Saturday, March 22, 2008

More Neurologic Issues for Callie


Once again, Callie had a bizarre neurologic episode. This time I was running an errand and when I came back to the car she was in the driver's seat (as usual) drooling excessively, head tilted, pupils dilated, shaking, and seeming unable to control her body movements, with her right front leg sort of drawn up. I was shocked the immediate problem was how to lift her 45 pounds into the passenger seat without hurting her so I could drive. Then I had to determine how to get to Westvet. I got her moved with difficulty - she could not control her head and she was trying to help me move her but she couldn't do much. As we drove she tried to sit up and ended up falling onto her back on the floor of the car. This was HORRIBLE to witness. It was rush hour and traffic was terrible.

It took 20 minutes to get to Westvet. I called and they were waiting with her file, but annoyingly the techs who took her were poorly informed about her. I thought I would deck one who asked if she had been there before. By the time we got there she had calmed to the point she was not panting 100% of the time and she could crawl around on the floor to have her head nearest me. I lifted her out and the shaking had diminished and the drooling was over too.

These are not "seizures" in that she remains conscious and aware, knows what is happening, responds to me and is scared. I can't tell how much of the shaking is fear and how much is something else, but I know the 45 degree angle head tilt is not fear. At this point neurotoxin seems unlikley. When it first happened in October that was the vet's #1 theory, a sub-lethal dose of some unidentified neurotoxin, which could be a mold or anything - but none of the other pets were sick. Epilepsy also doesn't fit, and the MRI ruled out a brain tumor. The theory last time, three weeks ago, was that there is inflammation pushing on the brain stem. A spinal tap (CFS tap) was dry twice and the vet recommended doing it again if she had another episode.

So, she has a CFS tap scheduled for Monday morning. I think at this point I want to take her to a neurologist, the nearest one being Portland or Univ of Washington. As I have a friend in Portland I can likely stay with I think I will try to head that way later this week, after the CFS tap and a little recovery time. It's VERY frustrating not to know what is happening or why. This time there was vomiting afterwards.

This is an old photo of Callie and Ophelia. I've had Callie with me nearly constantly since the first episode and I was leaving her only briefly tot run errands, etc. with her in the car with me but not the stores. Now of course I kick myself for even that. They said to try and videotape the next one if it happens again, so I have to try tot remember to have the camera with me and to have the presence of mind to use it in a crisis.

NOTHING seems consistent with her symptoms. Not a vascular accident, not vestibular disease, not epilepsy. Callie is about 5 and a half and should have many more years to go. She seems fine now, but she's always tired after an event like this. It's incredibly hard to watch her go through these things and not be able to ask her what she is feeling, or make it stop.

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