Thursday, July 21, 2011
The story on Duke...
As that week went on, Duke had seizures every single day. We saw one vet Monday morning who gave us more phenobarb (and told us it wasn't meningitis), another vet Wednesday when they didn't stop, went back to the emergency vet Wednesday night because he was having seizures all night, back to the Wednesday vet on Thursday, and finally we got to see the first vet (Monday's vet) again on Friday who suggested we dose him up with phenobarb, knocking him on his ass to "reset" his system. Duke and I had slept all of 4 hours from Saturday morning to Friday morning.
Several visits over the last few months were because the seizures started happening more and other problems would pop up (like vomiting for no reason) and his dosages were changed around several times with success in that the seizures lessened. We put Duke on a diet (Diamond Naturals Lite Lamb & Rice if you're interested, I swear by it) and lost 7 lbs. in 6 weeks at our last appointment in May. He was "drunk dog" because the potassium bromide was too high since he'd lost weight, so his dosage was lowered. For two weeks, we had a dog back. He would run through the yard some and didn't sleep all the time. But by mid-June, he wasn't drunk dog, but instead was disoriented, easily distracted, and pacing excessively.
These symptoms have only gotten worse. He will pace for up to three hours walking laps in our house. He started running into things more and more and we realized about two weeks ago that the sight in his right eye was gone. I had noticed his sight was not as good, but it became painfully obvious he could see nothing out of that right eye. His depth perception is off, he has trouble jumping up in our bed and even the couch. He's fallen off both in the last month. He's like a pinball at home and at my work, just banging into everything as he paces and I know it has to hurt as he bangs his head into everything.
I started researching brain tumors in boxers despite everyone telling me not to. For almost 8 months, I haven't. I looked up side effects of the medicine he's on compared to the symptoms he had and sadly I'm at the conclusion that this may in fact be a brain tumor that is getting worse. According to several websites the symptoms of brain tumors in dogs are the following:
walk in circle
loss of habits that have been trained before
facial paralysis often cause by tumor in the lower part of the brain (brainstem)
partial or fully blindness indicated that there is a tumor in optic nerve or hypothalamus
low energy level
seizures often caused by tumor in the cerebral cortex
wobbliness and tremors indicating that there is a tumor in the cerebellum region of the brain that play an important role in the integration of sensory perception
loss the sense of smell often cause by tumor in the sensory system used for olfaction (olfactory system)
Duke is showing at least 11 of the above symptoms and they are things I can't cross match with symptoms of epilepsy or side effects of his medication. Duke had a seizure last night that only effected his face (as most have only been focal seizures) but it took at least 10 minutes for him to "come back". He tried to climb up the walls by our front door and I had to hold him until my husband could grab him so he wouldn't hurt himself. To bring a dog out of a seizure, they recommend opening a can of dog food or letting them smell something familiar. Before, just the smell of my hand or my shirt was enough to get Duke back, but last night a hot dog wasn't even working. It was the worst I've ever seen as far as the aftermath of all the seizures he's had (which have been a lot in 7 1/2 months).