Inconclusive diagnosis - epielpsy or glioma

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jp132652
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2018 4:51 pm

Inconclusive diagnosis - epielpsy or glioma

Post by jp132652 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 1:19 pm

Hello,
I am glad to have found this network. Although I have a great vet and vet neurologist (i trust them implicitly), it's nice to read the experiences of other dog owners who are going through similar experiences.

Two months ago, my 10 yo french bulldog began having seizures in the middle of the night. At first sporadically, then regularly. She was put on prednisone and zonisamide; we were referred to a neurologist; and an MRI was scheduled. An abnormality came back in the MRI. There was an odd mass, but it had no edges. The vet was not convinced it was a glioma, but remained suspicious. The radiologist had the same conclusion. And so did the cancer specialist at the neurologist's facility. It was concluded that the abnormality was either a glioma or another anomaly, an asymmetrical swelling in the brain from having so many seizures. We knew we wouldn't put our pup through radiation (not wanting to subject her to the anesthesia again and so regularly) and decided to manage her symptoms carefully with meds and monitor her quality of life, while keeping her comfortable and loving her extra hard. After that, our dog continued to have seizures and adjustments were made to her medication levels. As she became accustomed to the medication, she found her balance again and her energy levels returned.

She had her last grand mal seizure over two weeks ago. But a few days after that, she developed head bobbing. We were unable to stop the head bobbing, at first. We had to go out of town on another emergency, and our dog caretaker (a vet tech) was advised by the neurologist to hospitalize her for seizure watch until we returned. She continued to have head bobbing that could not be stopped, and the vet decided we should add a small dosage of keppra into the mix. We rushed home to pick her up, feeling as if the end was imminent and wanting to spend as much time loving her and caring for her as possible. She bounced back (no seizures or head bobbing) and was playful and energetic for several days. She cuddled. Since starting the medication, the muscles in her hind legs had atrophied (side effects of the meds), but she seemed to request play and remained comfortably mobile. Then, the head bobbing returned - at first 1-2 times a day, then 2-4, and then 4-6 episodes per day. We suspect she may have had more, but we kept records of all that we noticed. We also tried several strategies to comfort her and stop the bobbing, finally realizing we could hold a piece of kibble in front of her nose, the bobbing would subside, and then we'd give her the food. It was still occuring 4-6 times a day, but she seemed to bounce back, remain playful and mobile, and be her normal self. She did seem exhausted though, and began to sleep more.

Actually, I just realized I have written all this in past tense, as if she is not with us. And she is! We are very grateful for that. We know we are living in uncertainty, however, and that the end may be imminent. There have been several close calls, but she always seems to bounce back. Her quality of life is still maintained. And we remain mindful of making decisions regarding her well-being and comfort, trying hard to not prioritize what we want to be true over our dog's needs. It's really hard, especially because of the inconclusive diagnosis and how much we love her.

I think I share my experience because I've not seen much information about other dogs with seizures then developing head bobbing. Do others have experiences with this? Our vet suspects that they are minor seizures, since she developed it after the other issues along with the abnormality in the MRI. I've read some on the forum, but mostly other dog owners posting questions that remain unanswered. That said, perhaps my search on the forum was not comprehensive enough.

Anyway, thank you for allowing me to share some of my experience with our dog's condition. We, along with the vet, all suspect a glioma, because of the sudden onset in our otherwise healthy dog. The only way to know would be to do another MRI, which we've decided to not pursue for a variety of reasons. It's hard to not know, but our dog makes it very easy to love her regardless.

Melissag010
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:46 pm

Re: Inconclusive diagnosis - epielpsy or glioma

Post by Melissag010 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:16 pm

We have a JRT and he is 12. He had his first seizure on 9/5 and the second one this past Sunday. We went to the ER & were told he could have a brain tumors. May be benign but that was her thought. They started him on zonisamide and a dose of prednisone. We just had some type of episode this evening of what seems to be the “post-ictal” phase but we did not see him seize. Anyone else had this happen?
Wally
Jack Russell
12 yrs old
Zonisamide 50mg every 12 hours

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