Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

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Melody
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Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby Melody » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:07 pm

Hey everyone. I wanted to get some opinions on what happened with Maui this past Saturday night. Before anyone flips a lid, I was in contact with my friend (the head tech at my vet office) during the whole ordeal and we have an appointment with our new vet today. A little background...Maui is a female/spayed American bulldog, no known health conditions, she'll be 8 yrs old in January. We just moved to Outer Banks, NC a week ago so we have no history or relationship with a vet in the area. There's no E-Vet here.

Saturday night, at approxiately 10 pm, my fiance and I noticed that Maui was acting a little weird. Since moving here, all the dogs are leash walked only, we watch everything they do. She did not eat anything, and there was no signs of a bite. Maui was twitching and her eyes were completely dilated. We got her off the couch and she had problems walking normally (had a high step, and bobbed her head up and down - not a small bob, but a floor to normal head position-type bob.) She walked cautiously around the room, acting as if she'd never been here before and a bomb just went off, scaring her. Her eyes were still wide open. I was instructed to flip her back paws while she was standing, and see if she could right them, no problems here. I then checked to see if she would blink when attempting to touch her eyes, and she did. We asked her to jump on the couch, which is her favorite spot, and she has zero issues getting up normally (they are not high couches) and she could NOT get up on the couch. She also did not respond to any cues (sit, come here, etc...) which she always does 100%. When she was walking around, she would walk-walk-walk and then get to the wall and act scared, like she didn't see it was there before she got right up to it. This happened with the loveseat, and a chair too. She would act like she couldn't see things fair away, but when she got close to them, she would act frightened, sniff it, then walk around it.

This went on for a good 30-40 minutes before she just seemed to snap out of it. We got the treats out (dried chicken strips) and she responded to cues, her eyes went back to normal, she jumped up on the couch with ease and has been acting fine since then. Her last vet check was in July, where she had a complete work up (blood work, urinalysis, etc...as we do every year) and everything was normal. She's an active dog, and has had no serious health issues. As mentioned before, we did just move to Outer Banks, North Carolina and I know ticks rum rampant around here. I've not seen a single tick on any of the dogs, and they are all on prevention anyway. Could she still have been bitten by something, could she has ehrlichia or lymes? She has not been vaccinated against lymes since probably 05 or 06. I don't like to over vaccinated my dogs and didn't see a reason to get that vaccine done again.

I will be sure to update once we get back from the vet this evening. But I'd like to hear from others, if anyone has had a similar experience.

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby BrokenAquarian » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:25 pm

Wow, that's scary.
Sounds like a brain problem. Like you said, maybe a seizure or something. I would opt to have her head scanned to see if there are any tumors or anything in the brain.

The dog that I had, who had a brain tumor - would have a seizure, then not know where he was for a few minutes before returning to normal. His episodes were loud and clear - you knew he was having a seizure. I don't know if the confusion happens with little, non-visible ones.

Good luck and best wishes to guys. :pray :hug:

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby Melody » Mon Nov 29, 2010 2:54 pm

Thank you so much. It was so scary to watch. This dog is my life. I felt so helpless watching her. Such a terrible feeling.

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby Melody » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:12 pm

Ok. Back from the vet. She found that Maui shows some pain/weakness in L10 & L11 (probably has nothing to do with the episode this past weekend, maybe arthritis?) and she was slow on her proprioception test (sorry if thats spelled wrong, it's where her back feet are flipped over and she has to correct them) on her right rear side, left side was fine, but she was consistently slow to unresponsive at times, on the right. She did other neuro tests, using hemostats along her spine, moved her head, etc...they took blood and we should have the results by Wednesday. She wanted to check liver function. I was told to start saving up, as she might need an MRI to get any real answers. Vet said she has a possible issue with her brain stem/central brain area. I'm keeping her on Glucosamine & Chondroitin, Fish Oil & Vitamin E daily.

Maui doesn't seem to be in pain and she's back to her normal self. I don't know that I can go through with the MRI, since it would cost us thousands of dollars, and we'd then only have answers, not a fix. I love this dog more than life itself, and I wish money weren't an issue, but I am not sure I can justify that expense. Am I a bad owner? If it were only a few thousand and it would fix her up completely I wouldn't think twice, I'd get a loan if I had to. But that's not the case. I'm going to call my vet tomorrow, perhaps have her call the vet that saw Maui this evening, so she can get all the details on what they found so far.

Maui goes back for a recheck in a week. They want to see how she does after being on prednisone, and we'll possibly do an x-ray or two (or more...) if she doesn't get better, or worse has another episode. I was told to no longer give her the Comfortis flea prevention, since there's been tests that show that could make seizures worse. Vet couldn't tell me if she HAD a seizure, but it was more of a "just to be careful" thing. I'll get her back on Frontline, or perhaps try Advantix or something along those lines.

I just hope I'm not a bad owner for not being able to afford a costly test. I practically cried the entire drive home. This dog means everything to me. I can't imagine her being sick. Or getting old. Or not being here any more. :crybaby:

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby Leslie H » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:22 pm

http://www.caninegeneticdiseases.net/CL_site/sympAMBD.htm


I've included a really scary link for NCL (Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis) a heritable disease in American Bulldogs. It does not sound exactly like what you're talking about, but it is a neurological condition, and your vet may not know about it, because it is quite rare.

When Xanny had neurological problems, I couldn't afford an MRI. I wound up being sent to a homeopath as a last resort by my conventional vet. The homeopath successfully treated her.

I hope Maui's issue turns out to be brief and minor.

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby Misskiwi67 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:50 pm

SugarFox03 wrote: I don't know that I can go through with the MRI, since it would cost us thousands of dollars, and we'd then only have answers, not a fix. I love this dog more than life itself, and I wish money weren't an issue, but I am not sure I can justify that expense. Am I a bad owner? If it were only a few thousand and it would fix her up completely I wouldn't think twice, I'd get a loan if I had to. But that's not the case. I'm going to call my vet tomorrow, perhaps have her call the vet that saw Maui this evening, so she can get all the details on what they found so far.


Just some thoughts on the MRI thing... You can't fix the problem if you don't know what the problem is... without the MRI, your veterinarian will be guessing... maybe they'll get lucky, maybe they won't.

Maybe the MRI will find an inoperable brain tumor... maybe it won't.

If you can't afford it, don't feel guilty... it does NOT make you a bad pet owner. But if you think you might want one in the future, I'd start saving now, because it really can make all the difference in the world if you get a diagnosis. Its really crummy however if you don't get any information, but thats much less common.

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby BrokenAquarian » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:31 pm

How much does an MRI usually cost? I've never had one done.

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby dr961 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:18 pm

SugarFox03 wrote:...Maui was twitching and her eyes were completely dilated. We got her off the couch and she had problems walking normally (had a high step, and bobbed her head up and down - not a small bob, but a floor to normal head position-type bob.) She walked cautiously around the room, acting as if she'd never been here before and a bomb just went off, scaring her. Her eyes were still wide open. ...When she was walking around, she would walk-walk-walk and then get to the wall and act scared, like she didn't see it was there before she got right up to it. This happened with the loveseat, and a chair too. She would act like she couldn't see things fair away, but when she got close to them, she would act frightened, sniff it, then walk around it.

This went on for a good 30-40 minutes before she just seemed to snap out of it. We got the treats out (dried chicken strips) and she responded to cues, her eyes went back to normal, she jumped up on the couch with ease and has been acting fine since then...


The high stepping seems like a partial or focal seizure, so you might want to check out some of the many good websites with info on canine seizure disorders. Epilepsy has no cure, but there are other causes of seizures so getting a basic veterinary work-up is a good idea. While an MRI could show a brain tumor, I wouldn't rush into doing that yet but would wait to see if she had another episode and just do less costly tests first while waiting and watching. It's good that you took good notes about her episode as this can help your vet figure out what the problem is.

My old dog (11+ yrs.) has occasional "weird spells" where he acts like he is afraid of something invisible and is looking for it: he wanders around restlessly for hours, seems unable to judge distances and bumps into things like door frames and acts lost when outside, has rapid eye movements and dilated eyes and generally acts very cautious and apprehensive. My vet says it sounds like "old dog" or canine vestibular disorder (formal name peripheral vestibular syndrome) and there is no cure for it. He gets over it in 24 hours usually, sometimes 2 days. I've found that giving some Benadryl helps calm him.
Here are some links about this:
http://www.vetinfo.com/dvestib.html
http://www.vetinfo.com/dencyclopedia/devestib.html
http://www.marvistavet.com/html/body_ve ... sease.html

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby Melody » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:31 am

Thanks everyone. I'll check out those links in a bit. Vet just called with the bloodwork results. She has low thyroid levels, so she'll start meds for hypothyroidism tonight. Vet said the hypothyroid may or may not have caused the seizure.

I do wish I could afford the MRI, and perhaps we can in the future, but right now we just do not have it. We're taking things one day at a time. We'll see how she responds to the pred, and now the hypothyroid meds. I'll get the x-rays done next week too when she goes back for the recheck, to see if she really does have arthritis in her back. Thankfully she's acting pain free and otherwise normal for now. I hope and pray she stays that way for a long time.

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby Melody » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:33 am

BrokenAquarian wrote:How much does an MRI usually cost? I've never had one done.


Vet couldn't give me a true idea, since they don't have one at the office. But she did say it was 'thousands'. The closest place here that does them is NC State.

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby nsbullylover » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:46 am

I hope your girl is okay and they can figure out what is going on with her :pray

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby Melody » Tue Nov 30, 2010 10:56 am

Thanks nsbullylover.

Has anyone used this, or heard anything about it? I am all about herbal/holistic remedies for my pets.

http://www.holisticpetinfo.com/proddeta ... =Thyro-Pet

Thyro-Pet by PetAlive

Thyro-Pet by PetAlive treats causes and symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs and cats.

Thyro-Pet can be used to:

* Restore healthy thyroid functioning in dogs and cats.
* Treat hypothyroid conditions caused by iodine deficiency.
* Ensure adequate production of thyroid hormones.
* Assist with fatigue, constipation, weight gain and other symptoms associated with hypothyroidism in dogs, cats and other pets.

I'm going to give this a shot, I think, after speaking with my vet. Going to see about a phone consult with the holistic vet I used in the past with Magnum (pit bull) and Lucaya (cat). Maui didn't have any issues to necessitate a visit to the expensive holistic vet, but I would love to get her opinion on anything I can do to holistically treat or maintain her hypothyroid issue.

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby dogs4jen » Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:31 am

I don't know anything about the holistic stuff, but regular thyroid medication is really inexpensive and effective.

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby Ilovethepits » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:08 pm

You and Maui are in my thoughts. I hope her issues can be resolved and you spend many more happy years together.

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Re: Temporary Blindness? A seizure?

Postby Melody » Tue Nov 30, 2010 12:58 pm

dogs4jen wrote:I don't know anything about the holistic stuff, but regular thyroid medication is really inexpensive and effective.


It's $18 for a months worth of Soloxin, which is what we're getting today. Cost isn't an issue here with the meds, but more what is better for her system. I'll always prefer holistic meds over conventional, if at all possible. Just a personal preference.

Ilovethepits wrote:You and Maui are in my thoughts. I hope her issues can be resolved and you spend many more happy years together.


Thanks. I hope so too!


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