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  #1  
Old Apr 17, 2012, 02:55 PM
marymrumfelt marymrumfelt is offline
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Default An update on neuro issues 1.5 years later

So as most of you know my dogs have some neurological disorder that remains a mystery. We've been tracking it for about a year and a half now, a little less but close enough.

We can't draw ANY common factors! It's the strangest thing. We noted our girl has had roughly 20 episodes in 19 months. The beginning ones start out with a pattern of happening in clusters of three, usually spaced a day apart. About a year old, they tapered off and now are sporadic and haven't had more than one episode a month for almost a year. Sometimes she goes no months, so the number is high based on when they first started. About 7 of those times she's urinated and vomited on herself... with most of those times being in the latter part. So they're becoming less frequent, but more severe when they do happen. Three of them have been when she was in the crate beforehand, so we thought stress brings them on, but it might also just be statistics... she is in her crate whenever we leave, which isn't often, but maybe 3/20 would be correct percentage. Lily always has them at night and has never had a day time one.

My boy has never had them in clusters, but he's almost always urinated on himself. He's never, however, vomited. He's very, very sensitive to medicines and anything like flea medicine, heart worm medicine, bug spray -- he will almost always have an episode the following day. He has absolutely no other pattern then that. He's had them in the day/night. Mostly day in the beginning, but now it varies. He's only had about 13 episodes and he developed them later than Lily.

I've been really trying to observe them when they go into their episodes. They usually last about eight hours and they usually come out of it slowly with mostly sleeping and then waking up and being there again. I'm really not sure what's going on in their little mind but they do appear very scared and clingy. They know something is off and while this may sound odd, they look "off." They don't look like themselves and it's really sad and strange b/c I wonder what is going on. They know their name/treat/walk and will beg for a treat even... but those motor skills are off and something else is missing too. They don't have any emotions, which is weird b/c these dogs are FULL of emotion. I have no clue what caused it or what it is, but I do know two of their brothers don't have these issues. They never received any additional vaccines minus the first puppy set and have never been dosed with flea/heart worm and that's really when Theo's set in so that might be why. Lily, looking back, has had it, we think, since a baby. We thought she was wobbly and cute and sleepy but now we think it might have been episodes. We're blessed to have the homes of their brothers be diligent and understanding of the potential risk there.

It's so fascinating! It is sad, but to be fair, we're lucky to only have 20 bad days and 13 bad days because it could be much worse. While, of course, not happy about it, I do realize we're very, very blessed to have what we do -- which is 345 good days a year with them! :) Plus they've helped me learn oh so much about life and about health and about always taking advantage of the good days and making them count.

Thanks again for all the well wishes along the way!

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  #2  
Old Apr 17, 2012, 05:11 PM
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Continuous prayers going out for you and the "fur-kids".

Have any of the doctor's mentioned that they could "grown out" of what they are going through?

I know a lady who's granddaughter had seizures when she was a very young baby. After she turned one year old, she gradually stopped having them.
They are trusting God that the seizures are all over with!
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  #3  
Old Apr 17, 2012, 09:16 PM
SheltieChe SheltieChe is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marymrumfelt View Post
So as most of you know my dogs have some neurological disorder that remains a mystery. We've been tracking it for about a year and a half now, a little less but close enough.

We can't draw ANY common factors! It's the strangest thing. We noted our girl has had roughly 20 episodes in 19 months. The beginning ones start out with a pattern of happening in clusters of three, usually spaced a day apart. About a year old, they tapered off and now are sporadic and haven't had more than one episode a month for almost a year. Sometimes she goes no months, so the number is high based on when they first started. About 7 of those times she's urinated and vomited on herself... with most of those times being in the latter part. So they're becoming less frequent, but more severe when they do happen. Three of them have been when she was in the crate beforehand, so we thought stress brings them on, but it might also just be statistics... she is in her crate whenever we leave, which isn't often, but maybe 3/20 would be correct percentage. Lily always has them at night and has never had a day time one.

My boy has never had them in clusters, but he's almost always urinated on himself. He's never, however, vomited. He's very, very sensitive to medicines and anything like flea medicine, heart worm medicine, bug spray -- he will almost always have an episode the following day. He has absolutely no other pattern then that. He's had them in the day/night. Mostly day in the beginning, but now it varies. He's only had about 13 episodes and he developed them later than Lily.

I've been really trying to observe them when they go into their episodes. They usually last about eight hours and they usually come out of it slowly with mostly sleeping and then waking up and being there again. I'm really not sure what's going on in their little mind but they do appear very scared and clingy. They know something is off and while this may sound odd, they look "off." They don't look like themselves and it's really sad and strange b/c I wonder what is going on. They know their name/treat/walk and will beg for a treat even... but those motor skills are off and something else is missing too. They don't have any emotions, which is weird b/c these dogs are FULL of emotion. I have no clue what caused it or what it is, but I do know two of their brothers don't have these issues. They never received any additional vaccines minus the first puppy set and have never been dosed with flea/heart worm and that's really when Theo's set in so that might be why. Lily, looking back, has had it, we think, since a baby. We thought she was wobbly and cute and sleepy but now we think it might have been episodes. We're blessed to have the homes of their brothers be diligent and understanding of the potential risk there.

It's so fascinating! It is sad, but to be fair, we're lucky to only have 20 bad days and 13 bad days because it could be much worse. While, of course, not happy about it, I do realize we're very, very blessed to have what we do -- which is 345 good days a year with them! :) Plus they've helped me learn oh so much about life and about health and about always taking advantage of the good days and making them count.

Thanks again for all the well wishes along the way!

symptoms very similar to human patients... best wishes you will find some answers. Doggie medicine is far more advanced than human
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  #4  
Old Apr 19, 2012, 11:33 AM
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you are right!
345 GOOD days
Sheltie hugs and kisses
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  #5  
Old Apr 19, 2012, 12:13 PM
marymrumfelt marymrumfelt is offline
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Originally Posted by Toffee's Mom View Post
you are right!
345 GOOD days
Sheltie hugs and kisses
Heck, GOOD is an understatement on my part. It's more like fabulous days. They are the beat the skips my heart. I sometimes wonder if you do love your children more than your animals or if the love is similar. I can't imagine loving something anymore than them! It must be pretty amazing if you do love them more because I can't even fathom that concept!
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Old Apr 19, 2012, 02:33 PM
marymrumfelt marymrumfelt is offline
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I must wonder if I jinxed myself or something because after I wrote this - Lily had an episode the last two nights and now Theo is having one... Odd coincidence!
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  #7  
Old Apr 19, 2012, 03:12 PM
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While it's a shame you still don't have a definite answers it's not for want of trying and I'm pleased to hear that the episodes are not as frequent now.

I love that you wrote "They are the beat the skips my heart." That is amazing - how lucky they were to be born with you!

I was sorry to hear both have just had an episode, hope they are feeling better now and when they are up to it, please give them both from me.
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  #8  
Old Apr 19, 2012, 04:58 PM
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I'm having a senile moment....are the two related?

If not, the obvious answer is that there is something environmental that it setting off the seizures.
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  #9  
Old Apr 19, 2012, 05:51 PM
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I am so sorry to hear that your pups are having episodes. My thoughts are with you, Lily, and Theo.
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  #10  
Old Apr 19, 2012, 06:33 PM
marymrumfelt marymrumfelt is offline
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Originally Posted by BarbV View Post
I'm having a senile moment....are the two related?

If not, the obvious answer is that there is something environmental that it setting off the seizures.
Yes, related. Not environmental nor are they seizures. They're neurological episodes where the cerebellum is experiencing some kind of miscommunication or misfiring. Most vets think they have what is called episodic ataxia. The University of Missouri has a department that studies hereditary ataxia, but it can also be brought on by other factors such as trauma or vaccines. In their case, I had one vet (seen many many vets) tell me what most likely happened was when Hadley (their mom) was vaccinated because we weren't aware she was pregnant(we had just taken custody of the dog) for the parvo virus she might not have been immune and therefor having a flare up of parvo (how the vaccine works is they get a mild dose of the actual disease) probably did harm to them in utero. I have researched this idea and found it to be common in kittens, I would assume same for dogs.

If you're curious here's the Univ of MO website that tells more about the genetic part. This is a disease humans suffer from, too. There is no cure and there is really no way to tell how it will progress.

http://www.caninegeneticdiseases.net/ataxia/
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