Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Missy report

After waiting what seemed an eternity we got some answers back on our Missy the other day. It has taken me a couple of days to process it enough to share here. In the neurologists opinion, after reviewing the videos and x-rays we sent, she most likely has intracranial disease. Otherwise known as a brain tumor. Not very good news. Some of the stuff I was seeing were what is called focal seizures. We can go further with testing to confirm the diagnoses but considering what that entails I am not in a rush to proceed. Besides, a confirmation doesn't really change much for us.

Here is a link to a blog I built with some of the videos I had taken of her and sent along: I sent much more video than what is on the blog. Blogger wouldn't cooperate with my longer clips.

And here is a informative link I found on brain tumors in dogs:

Could it be something else? Yes. Cervical disease is also a possible option. However the symptoms I have seen and compared to the various websites I have been surfing lead me to believe the tumor diagnoses is correct. This doesn't mean that I won't keep looking and hoping it is a disc or other fixable issue. Vets can be wrong, even specialists.

My first concern is that she isn't in any pain. She certainly seemed painful by some of her actions which is what had me so worried and chomping at the bit for answers. We changed her medication so now she is only on prednisone, a steroid which is one of the treatment options that is doable for us. She has had another grand mal seizure so I have phenobarbital on hand to start if those become frequent as well. We stopped the metacam, (anti-inflammatory) robaxin (muscle relaxer) and tramadol. (pain reliever)

This is day 3 of the pred and I am relieved to say she seems to be feeling much better. She play bowed to my daughter last night and even chewed on one of her nyla bones today, something she hasn't touched in weeks. She is also much perkier than she has been. The wobbling is still present at times and she is still having some accidents in the house. Things had gotten pretty bad here the past week for her. But things seem to have improved for her overall since changing meds. Hopefully it continues.

It certainly isn't a cure, but keeping her comfortable is my number one priority right now. Since we do not exactly know what we are treating because we haven't gone the MRI route we are flying blind to a point. And steroids can sometimes only provide an initial short term improvement. For now I will take it. Maybe we will be one of the lucky ones and get lots of time out of it, or find out we were wrong and it is indeed a fixable issue.

Think good thoughts for us. I would appreciate it.


Katie said...

Oh man. My heart goes out to you. That was Harv's diagnosis as well, though I never pursued diagnostics further than just a visit to the neurologist. I wasn't going to do brain surgery on him and MRIs don't come cheap.

We did not recognize his seizure activity for what it was until he had his first grand mal seizure. I'd had him in twice previous for "episodes" but we never pegged them as seizures. Hindsight being 20/20 it was obvious, but it probably didn't change anything anyway.

Fingers crossed for you and for Missy. Starting Phenobarb was rough for Harv, but it stopped the seizures for a good while. We ended up adding Potassium Bromide as well when the Phenobarb wasn't enough.

Marie said...

Katie, Thanks. I have been second guessing myself about not doing the MRI so I am glad to hear I am not the only one who has gone this route. People assume because we work for vets as get this huge discount on everything. I only wish that were true.

Lindsay, Not sure where your comment disappeared to but I will e-mail you ref the training demo info.

JulieandCaleb said...

My prayers are with Missy, you, and your family during this difficult period.

Darlin Mikey said...

We'll be thinking of you Marie! Best of luck moving forward with Missy!

Katie said...

Not doing the MRI was something I really really struggled with. He was 11, and we weren't looking for anything good. I would have liked to have done it just to know, but chances are what we were doing (ie treating symptomatically) wouldn't have changed much if at all even if we knew.

But I'm the kind of person who always wants to *know*. Part of that, I guess, is working in vet medicine. Part of it is just me.

(The neuro vet we saw though did Harv's exam for free "because vet techs don't make enough money". What a nice guy!!)

Marie said...

Thanks everyone. I appreciate your thoughts.

Katie I would love to know for sure too. But knowing doesn't change what I can do for treatment either. Your neuro guy sounds awesome. Certainly in touch with reality more than some vets.