Blood test results / seizure -- related?
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Thread: Blood test results / seizure -- related?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Blood test results / seizure -- related?

    Hi all,

    New to this forums and looking for some help. I'm trying to be as thorough as possible and ask all the right questions to my vet, but I feel like I'm just met with hand-wavy ambiguity and a push to "get more tests" without even a modest level of assurance that having said tests done will get me any useful information I can act on. I wish I could say money was no issue and I'll spend whatever is necessary, but unfortunately, that isn't the case.

    Here's the background:

    I have about a 10 year old chocolate lab (Guinness). Two days ago he had what "seemed" like a seizure (but we don't know for sure -- I wasn't there and only have my wife's description to go on). Eyes rolled back in his head (all white) and head felt stiff. This went on about 15 min or so before he came out of it.

    We took him to the vet, who did full blood work (which cost a mini fortune I found out). There were a number of "alarming" things in the results:

    WBC -- result: 3.49, range (6.0 - 17.0)
    RBC -- result: 5.22, range (5.5 - 8.5)
    Hematocrit -- result:34.98, range (37.0 - 55.0)
    Platelet Count -- result: 183, range (200 - 500)
    ATL/SGPT -- result 145, range (10 - 100)

    At this point, I have more questions than I do answers.

    I understand that the levels of a number of things are off. But it's a sort of chicken and egg problem for me. Are his levels like that because he (maybe) had a seizure? Or did he have a seizure because the levels are like that?

    He's certainly not young, could such levels just be a result of old age -- "normal" for his age? Or are such level never normal?

    Given the results, what would be the next step? I'm encourage to see a specialist but beyond being told the they may want to do an ultrasound, I'm not given any clue as to what a specialist may do that will get me useful information I can act on.

    Again, information I can use to make a decision is what is critical. If for instance, running an ultrasound can tell me he has condition X, but condition X costs $3000 to treat, then unfortunately, there is no point because I don't have the $3000.

    But if running an ultrasound could possibly indicate there is a low cost medicine we can try, then maybe it makes sense.

    But my problem is that I can't get any doctors to really give me ANYTHING to go on. It seems that all they want is for me to throw money at the problem and then they will give me a little more of an answer.

    But I can't operate that way. I need to have some sort of vision of where this is all headed. Guinness is old and may not have much longer to live. The last thing I want to do is run $1000s worth of tests, only to find out that the only option is say, a blood transfusion. I'm not willing to put him through that for one thing, and for another, it's out of budget, so it's silly to spend $1000s on tests.

    Can anyone offer any advice?

    At his age and current condition, I would almost be more include to try to treat the symptoms rather than the causes. If he only has a year or two left (which my vet bluntly said) then I'd rather try some low cost treatment that may prolong his life in a mostly comfortable way. But is that a possibility? Given the blood results, are there any possible conditions he may have, that could indeed be treated with a low cost med?

    How do I even know if the blood results and the seizure are at all related? Maybe the seizure was a one time thing, but we only found out about his blood levels being off because we ran those tests to try to find the cause of the seizure? Maybe it was a one time thing and he'll never have another, but that still doesn't answer why his levels are as they are? What are some commons reasons? What are some common treatments? What is likely to happen if we don't treat his levels?

    Any specific help or advice is appreciated, as no matter who I talk to, I seem to get the same ambiguous answers.

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Kyllobernese's Avatar
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    Re: Blood test results / seizure -- related?

    I can't be a lot of help but I was in the same position with my dog last year. He had a seizure at one of the Agility trials. Luckily a Vet was there and helped me with him. The Vets don't usually want to do much unless they have more than one. About six weeks later, he had another one that was minor compared to the first one.

    I took him into the Vet and they did the blood tests, bile tests and said he had a problem with his liver. They said I could take him to the University Vet, probably would not get away with less than a few thousand dollars to see if it was a liver shunt. If it did turn out to be that I could not have afforded the operation so I opted to put him on antibiotics for a month. This was last summer and I just had him tested again (another $250.00) and he is back to normal. He never did show any of the signs for a liver shunt, always was very active doing Agility, maintained his weight etc.

    Don't know what to say about your dog but know how the Vet bills can add up with no answers.

  4. #3
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    Re: Blood test results / seizure -- related?

    Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it. I'm sort of thinking that maybe just the wait-and-see approach is the best right now.

    It sort of feels like when I take my car to the mechanic and ask "why is it making this funny sound?" And he says "well, you need an oil change, and you need to struts, and you need this and you need that, and it will be $1500." And I say "ok, but that wasn't my question. Will it solve the problem -- the reason I brought it in?" And he says "It might, but you really need this stuff done anyway."

    So frustrating... at least with a mechanic though, I can play hardball and say I'm not paying if it doesn't fix the problem. Can't really do that with a vet, but I just really really hate "guess work problem solving"

  5. #4
    Senior Member Pawzk9's Avatar
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    Re: Blood test results / seizure -- related?

    Get a new vet who will discuss options with you. Ask the old vet for test results, etc. if you don't already have them. Has he had a test for tick borne diseases lately?

  6. #5
    Senior Member Amaryllis's Avatar
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    Re: Blood test results / seizure -- related?

    Looking at those results, his liver enzymes are high and his blood counts across the board are low. Seizures don't cause a drop in blood counts or high liver enzymes. Whatever is causing the blood/liver problems likely caused the seizure.
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