Thursday, March 6, 2008

Callie's MRI Results

Callie had an MRI after her last strange neurological episode. A dog MRI is not cheap, but I was hoping for some answers about whether she had a brain tumor or not. I didn't want to miss a chance to treat a brain tumor that was treatable. And, if we got to rule one out, at least we got more information.

The MRI didn't show anything physically wrong with her brain. However, there was an odd thing in that a CSF tap (like a dog spinal tap) came up dry twice. Not having fluid meant we couldn't do more testing to try to learn more. However, since the brain scan was normal the recommendation is that at this time we don't do another CSF tap, but wait to see if there is any further issue. If so, do it then, to try and learn what is happening when it's happening.

The leading theory now (having ruled out epilepsy, a brain tumor, and most likely a neurotoxin) is that there is an inflammatory problem which causes brain stem or brain issues. The source is unknown and the most common explanations, meningitis, encephalitis, rocky mountain fever, are all seasonal issues not at play in winter. It's odd that she had two very different episodes a few months apart, different in symptoms and severity but common in that she has neurologic impairment each time. A medical mystery.

I feel that the vets at Westvet have given her good care and that they have made reasonable recommendations. I don't regret the MRI and I'm relieved there isn't a brain tumor. While it's frustrating not to have answers, at least we have Callie and she seems normal. She is very tired but she's been through an ordeal so I'm not overly concerned about that.

She has a big shaved patch on her head, pictured above. She also has a shaved leg again from the IV. Her friends at the office (she loves going to work with me) were kind enough to send her the lovely and cute flower arrangement. It has a leash wrapped around it and two dog chews on sticks amidst the flowers. That was really nice of them, and it was also fun to see the flower delivery guy ask for Callie and present the flowers in confusion and surprise.

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