I posted last week about my Pookie, being disgnosed with a luzating patella. Well, yesterday, we went in for a othropedic consult and ended up in neurology.
He went in for a MRI and CSF-Tap today. This afternoon I got an update call from his surgeon; he has encephalitis and that is what was causing his instability in his limbs, not LP. The also found a mass 2 cm long , along the left side of his neck, they say it's not pushing on the spinal cord, so they are thinking that it is the encephalitis causing his problems. They drained fuild from the mass as well, and we should know more about everything tomorrow. Needless to say, we're floored, both things were unexpected, but of course we're worried. We'll know more tomorow after the labs are in. Pookie's still at the hospital recovering from the procedures and should be back home tomorrow. The Dr. took me they started on anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics for the encephalitis. We'll talk about a possible biopsy for the mass tomorrow when we meet.
My question is, has anyone dealt with encephalitis? Any advice on what we can expect will be appreciated.
Thank you to all that PM with referrals and encouraging words.
***Edited By: Sandya on 9/19/2007 11:41:40 PM*** Reason: For to add something.
Sandy, so glad you found such a great vet. Wow, what a turn of events. I do not have any experience with this either. Will also be curious on how they think this happened and how your baby is doing. Thoughts are with you. Lets us all know.
Well, I just got off the phone with Pookie's neurologist. Some of the test are in and he was officially diagnosed with 2 things: Milencephalitis (I think that spelled wrong) and Cancer (of the thryroid tissue). It is without a doubt heartbreaking.
They drew more blood today to check what type of Encephalitis he has. Infectious or auto-immune (although based on on my research and his elevated white cells) I think it will be auto-immune, which I think is better. She said that he will start high-dosage of steriods and anti-biotics for the Encephalitis. That treatment is for 3-6 mos and has the 80% success rate-but there will be a chance he can relapse again and then we would need to do more agreesive stuff, like chemo or other drugs, because presdisone is bad on the long-term. His miencephalitis is in the spinal cord and not brain.
The Cancer- It's btw the jugular (sp?) trathea (sp?) -I can't spell these words yet!- A radiologist looked at the scans (he had MRI, x-rays, CSF-tap yesterday) and said it did not look like it's spread to the lung or other areas. She said a surgeon looked at the results and said he thinks it can be removed (I will follow-up with him in 2 weeks) Now comes a tricky part, they will not know until they get in there if the tumor has sprouted tiny finger-like things and latched itself to his trathea or anything important organ, they could not remove it. She also said if it has spread, it might be too miscroscopic to see right now, that it is something they will have to look out for.
Obviously, like I told the Dr. I will do everything and anything that I can do to make sure Pookie has a good qaulity of life for however long that may be.
We'll have to 'attack' each one of these things separately for now. We're treating the Encephalitis and once he's healed from the incisions of yesterday (he has mild bleeding) and we follow-up next week with her, and the following week w/the surgeon, the follwing week he could be having surgery.
They said that the cancer could also be indirectly causing inflammation of the nervous sytem, since it's located by the neck area, etc, so if it was, and they remove the mass, it would help with his drunk walk, etc.
Once I talk to the surgeon and I get all the details of the tumor and surgery, risks, potential affects, etc. I'll be able to make a much more informed decision. But right now, I'm in all the way, whatever it takes to make him better. I know it'll be costly, heck, all the MRI and CSF-tap and current test have cost around $3K or more (I'll know when I pick him up today), but I don't care what it'll cost.
I told you guys that what started this a month ago 8-20-07 to be exact was he started limping in his left from leg, then his left back leg started tensing up and kinda of sticking out, he would fall when walking to his left, well they thought it was luxating patella, and the othro has now said no, it's not it at all.
So, that's we're at right now. What kills me is that one month ago, he was fine, we were running around chasing each other and now this. I know I couldn't have known what has going on, they said they think the Encephalitis started around the time I first took him in (8-23-07) and they took it was just a sprain. It's been a rollcoaster month, we went from sprain, to arthtis and luxating patella, to a potential ruptured disc in his neck (that's what they thought it could be on Tues) and now it encephalitis and cancer.
Has anyone here dealt w/the cancer in the thyroid tissue?
It's tough. No doubt, we're all just dumsbstruck and hurt at the turn in events. Please I urge you guys, never 'settle' for an answer if you're not satisfied with it. I wasn't with his initial diganosis and I pushed further.
***Edited By: sandya on 9/20/2007 6:07:12 PM*** Reason: Forgot to add something
We're treating the myelitis w/anti-biotics and steriods, until we know if it's auto-immune or infectious type.
As for the cancer, they said they didn't see a pressing need to do it like now. They want him to heal from the C-tap from yesterday, he have a surgery consult in 2 weeks, w/possible surgery to remove the tumor in 3 weeks.
We'll have to see what the surgeon says and what the other tests say when they come in.
Thank you all for your good thoughts and prayer. I believe every single one helps Pookie. He's doing good this morning. Yesterday when I picked him up he was very weak, and a bit disoriented-he hadn't eaten in the 2 1/2 days he was at the hospital. Picky eater! He does sound hoarse though, when he barks and breathes, I think it might be the asethsia (sp?) and all the things they did, including using a pill gun, but I'm going to call the hospital to double check. He's getting better (overall appearance, I think as of this afternoon). Yesterday he was on the couch and when I came back in the room, he got all excited and started pacing, wagging his tail, and barking, trying to jump down, so I'm taking that as a good sign-he's active. He's a lot of meds, so some of them probably make him sleepy. He seems happy and even starting crying when he saw each of us, so I think he was relieved to be back home.
I'll keep you all updated as we get more news, next Thurs is his follow-up, and then the following week his surgery consult for the tumor removal.
Going in tomorrow for a follow-up and new bloodwork for Pookie. keep your fingers crossed for us, that his bloodwork checks clear. I'm hopeing for good news on the myelitis tomorrow. I'm loaded with questions!
Pookie is actually doing MUCH better, you'd think that nothing was wrong with him. Took him a few days to regroup himself after 2 days of getting picked at, at the hospital. He gait seems normal, on Monday he even started running around a bit in the house (he's on resticted exercise).
Well, we went yesterday and the Dr. said his neurological functions seemed like they have approved (and I agree-greatly). He's not falling over, limps occasionally (I think when he tires), he's a little stiff, so I'm going to start massaging his legs more, and think i'm going to get him into under water walking therapy.
The titers results are back and the myelitis is not infectious rather autoimmune respondent. So, we're going to treat with high prediosne and anti-biotics for a few months to see if we can control and cure this (80% chance of getting all better on this front).
They did some new bloodwork to check his liver enzymes (they've been high). He also got an enema, because he's been constipated since Tues (last bowel movement was Mon. But's he's good today.
We're helpful of getting him the best care possible so he can have a long and healthy life. It's not easy, we know it'll get costly,...I've already spent well over $5,000 in all the tests and treatments this past month...but I'll do what I can for my Pookster.
Next Thursday we go in for the tumor removal consult. So,I'm crossing my fingers.
The myelitis is autoimmune bound, so the treatment is immunesupression with high dose of predisone for a few months. "Autoimmune cause is when the body's immune system (white blood cells) mistakenly attacks normal tissue in the brain or spinal cord." In Pookie's case it was attacking his spinal cord causing him to lose coordination and full use of his limbs. But, he's much improved on that front.
As far as the anti-biotics go, good questions, I didn't ask. I remember her telling me before that anti-biotics and steriods would be use, I'm going to assume it might have something to do with the cancer. But, I'm asking on Monday..well, I'll call today and ask. Thanks for bringing that up.
Yes, 9lb (baaad...I know). He's been 5-6 lbs for a while, only about in the last 2 years he flutuated from 7-8-9lbs. He's on a diet...it's hard especially with the predisone, it makes him HUNGRY, and is always begging...but I know I can't give him more. He's now on Presp. Hill R/D.
The vet said that he should be 6 lbs at the most, but would like him to get to 5lbs...so 6lbs is the goal right now. Vet said that 3-4 lbs excess weight on his small frame, can really hurt him. He said Pookie was obese, I never thought it was that serious, so now we're working on it.
I hope everything works out for you too. I know it's hard going through something major with a loved pet. I still fear the cancer like you wouldn't know. I'm hoping for encouraging news when we go in next week for the surgery consult.
Sandy, Was Pookie on prednisone for a long time? I thought he just started that in the last month. I know prednisone is a necessary evil, but if your dog weighs 50% more than it should... If the dog had any walking issues, my untrained opinion would have zeroed in on that.
Too late for us. We put our pup down last month due to sarcoma. Diagnosis to grave in about 3 weeks. We donated his body to the vet school, and we are still awaiting a full report. We are hoping that donating his body can provide some kind of insight for other people's pups...
He's been on predisone for a little over a week, he's was on tramadol for a month, and on raimdayl for a week. When he had his checkup 6 months ago, his regular vet didn't tell us he was overweight, (and honestly, he didn't look really fat or anything). His belly started to get bigger in the last months, and we did start him on a diet in June, but August is when he got sick, so it wasn't our main focus, but his diet was still then same. Now, we've cut it more, per his nuerologist and orthpedic doctors, they say 5lbs would be great, but 6 lbs would be healthy for him. As of his weigh-in on Thurs he was 8.6lbs. We're looking for healty weight loss, not rapid, and working with his doctors to get him there. His exercise is restricted too, because of the neurological problems and his limbs, so we're starting him on swimming and walking underwater for his joints.
Sorry to hear about your loss on your pup. I hope that your effort in donating his body will lead to the help of others. It was such a noble thing to do.
Well, we went in today for the surgery consult, he's having the tumor removed next Wednesday. His labs on Monday, showed some improevment in his liver enezymes. He's having a thyroid scan done on Monday, that will let us know if the tumor is active or inactive, if it's active he would be a candidate for radioidione therapy instead of chemo-which is good. Radioidione therapy would effectively kill all the cancer cells with one treatment. Once we know what post-suregry treatment we're going with we'll be better able to determine how to treat the myelitis. He has autoimmune myeleitis which means his treatment would be suppression of his immune system (right how he's on low steriods, supressing his system would mean high sterids. If he goes on chemo, we can't supress his immune systems, we'd have to wait. If he does radioidione we could probably do the supression at the same time. We have to see what his oncologist will have to say.
Some encouraging news today from the Dr. was that his elevated white blood cells (myelitis) could have be set by his immune systems responding to the tumor. That his immune systems sensed the cancer and started it defense mechanisms (increasing white blood cells) to attack it, but went on overdrive. So, by removing the tumor, we would remove the threat, and his own body could begin to self-heal and drop it's attack on his system , but he would still need to be treated for the myelitis, just not as severe.
So, we keeping our fingers crossed for the best! The Dr. said we could drop him off the night before the surgery or the day of, but we would to enjoy him and spoil him as much as possible before the surgery, so we want to postpone the drop off as much as possible. The Dr. said his heart sounded good today, nice, steady, and clear.
Right now, we're all just concentrated on having him comfortable and healty for the surgery. The Dr. said he could spend up to 2 days after the surgery at the hospital, if there was so complication, but most often they go the next day. It'll be a minimal incision in the front of his thoart. Obviously he said, that there are no guarantees, that they won't know 100& what they are dealing with until they are in there, and that if the tumor has embedded itself into other parts it could be too tricky that he would have to stop and not remove it, but from what he could tell from the MRI, he said he thought it was removable, and so far there are no indications on the radiographs that it has spread to his lungs.