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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
ANY ideas for tests that should be run based on these symptoms (besides Addison's; that is already on my radar and we're running the test tomorrow) are welcome and desired.

On Sunday (12/6) I was at my parents' house when I noticed Ari's eyes looked "off". I picked her up, thinking she was tired, and immediately knew that she was having some kind of serious health problem because she felt too limp... hard to describe other than I hold this pup multiple times a day every day and I know what normal feels like! We jumped in the car and drove straight to the emergency vet (15 minutes away).

By the time we got to the emergency vet, she was listless, very off balance, and having a hard time focusing her eyes on anything.

Her head would kind of wobble back and forth (it looked very neurological) and her tail was down and sad. I thought she was going to die before we even got into an exam room!!
Here is a video of what I'm describing: [click image to get to video]
Off balance

A video showing her head movements/weird eyes.
[Again, click image for video]
Wobbly Head

The e-vet asked me repeatedly if she could have gotten into marijuana (no way) so apparently her symptoms are similar to that.

Our best guess was that she had mycotoxicosis from eating some moldy birdseed in the neighbor's yard. My mom let her out the front door and she ran over there out of sight; I didn't see her eat any of the bird seed but it was the only time I didn't have my eyes on her in the 24 hour period leading up to all of this.

She got SQ fluids and was given activated charcoal to try to bind any toxins still in her digestive tract waiting to be absorbed.

Within 20 minutes of the charcoal, Ari started coming back to life. So, whatever was poisoning her was absorbed by the charcoal *or* it was just a brief neurological episode caused by something else and the charcoal was moot.

I brought her home and fed her hamburger sloppy rice for dinner. She had a strong appetite and ate a huge portion.

Then the urination started; I expected her to do some more peeing than usual because of the fluids but we are talking LOTS of urine. It started around 5 hours after her tremor episode. By the morning, she had lost control of her urination and started peeing in her sleep right in my bed.

Ever since, she has been peeing fairly large volumes of watery urine every 10-30 minutes. She doesn't seem to have any control over when or where she pees despite the fact that she normally rings her bells to go out and can hold it very well. She has peed at least 1 L in the past 12 hr; she was given 150 mL of SQ fluids... so she has peed about 10x as much out as was 'put in'.

In one sense, this is good: whatever toxin she got into (assuming that is what happened) her kidneys are flushing it out. But no dog can pee this much for long before facing serious complications!

I've gotten her pumped up on some IV for hydration tonight and we are going to try to spend night #2 at home (but there is an e-vet nearby if necessary).

Strangely:
She is eating hamburger "sloppy" rice which I'm mixing with as much water as possible to try to keep her somewhat hydrated. She has eaten 2-3x the volume of food that she would normally eat in a 24 hour period and she would totally eat more if I let her. She is usually neutral about food, and has never liked rice with hamburger. It is really bizarre.


Results from tests so far:
Bloodwork (standard geriatric panel): Morning of 12/7; All normal, except slightly lower than normal TP (5.2 g/dL with normal range of 5.4-8.2 g/dL) and GLOB (1.8 g/dL with normal range 2.3-5.2 g/dL); vet didn't think that either of these were "abnormal enough" to warrant further investigation just yet
(complete results here for anyone interested.)
Urinalysis: Very dilute, no abnormalities besides microscopic blood (tested morning of 12/7)
Stool analysis: Normal as of 12/4 but she has only pooped once since the tremor episode, and that was all the activated charcoal. This is despite being prone to diarrhea and having eaten 3 cups of hamburger sloppy rice...
Temperature: Normal every time it's been taken

Her vet says he has never seen a dog so small pee so much while still being perky and having an appetite. He is stumped as to what could be going on. For now, we are letting this run its course in case it is nothing more than her kidneys flushing themselves out.

Still– very alarming!!! Please- suggestions are welcome for any way that I can help her recovery and/or diagnosis.
 

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no suggestions. just sending positive thoughts. get well, ari!
 
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No suggestions either, but I want to say I am with you and hope Ari gets well soon. Hoping the urinating is just the flushing of the poison !
 

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So very sorry to hear that Ari is sick. I hope she gets better soon.

I know you are going to check for Addisons but that takes a while to do the test and get the results. Testing for electrolytes is a fast test. You might want to culture the urine as a double check to make sure there is no infection.

I hope you find out something soon.
 

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I am so sorry and hope you get a concrete diagnosis soon. You saved her life with your quick assessment that something was way off. Thoughts with you both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I know you are going to check for Addisons but that takes a while to do the test and get the results. Testing for electrolytes is a fast test. You might want to culture the urine as a double check to make sure there is no infection.
Good idea for the urine culture.

Her blood panel included sodium and potassium electrolytes.


The sodium was just on the edge of being low and the potassium was within the normal range. This test was taken this morning, after only 8 or so hrs of the bizarre peeing, so the electrolytes are probably very different by now. The vet thought this suggested that whatever is going on is not Addison's but with her chronically sensitive GI tract (starting just after she came home with the crazy diarrhea that I thought was caused by hot dogs and continuing off and on ever since) that testing for it would be prudent at this point.
 

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She looks very much like Iris did when she had a seizure one day, 3 years ago. I rushed her to the e-vet where they gave her some anti anxiety meds, valium, and put her on phenobarbatol. 24 hers later, and after lots of fluids, I took her home. She had lots of awful side effects from the phenobarbitol and after another two days with no seizures I weaned her off the meds. We don't know what caused it and she never has had another one. She, too, had the MASSIVE, UNCONTROLABLE peeing and lots of dnking. Day and night. I thought it was side effects of the meds and it gradually went away within 2 days of taking her off the meds.

The whole business with the head and eyes is what had us convinced it was a seizure. Very very scary, but we never knew what caused it. We were living wih my Mom who was newly in home Hospice care and lots of stress floating around the house, but we'll never know what it was.

I hope her issue resolves and never comes back. I know full well how very scary this is.

Maybe check around outside and see if there are any other plant materials or maybe rat poison or something like that that she could have accessed. Lots of outdoor plants are toxic...some very very toxic.

Prayers sent.

VQ
 

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Hope the urinating is just her system being flushed! Mycotoxin poisoning from black mold CAN cause neurological symptoms(movement disorders) and hopefully Ari will recover...............from what I can recall from the past, IV fluids are the usual treatment. Get well Ari!!! Me and Molly will keep all our fingers and toes crossed for you!
 

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Have nothing helpful to add either but just adding my well wishes that she recovers fully and quickly and you get a concrete diagnosis! Poor little Ari!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It was incredible how fast she went from normal firecracker Ari to death's door... 20 minutes, tops. About 3.5 hours after running to my neighbors yard.

I just got off the phone with Ari's breeder. Anne's gut feeling is that this probably isn't Addisons because it is not prevalent in her lines and that my first priority should be urine and stool cultures for bacterial infections while crossing my fingers in the meantime that this will just resolve on its own. She agrees that it could have been something toxic growing on the rancid birdseed in my neighbor's yard or in the bird poop around there.

Addisons doesn't fit perfectly with the head tremors and with the lack of an electrolyte imbalance... I will keep that diagnosis on the back burner if other, simpler things don't pan out.

Viking Queen, that sounds so similar to Ari! The e-vet didn't think that she was having a seizure because she was pseudo-responsive to her name off and on, but I definitely think it was some kind of very low grade seizure or neurological effect from a toxin.

Fortunately I am 100% sure that she did not get into any poison (in the traditional, non-magic-mushroom sense at least) because my neighbor doesn't have any in her yard, and we don't have any around the house because we have always had animals and those are the only two places she's been over the past three days.

Thank you all of the positive thoughts and prayers. Miss Ari needs them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Did the vet test for Lyme disease?
No, but that may be another good idea. We have a lot of Lyme in this area of Maine. She doesn't have the "classic" symptoms of Lyme but they can be so ephemeral and differ from dog to dog. She has been on NexGard since the day she came home, but nothing is 100%. I'll ask about that tomorrow.
 

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Oh gosh, it could be that bird seed. How very scary. I do hope it's something that will clear up soon and won't happen again. Sending lots of positive vibes for poor Ari. And to you. You must be so worried.
 
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Oh my gosh, how frightening! That video show just what you are describing - and I agree it looks kind of like she has something toxic in her system.

How fortunate that you know your Ari so well and knew right away that something was amiss!

I am sending positive get well thoughts your way for dear little Ari. <3
 

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Poor little Ari..... it really does sound like something she consumed while being outside, my first thoughts were mushrooms because they are very abundant where I live and I have heard of many dogs exhibiting neurological symptoms from eating them around here. They may not be so common where you live though?
Her bloodwork to me looked reassuring....normal liver and kidney function.
I personally don't think that it is Lymes....those symptoms typically take a while to manifest.
Hopefully whatever it is will get totally flushed out of her system and she will be back to her perky and cute little self soon!
 

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Just wanted to say thinking of you and sending whatever the secular version of prayers are to you and Ari. Hope to read soon that she is getting better.
 

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The fact Ari is eating also makes Addisons to be less likely. I am glad you are considering cultures just to make sure nothing is missed.

I hope Ari is feeling better tomorrow.
 
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