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Being in Southern California, heartworm is very rare. We don't treat. I hope all the problems with the drugs are worked out before we ever have to use it!
 

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Glad to hear your dog is doing better.

We had one similar to your dog come in through our neurology department. Full workup showed nothing, diagnosis was absence seizures. The dog has been doing very well on keppra, no episodes.

Heartworm meds could easily be stopped, just test yearly. Sentinel is generally one of the less "side effect" ones out there. If the episodes continue to be in remission, I would definitely recommend keeping off the heartworm meds.

Has the neurologist suggested a medication trial?
 

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Discussion Starter #63
Update - well Jasper had another minor episode on Friday. Not too bad, he was back to himself in less than 1/2 hour. I cannot tell you how frustrating this is!!! We are absolutely at a loss as what to do next! We feel so bad for Jasper!!!


Glad to hear your dog is doing better.

We had one similar to your dog come in through our neurology department. Full workup showed nothing, diagnosis was absence seizures. The dog has been doing very well on keppra, no episodes.

Heartworm meds could easily be stopped, just test yearly. Sentinel is generally one of the less "side effect" ones out there. If the episodes continue to be in remission, I would definitely recommend keeping off the heartworm meds.

Has the neurologist suggested a medication trial?
ZONISAMIDE is what Cornell's neurological group recommended. At the time, Jasper was having attacks that actually floored him to the point he would be knocked down for at least one day and some times several days. After discussing with our vet, we decided to hold-off on any meds as to not mask what might be really going on as we still had heart workups and ultrasounds to do. We are averaging about 1 minor attack a week right now. Thanks Ted
 

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Thanks for the updates Onionfarmer. I really hope you all manage to get to the bottom of this eventually. Meanwhile, know you are being sent all good wishes from us. x
 

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Sending you all the best wishes that this can be figured out about this. Thanks for letting us know. It's very frustrating indeed.
 

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So frustrated for you! We just went through a bunch of testing with our cat and I know it is not about the money, just that after spending so much you have NO answers! That is how we were too. In just 4 days we spent $1500.00.

The being weak and collapsing I can relate to, and it is so irritating! Like Jasper, I just want to do what I do, and then I have a flare up and am on the couch for hours to days.

I am sending good vibes that they come up with an answer soon!
 

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Thank You for the update! We're all rootin' for your mystery to be solved!!!! It has to be stressful for all concerned !
 

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Recently, have run into a problem with one of our male neutered Standard Poodles, Jasper (8 ½ years old). Never any illnesses or sickness before this. I’m lucky enough to be with our dogs 24 x 7, so he gets run several times each day. I’m afraid to run him now because of this problem. He’s not happy about that at all! He has always been super strong, until now. Sometimes he will throw-up yellow bile before, sometimes, not. Attack can happen anytime of the day with or without warning. He’ll be fine and then all of a sudden, starts slowing down and then starts staggering, sometimes he will fall down. He will standup, but will be unsteady on his feet and weak. We’ve captured these attacks on video for Cornell and our vets. This has been going on since the middle of June. The first time this happened (he was outside), I carried him into the house and held him in my arms, my wife and I thought that we had lost him. We thought that he had a stroke. Took six hours for him to recover. Took him to our vet, thorough checkup including blood work. Couldn’t find anything wrong. A couple of weeks go by, Jasper has another attack. Off to our vet, they send us to Cornell Medical Center for an emergency visit. Spend the day there, lots of tests and they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. Because he stabilized, they released him. The next day (Saturday), he had 4 attacks and I told my wife that I expected he would be gone by the morning. We called Cornell’s Emergency Room and they told us if we brought him in they would release him if he stabilized. It is 1 1/2 hour drive for us to Cornell, so, we stayed up all night with him. The next morning he was fine. At Cornell’s recommendation, we then had full neurological set of tests run including MRI (brain scan) spinal tap, x-rays of his major body areas including chest. Then heart testing set including EKG and ultrasound of his heart. Then ultrasound of his lungs, abdomen, liver, kidneys, intestines and colon. We’ve run approximately $1.5k in blood work tests (including special Thyroid and Diabetes tests) with nothing showing up. We’ve run urine tests, Acid Bile, Addison’s and Cushing’s tests and all have come back clear. Cornell Medical staff is stumped, our local vet and local animal hospital are also. Cornell’s recommendation was to put Jasper on seizure meds, which we’re reluctant to do because we want to identify the problem and just not mask it or cover it up. I’ve had dogs with seizures and these don’t look or feel like seizures to me. We’ve contacted Jasper’s breeder (great person with 30 years of experience) and she has never seen anything like this in her lines.

After all this, we went 30 days and he was back to normal. Full of energy and strong. Then out of the blue, he threw-up and it started all over again. Now, the attacks are more minor and instead of collapsing, he just gets really slow. Almost like he is moving in slow motion. He now, usually recovers in less than two hours from each of the episodes.

He’s been on Blue Buffalo dog food for several years. The only thing that we change is the flavor. Throughout this Jasper has been extremely thirsty, urinates a lot more and is starving. We think that this condition could be gastric related. We’ve checked for all kinds of poisoning. As a note, our other two dogs are fine.

Jasper is a wonderful and loving friend! Everyone that meets him loves him! We love him and want to help him, but are at a loss as what to do next. All these test show nothing! Any ideas or suggestions will be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance - Ted.
I just experienced almost the same. See link http://www.poodleforum.com/29-poodle-health/72705-little-no-warning.html
Tex will be cremated this week. I hope you have better luck than I did. My heart goes out to you.
 

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There is a relatively inexpensive DNA test you can do with a simple cheek swab for DM (degenerative myelopathy) . I am not 100% sure of the symptoms, but every time I read these threads, I think that if this were my dog, I would want to rule it out. It can be ordered at OFFA.org. you can read up about it there too to see if any other symptoms might be the same.
 

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onionfarmer: I want to offer some suggestions.

~ Contact Barbara Licht, PhD Canine seizure researcher at: Dr. Barbara Licht | Psychology at Florida State University She is extremely kind and might be able to offer some guidance.

~ Contact Dr. Jean Dodds via her Hemopet Lab Home Dr. Dodds and her research team offer a wealth of knowledge about unusual symptoms in pets. The cost of tests at her lab is usually less than at other labs. I know pet owners who have received compassionate help from her via telephone and emails.

I hope someone can help your boy!:clover:
 
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Discussion Starter #72
Good News

Time for an update. It has been a long, long struggle. We want to thank everyone for their ideas, suggestions and comments. I want to post this information as it may help someone else with their dog with similar symptoms. We took Chagall's advice and contacted Dr. Barbara Licht at FSU and she was extremely helpful and absolutely wonderful to work with! Jasper ended up with a severe e. coli infection. In fact, it almost killed him!

To recap, this has been going on since May of 2013. We've run just about every canine test known to man and all tests came back negative. Jasper just kept getting worse. We finally tried seizure meds which made him even worse. It got really bad! He was throwing up a couple of times a day and could barely stand. Wouldn't eat. We thought it was over. So, we took him in for a last vet visit to see if there was anything else we could do. We did bloodwork and urine and it showed he had severe renal failure, creatinine level of 2.7. We couldn't figure out how this happened out of the blue. In discussions with our vet, we decided to run a urine culture. It came back positive for e. coli. Somehow, with all the tests that we ran, this got missed. We immediately started him on antibiotics and within two days he started to improve. He did six weeks of antibiotics and now he's been two weeks off. "Knock on wood", he's approximately 70% of what he once was (instead of 20%) and creatinine levels have been falling, three weeks ago at 1.3. Last urine culture shows e. coli is gone. Hopefully, he keeps getting better and his kidneys continue to heal. This episode really took a lot out of him. We hope this information helps someone else. Ted
 

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Oh wow! You have been through the ringer with this dog. Poor thing. It is good news that he is on the mend. Do you know what the e-coli source was? I always heard dogs were pretty resistant to that. But maybe sometimes it can be over whelming. I'm so sorry your dog went through all that illness but glad he is doing so much better.
 
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Thanks Poodlebeguiled. We live in the country, so it could have been anything for the source. It came close to killing him! Jasper's had a rough run! Hopefully, he continues to get better!
 

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OMG I can't believe this was missed when he was having all those tests! Anyway, it's done now, but what you have all been through has been awful.

I am so very pleased to hear that things are picking up and Jasper is getting so much better! Thank you so much for updating us :)
 

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Not an obvious cause of his problems, which I suppose is how it was missed, but I am so glad that you finally have a diagnosis, and that you got it in the nick of time. Hope Jasper now continues to improve with every passing week - poor boy, what a hell of a time he has had.
 
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We appreciate your comments. This was a really scary situation. Had we not kept pushing, he would be gone now! He didn't quit, so neither did we! This was really hard because he kept coming to us for help, getting sicker and sicker and we didn't know what to do. He's a wonderful friend!

What the medical community did to this dog was just wrong, just keep throwing money at it and maybe something will show up. There is so much that should be changed with medical procedures! We're begging to move up appointments and exams because he is so sick. Even with the last set of tests, nobody would believe that it was e. coli. The thought was that we didn't get a clean sample. I stayed up the entire night before the test (couldn't sleep) trying to come up with a method to get a clean sample.

You can feel our frustration. We don't care what we went thru, it was what he went thru. He was really sick after the MRI and spinal tap. On the positive, he's getting better and that's all that really counts!

The bottom line, we hope that someone reads this thread and it helps their dog before it is too late!
 

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I think it would be a good idea to start a new thread, with both the symptoms and e-coli in the title, so that it comes up on Google searches, and a summary of all you have been through. As you say, if you can ensure no other dogs (and their humans) suffer like this then at least something good will come out of this terrible experience.
 

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I read this whole thread because I was researching Mega-Esophagus. I just wanted to tell you how relieved I am that Jasper is ok and that you didn't give up. My heart went out to you as I read the post where you described the relationship you have with your Jasper. Unless you have had that kind of relationship with an animal, it's hard to understand. I have and my life will never be the same because of it. I'm so glad that you had a happy ending!!
 
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