Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
First: We have a vet appointment set for Wednesday at 11 am. It's the earliest they could get us in unless it turns into an emergency situation. I've been communicating with the vet by email and she knows everything I've put in this thread.

Okay. Crystal is an almost-13-year-old papillon with no history of health issues. She has had short periods of having a sore back in the past (I think due to Casper yanking her tail hard once while playing) and has recovered quickly on Metacam. No genetic health issues in her lines, but her grandmother did have heart problems in old age.

Back on June 17, I was walking the dogs and Crystal had some kind of seizure. She tried to walk in a straight line but was having trouble keeping her balance and was stumbling and weaving. I picked her up and she went completely limp and her eyes glazed over. I lay her down to text for help, and she lay there limp for about 20 seconds. I think she may have peed herself. When I picked her up again, she started moving and looking around. She could sit and stand but looked confused. We got a ride back home and about 25 minutes after the incident, she seemed completely fine -- running around, drinking water, eating some food, and doing simple tricks when asked. The vet said to keep an eye on her and let her know if she had any more seizures.

She'd been completely fine after that until August 12, so almost two months later. She had a little (couple-minute) "episode" where she jumped up, acted all shaky/shivery and panicked, paced around, flopped over on her side, got back up, stretched... like she was uncomfortable and trying to get comfortable. She didn't pass out or go spacey. She was fine for hours after that but then started pacing around looking kind of hunched. I thought it might be her back or some stomach issues (although eating/drinking/peeing/pooping are normal), and she recovered quickly, so I wasn't too concerned. This happened again on the 13th, but she was fine between episodes, running around, playing, play-bowing, hopping excitedly at mealtimes, going for an hour-long walk.

From the 14th til today it's gotten a little worse. She has 2-3 episodes a day, mostly when we're trying to sleep at night. She'll wake up panicked, try to run across the room, and flop down shaking. I've noticed that she seems unable to properly move one of her back legs during these episodes and will kick the other one repeatedly like she's trying to stand up but can't get the other leg to cooperate. Twice she has yelped repeatedly during an episode, but usually she's silent. Her heart races. For a few hours after today's episode her breathing seemed slightly strained, not like she was really struggling but like she was a little wheezy. Right now she seems fine. She was excited to get breakfast and was playing with Casper a bit ago.

Here she is during a (non-yelping) episode: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SL-QXkoonE&feature=youtu.be

Has anyone dealt with anything like this? Does it sound physical or neurological? The vet obviously isn't going to give me any answers over email, but I think we're going to do bloodwork and maybe a urine test on Wednesday. Anything else I should ask for?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,697 Posts
Remmy, my Shih Tzu x Maltese cross, had his first seizure around two years old. They usually happened at night, he would wake me up throwing up, then flop over on his side and move his legs. They did not last long and were never really violent and right after he was back to normal. I still kept competing in Agility with him and he never had them during exercise. The Vet did not want to put him on anything as they were not that often. This went on for about four years until one day in the car, he had a seizure, then a couple more right after so I rushed him into the Vet. They gave him some valium and give me some to take home to use. A few months later, he stopped having any seizures and has not had another and he is 11 now. The Vet said they usually did not stop like that but as they cannot really tell you what is causing them, it is hard to diagnose it. It can be something in the environment or something they are eating or ???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, I'm really hoping the tests will tell us something because I don't know how else we're going to narrow it down -- Crystal doesn't eat anything but her kibble and the occasional bite of cooked meat or cheese or carrot, and she's never left anywhere unsupervised where she could get into anything. My vet doesn't seem to think we're at a dangerous point yet, which is good because the clinic is so busy that even though I contacted them a few days ago, the earliest they could fit me in was the 21st and that was only due to a cancellation -- it was the 27th at first.

None of Crystal's "episodes" have lasted long or been very bad, although the two times she repeatedly yelped while trying to run across the room were scarier. We're not getting much sleep though because these "episodes" (at least for the past few nights) have only been happening when we turn in for the night -- we get a couple hours of sleep and then she wakes up yelping and/or thrashing, does that for a couple of minutes while I pat her, falls back to sleep, then rinse and repeat one or two more times during the night. The rest of the day, she's fine -- playful, eager to eat her meals, eager to go on walks. Shows no signs of discomfort or fatigue during hour-long walks. It's weird.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,895 Posts
This is confusing for me too. There are points it looks vaguely seizure like in there, but mostly not and they're super brief. She also seems pretty danged aware. I hope you get some answers from the vet. That cannot be fun to watch or for her to experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
We went on an hour-long walk last night and I watched that one hind leg. Sometimes it seemed like she was moving it out to the side just slightly too much while she walked, but it was hard to tell. Sometimes she'll stand on that foot a little flatter than she stands on her other foot. She walks without complaint, but it's hard to tell with her because she's one of those stoic dogs -- for example, I can cut her quick while clipping her nails and she won't even yelp.

She didn't have any episodes last night, and today she seems even more active and chipper than usual, probably because she got more sleep. She was bouncing around very excited at breakfast. I just keep going back and forth on whether I think it's neurological or physical. None of the symptoms match up to anything specific and it's weird that she's normal 95% of the day. We'll definitely keep the vet appointment whether or not she has any more episodes between now and then, and I hope it sheds some light.

(I'll post here with what the vet says, too, for anyone who's curious.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
She hasn't had any episodes the past two days. I will of course keep the appointment, but as of right now, she's normal; we've been able to sleep all night and she doesn't appear to be unhappy or in any pain.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
So you can see what I mean: here she is today after her bath. (Ignore any calming signals; she's a highly sensitive dog and she throws those out constantly no matter what she's doing.) I had to stop her from running too much just in case this is physical and she triggers it again. I'll show this to the vet tomorrow so she can see I'm not exaggerating when I say Crystal is normal when she's not having an episode!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
We saw the vet. Physically, everything's great with Crystal. No obvious disc issues, no knuckling (she flips her paws back immediately when the vet bends her toes under), no visible pain, strong heartbeat. The vet is thinking it's mini seizures where Crystal doesn't actually pass out. She took blood and they'll call me with the results of the full panel this afternoon. We probably won't jump to seizure medications right away (especially considering Crystal has been fine for the past four days), but we may try muscle relaxers just in case it is physical, as it's hard to know with Crystal because she's so stoic. I'll know more in a few hours once I have the bloodwork results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,216 Posts
I'm glad that she's been great the last few days and that there's nothing obviously wrong with her. I hope the blood panel shows the same!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
It did! The vet said everything looked really good, including her liver and kidneys; the only issues were slightly elevated total protein and globulin, which usually indicates some sort of inflammation. She figured this could be related to dental disease (Crystal has never had great teeth and already had a dental scheduled for next month; we had to make that appointment two months in advance because of how busy the clinic is). The vet wants to put her on Metacam (anti-inflammatory) for now and see if she has any more episodes. If she needs to be on Metacam long-term, that's safe, and they'd do bloodwork again in a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,216 Posts
Whew! Good news! Though I know it could be frustrating to not know exactly what caused the issue. I wish nothing but good days ahead for Crystal!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,403 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Crystal hasn't had any episodes since August 16th or 17th, somewhere around there, so it's been a month now of no issues. She had her dental on Friday and they ended up removing all her remaining teeth -- I thought some of them were fine, but I guess they weren't under the surface. She never has had great teeth. She seems very happy and bouncy now!
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top