling. She'd also start walking in circles constantly. After she had the grand mal, we gave her a valium and some vanilla ice cream and sat her in front of the fan. I immediately called our vet, who told us to just give her a valium, and if she did it again, to call them back. I was, of course, deeply unsatisfied with their answer.

She slept for the rest of the weekend, only waking to eat/drink water, and walk around. Monday morning, first thing, we took her back to the vet. We asked them to do a full blood work up/whatever else they needed to do to make sure that it was in fact just epilepsy that was causing this. We told them about her other strange behaviors, and they tried to tell us that it was just a side effect of the meds. The vet started to check her out. She did a few tests with her legs, made her walk around (she did the circling in front of the vet), and the vet tells us that she thinks it's a neurological issue. She referred us to a neurologist at an emergency vet hospital, and we took her there directly after leaving the vet.

They did a full check up at the ER vet. Turns out, little B has encephalitis. If we would have listened to our regular vet, our situation could have turned out very, very badly. She had a spinal tap yesterday which came back clear. Right now, we're treating with steroids. The neurologist is very hopeful that they will work, and that we won't have to move on to more aggressive treatment. It's likely she'll be on meds her entire life (including the seizure meds), but she should be just fine.

I wanted to share this in case anyone ever experiences anything similar. If you feel like your dog's behavior isn't normal, get a second opinion. Keep pushing. If we hadn't pushed with B, our situation could have turned out a lot worse.

Again, thanks to everyone who responded to my first post. I came across this site while doing research on what could be wrong with my little B-Nut. You're all wonderful! I finally posted some pictures up, as well.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am so sorry Bianca has encephalitis, but glad you took her to a neurologist. We've a number of Maltese here with GME/NME and often getting a diagnosis is very difficult.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I missed your first post. I'm so sorry Bianca is going through all this but it sounds like with medication, she will be okay. I'll certainly keep your little B-Nut in my prayers.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm sorry that your little one is sick. Praying that the meds work for her and the illness can be controlled. It is a good thing that you went to another vet, we have to trust our instincts , and do what we feel is best for our fur babies.
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So sorry to hear about Bianca and Ihope she gets better. there is a FB page called "Dogs with Epilepsy." Check it out - you might get some good info on seizures!
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Old 12-04-2012, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting this. I've often had arguments with the husband about trusting the vet blindly and this was very helpful.

I'm sorry you're going through this. But you handled it really well. I'll be thinking of you and Bianca.


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Old 12-04-2012, 03:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you for sharing your story. It's an important reminder to all of us to follow our gut when something just doesn't seem right. I'm glad you did. I hope Bianca continues to improve. Please stay with us and keep us updated.
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Old 12-04-2012, 04:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry about Bianca. I had suggested in your earlier thread to see a neurologist and I'm so glad that you did. How old is Bianca? Please let her breeder know that she has encephalitis. IMO the breeder should not breed the parents of this dog. Don't know where you got Bianca but a reputable breeder should be told. There are several dogs here who have had NME and GME and you can search it in the search tool. One member Pam is very knowledgeable. Hopefully the steroids will help. She will probably put on weight on them; it's a side effect of them. Please stay with us. Bianca is adorable. So glad you posted pix.
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Old 12-04-2012, 05:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowbody View Post
I'm so sorry about Bianca. I had suggested in your earlier thread to see a neurologist and I'm so glad that you did. How old is Bianca? Please let her breeder know that she has encephalitis. IMO the breeder should not breed the parents of this dog. Don't know where you got Bianca but a reputable breeder should be told. There are several dogs here who have had NME and GME and you can search it in the search tool. One member Pam is very knowledgeable. Hopefully the steroids will help. She will probably put on weight on them; it's a side effect of them. Please stay with us. Bianca is adorable. So glad you posted pix.
I agree. Bianca's breeder needs to know her diagnosis as GME/NME is believed to be genetic. U of GA is conducting a study to find a genetic marker, but until then, her parents should be pulled from the breeding program.

Here is information on the study with updates from Pam:

Remembering Lola…an update on GME research
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Old 12-04-2012, 06:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm so glad you pushed and stuck with your instinct and I'm very glad you saw the neurologist as was suggested. NME/GME is not an easy diagnosis to deal and the medications will undoubtedly have side effects. I hope that you will remain strong and please stick with us here through your journey with Miss B.
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