Anyone not do an MRI and still have vet treat as tumor?

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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Anyone not do an MRI and still have vet treat as tumor?

Post by Choppersmom » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:28 am

So after the hardest week of mine and Choppers lives the vet is 100% convinced it's a brain tumor. We cannot afford an MRI (and after research I'm not sure it would even be worth it).

Chopper is deteriorating FAST. Starting having spaced out seizures in 9/2011 and since June 2012 even with medicaiton have started to be uncontrolable.

He was hospitalized with a Pheno IV 4x last week, each time except for the last he came home still with focal seizures. This last time he could not walk for a day. He still barely can but seems to be imporving (balance, eating, etc). They aslo gave him a steriod shot 2 of the times. I need to ask more about this.

They said due to the fast progression, his breed etc they will treat it as if it's a tumor. I am OK with that. I have rearranged the house for safety. Purchased many new bedding things with the ability to wash them so he has a place to be at night and I can was the things he has urinated on at that time. He seems to be in no pain. He's coming back to 'himself'.

My question is to those who have been this route (not just epilepsy, that it's pretty clear it's another disease) If they are heavily medicated and seem ok, how do you know if you need to take the next step (put them down?) He is seizure free right now, and coming back to himself. Hubby and I agreed if we can't stope seizures and see no improvement from meds we would have to do it. It's not fair to Chopper to go through that. So if you have been through this- do I just wait it out? Do I see if and when he has another seizure? How do I know if it's time and he hasn't had another seizure. It seems that the tumors can take them fast and I want to make sure he's not in pain. He is on Zonisimide 200mg 2x a day, Pheno 30mg 2x a day, Keppra 250 mg 3x a day. He is pretty out of it from meds. I want to make sure I'm not holding on to the fact that he's 'coming back' a little right now.

I hope this makes sense. I know there are a lot of you that have dealt with this issue. Thanks in advance.

Gentle Jacob's mom
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Re: Anyone not do an MRI and still have vet treat as tumor?

Post by Gentle Jacob's mom » Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:32 pm

I wish I could give you a direct answer to this. I know you must be going through hell not knowing what to do. We've had to make very hard decisions over the years where our animals have been concerned and unfortunately I guess the best thing I can tell you is to go with your gut feeling. I do know of someone who had a dog that they suspected had a brain tumor, and she lived for a few years. I don't think anyone besides you and your husband knows Chopper as well as you do, so I think only you, and your vet are in a position to make decisions where he is concerned. The other thing is that one dog could improve under the same conditions and another might not. I know this isn't much help, but I hope you're doing better.


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Re: Anyone not do an MRI and still have vet treat as tumor?

Post by featheredwyngs » Wed Aug 15, 2012 8:53 am

Sorry to hear this. My vet told me (when my dog had his second seizure) to make a list at that point detailing what I thought a good quality of life for my dog was. And then note when he could no longer do all or most of these things I would have my objective decision that it was time to let him go. My vet said that in the moment it is very hard to decide and see clearly, and that we forget what a good quality of life is or was. I know this may not help you now, but I might do something similar - make a list of what he can do now and look over that list and see if that is a good quality of life. Then decide that when he can't do those things, it is time. For me, a big one would be if I knew he was in constant pain or distress... After that it's a case by case basis.

So I read your post because I too can't afford an MRI and my vet and I are working off the hypothesis that it is primary epilepsy because he shows no other symptoms and his blood work is clean. However, I keep worrying it's something else. If you don't mind can you share a little of your experience? Like the progression or other symptoms you noticed that make it clear it's probably not epilepsy?

Edit: I just read your initial post. I'm so sorry you are going through this. I see that the progression and severity have been fast (mine started in oct 2011 and has stayed relatively stable). I also saw that you said bloodwork was clean. Aside from the very frequent seizures and focal seizures were there any other indications maybe it's a tumor? Just asking for my own education. :/
Remy, American Eskimo Dog (DOB 02/02/2007)
First Seizure, 10/01/2011
Last Seizure, 03/26/2013
Zonisamide 100mg twice daily
Phenobarbital 32.4mg twice daily

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