Hi there, I'm new and I went to the neurologist today...

General questions about tests and procedures for diagnosing canine epilepsy. Please note that we cannot make a diagnosis or interpret specific test results via this forum - please consult your veterinarian for specific advice for your individual pet.

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Hi there, I'm new and I went to the neurologist today...

Post by Choppersmom » Wed Jun 20, 2012 1:04 pm

Hi everyone. I am new. I posted my saga in the 'intro section' of the forum if you want to know more about my Boston Terrier, Chopper and his seizures, etc.

So today I took him to the neurologist as advised by my regular vet. Chop still was acting odd as they had him on an IV of phenobarb for about 8 hours on Monday while I was at work. He was still running in circles, falling, and hyper. He has not slept since his large cluster started early monday at 3:30 am. Last night from the time I got home from work around 7 until 11 when I TRIED to go to sleep he had so many partial/facial seizures I lost count. They last from 10-30 seconds. They continued in the Neurologists office today. She was worried. At first she wnated to hospitalize him again and said it would be $700 but wasn't sure if in the end it would help, so I said no. She said that these types of seizures wouldn't do any damage and that as long as he wasn't having GMs than it was ok.

Anyway she is CONVINCED he has a tumor. The topic was basically 'every Boston and Boxer I see here has a tumor and you have to get the MRI"

Anyway, she presented me with a plan, MRI and then if there was no tumor they would immediatly do a spinal tap to check for infections cost $ 3,200.

She also wanted to do a blood test that checks for all tick and other bacterial diseases/infections- cost $ 1,000.

Then in 3 weeks she wants to test the Zonisimide, Pheno and Keppra levels in a Peak/Trough test, cost $798.

She put him on Keppra today- he was just put on Pheno Monday. She said the Keppra would help bring him out of the 'state' he is in right now faster than pheno because the pheno takes 2 weeks to get in the system.

I was in shock. I knew the MRI would cost alot but all the other stuff?? I opted to talk to hubby first because at this point we have ONLY tried Zonisimide (not working at all). I feel like all hope is lost (if that didn't come through in my other post on the newbie forum).

How many of you ACTUALLY get the MRI? She said if he has a tumor that we would do chemo/radiation or possibly surgery depending on where it is. I'm sure I can't afford that. In the end everything ends up getting treated like epilpesiy anyway. My hubby is out of town and talking to him on the phone he was VERY upset and seemed to want to do it even though it would wipe us out finacially. We don't even have kids yet and we want them in the next year or so. I don't know how I feel about this. I don't feel bullied, but I feel pressured. I'm also exhaused as I can't sleep because Chop won't sleep and so on......

Any exerience with MRI, Spinal tap, chemo, etc, anyone have this with Bostons?

Chopper 7yo Boston Terrier
200mg Zonisimide 2x daily
PhenoBarb 30mg 2x daily
Keppra (starting today) 250 mg 3x daily.

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Location: Long Island, NY

Re: Hi there, I'm new and I went to the neurologist today...

Post by Carolyn » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:29 am

Hi Lacey,
Sorry to hear about your Chopper. I never took Kiya to a Neurologist. I am very fortunate that she has good control with meds. She was diaganosed with idiopathic epilepsy when she was 18 months old. In the case of a tumor, you really have to ask yourself, surgery? I love my dogs more than anything in the world. I could not afford the expense but even aside from that what quarantee is the neuro offering?
Kiya 11yr Shiloh Shepherd
PB 60mg am 90mg pm, 1teas kbr 1200mg, turmeric paste
1000mg milkthistle bid
First seizure 11/27/05
Last seizure 5/21/15

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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 2:35 pm

Re: Hi there, I'm new and I went to the neurologist today...

Post by revets » Sun Feb 24, 2013 3:32 pm

hi hun ,im going to be honest its ur choice ,no,one can advise you on this but if it was my dog ,id no way let him go thru surgery,the reason being i had a brain tumour removed 12 yrs ago ,i was paralysed from neck down and im now left with left sided weakness similar to stroke symptoms,theres no way id put my dog through that ,hope this helps ,i really feel for u x

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Re: Hi there, I'm new and I went to the neurologist today...

Post by JillandSmudge » Fri May 03, 2013 10:00 am

Hi Lacey,

Not sure if this helps, but I am in a similar situation as far as testing goes. My Bulldog, Smudge has been on meds for about a year. She was doing fairly well and then suddenly started having more seizures closer together. About every two weeks. My vets have suggested that I get a CT scan. So..I am making an appointment. I will say that I have shopped around and I think it is worth doing. I checked three different places, a local specialist 2,800.00 (this only includes the CT scan), NCSU 2,000-2,700.00 and Va Tech. 1,800-2000.00. The NCSU one is the one that I am going with. It includes an ultrasound, blood work and any x-rays. The others did not include this. The other thing that was brought to my attention was the fact that some equipment is better than others and it also pays to ask about how old the equipment is and what type of CT scanner they are using. Most vet schools can afford better equipment, because much of it is donated to the school. I don't know what area you live in, but maybe you can call some other places to find out. We will be traveling approx. 3 hours to have our scan done. I hope that you can find something more reasonable and that you can get some answers for your Chopper.. I know that my husband and I have decided that if Smudge has a tumor, that we are going to make her as comfortable as possible until the time comes and then let her go. I just can't see putting her through that type of surgery. It is a hard decision to make, but ultimately it is your decision as a caretaker. I guess it also depends on so many other factors as well. Such as where the tumor is located and so forth. Hugs to you and Chopper.

On the peak and trough test for the Zonisamide. I have just had that done. My local vet was able to draw the blood for me and sent it to Cornell where it is a bit less than Auburn. You may want to ask your vet about that. I think Cornell just recently started testing this.


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Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:09 pm

Re: Hi there, I'm new and I went to the neurologist today...

Post by JillandSmudge » Fri May 03, 2013 10:34 am

I would also like to add that the reason we have ultimately decided to do this testing..other than the frequency of Smudge's seizures...is that she is exhibiting some other strange behaviors. That coupled with the fact that she is also having strange things going on with her skin and allergy like symptoms. Probably unrelated to the epilepsy, but worth a check.


Chris Douglas
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Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: Hi there, I'm new and I went to the neurologist today...

Post by Chris Douglas » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:29 pm

Hi Lacey,

I'm new here tooo ... sorry to hear about Chopper and was wondering how things are going for y'all, what you found out about and what your decision was pertaining to the testing/MRI ... since you haven't posted since June ...
Chris & Molly
Brittany 27 lbs female DOB Mar.2008,
Pb 32.4 mg(1/2 grain) BID
regular Keppra 2/250mg BID
Valium tab's 5 mg orally/rectally as needed
Melatonin 5mg SID

1st seizure 8/20/12
last seizure 12/14/13

Rainbow Bridge 12/28/13

Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 11:24 pm

Re: Hi there, I'm new and I went to the neurologist today...

Post by cecilia » Sat Mar 22, 2014 11:35 am

Hi, Lacey. We took our boy for an MRI/Spinal tap. We drove three hours to get there and were told it was going to be $3800. I started to cry because I didn't have enough, so, they let me pay the $3000 and I am making payments on the balance. Needless to say, nothing was found. When the neurologist first started checking Bronson, he passed the initial neurological test and he said that the likelihood of a tumor was slim, yet, he still wanted to the MRI/Spinal tap, so we did. We just wanted to rule out everything that we could. Although the Doc was very nice, it angers me that the cost to care for our fur babies is just insane, I worry that one time I will not have the money to pay. Ugh, just so difficult!! Wishing you and your baby the best!
Bronson: 5 year old Poodle/Bichon Rescue pup
First Seizure: Oct. 22, 13' after taking Trifexis
Last Seizure: April 18, 14' 9:26 a.m.
Meds: Keppra 100 mg-1.7 mils. every 8 hours
Pheno: 16.2 MG every 12 hours
Zonasamide 50 mg every 12 hours

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