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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well...we took tulip (our 10.5 month old basset) to the Neurologist on Saturday to try to find out the cause of her seizures. She is still on 100mg 2x a day of Pheno and seizures are not under control.

Unfortunately, I can't really say we received good news. :(

Her clinical exam showed so deficit in response on her right side, which was different from left side - indicative, neurologist says, of something being 'off' neurologically. As physical neuro exams with dogs are failry crude he cautioned not to read too much into it, though.

He did not recommend an MRI, as he said more often that not (~85% of the time) what he finds, he cannot fix and he doesn't think she is presenting like she has a brain tumor.

The 4 options he gave us for diagnosis were:
1. Really bad idiopathic epilepsy, but he thinks she is rather young to have it this bad, and have it not responding to drugs. Also, her neuro exam points to other problems.
2. Encepahlitis
3. Hydrocephalus
4. Liver Shunt

We tested for the liver shunt Saturday and should get results soon. If that is all clear (which they think it will be) then we are going to treat with a new anti-convulsant and hope it really is idiopathic epilepsy and she can be controlled with the drugs.

If for soem reason the test comes back differently thatn expected, depending on the severity of the shunt, that could be managed (but not necessarily cured) with surgery and other interventions.

The vet indicated there is SOME treatment for Encepahlitis & Hydrocephalus, but neither is a cure and if we get to the point of steroids and antibiotics for those conditions we are going to need to weigh quality of life vs. treatment choices.

A lot to digest this weekend...although it is nice to at least have SOME IDEA of what could be wrong. Keeping our fingers crossed that the new anti-convulsant works...

Sarah
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hello again, all. Thank you for your kind words last month.

We are still experiencing 1-2 grand mal seizures a week (that we see...but there is often evidence in the crate that she has had more). We are in the process of getting both steroids and antibiotics called in to possibly alleviate pressure in the brain from extra fluid/a tumor. The antibiotics are basically there as a catch-all "just in case".

If those steps don't work, we will try again to increase the dosage of her anticonvulsants. The zonisamide seems to have done little to help since we started it.

We are starting to get really worn down with the process...but are keeping the faith that something will trigger a change. She has been having vision troubles, and has been particularly unruly/biting for no reason (which seemed concerning to our vet, but hasn't really been much of an issue with us as we know she means no harm). Holding out hope that one of these interventions will change our course for the better!

The vet mentioned quality of life (hers and ours) vs. euthanasia discussions last time we spoke and it about broke our hearts.

On the bright side, Tulip turns 1 on March 7th. We think we will have a little party for her her. I'll post pictures if I get any.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good news...a SMALL Success

The steroids and antibiotics have kept Tulip seizure free since my last post. She has been OFF the antibiotics for 2 weeks now, and on Saturday we will bump her steroids down a notch, in hopes of eventually getting her off them completely (or onto a very small does).

At this point the vet thinks it is some form of immune-mediated encephalitis, and if we slowly wean her from the drugs, we may not need to keep her on them at all down the line. We are all experiencing some very measured joy that this might just be the turning point for her.

On a completely different note, we have become the proud owners of another basset! (I know, we're crazy!) She is an 18 month old rescue, found on the wooded acres around my MILs farm in Eastern Michigan. She was skinny, flea-ridden, unaltered, scared and shy, but we have had her a little less than a month and she is an AMAZING dog: weet, obedient, intelligent, and a snuggler. She gets along with our whole pack (dogs and people) and we can't imagine being without her now. She has also been great for Tulip. They play and snuggle like they are long lost sisters. It is a joy to watch! We had initially planned to keep her until we could find her a good home...but you see how well that turned out! ; )

Arry - your basset looks just like our Tulip! Hello from GR...
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
We WERE lucky to find someone that would look for an underlying cause. We are cautiously optimistic.

Our new pup is Holly. I attached a pic of her with Tulip one of the first days she was with us.
 

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