This bulldog. She is not doing so well. As I mentioned before, she has been having head tremors. They happen about every 10 days, and the episode lasts 15 minutes. Then she goes back to her normal spunky self, and all is well. Something has changed though. She had an episode within 4 days of a previous one, and her “personality” has definitely changed. The only way I can describe it…it’s like she has dementia and depression.
She sleeps more, and plays less. She doesn’t have patience for the other dogs when they are playing. She randomly gets up and wanders around the house. When I go see what she is doing, she has a very confused glazed look. So, she went to the vet on Thursday, and the techs and vet noticed that she was different too. Dr. M made a potential diagnosis of GME.
Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis (GME) is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) that leads to the formation of granuloma(s) — a ball-like collection of immune cells formed when the immune system tries to wall off foreign substances — which can be localized, diffused, or involving multiple locations, such as the brain, spinal cord and surrounding membranes (meninges).
- Drowsiness -check!
- Circling -wandering? check!
- Seizures -check!
- Behavioral changes -check!
- Weakness of hind limbs (parapresis) -check!
- Weakness of all four limbs (tetraparesis)
- Constant head pressing against objects
Dr. M wasn’t positive though, and testing would include a MRI which is thousands of dollars…something the rescue can’t afford. The partner vet at the practice has had a dog die from GME, so Dr. M asked that I bring Symone back again on Friday, for a second opinion.
So, Symone spent a second day at the vet today. The other vet, Dr. D actually thought Symone was drugged when she first saw her; that’s how sleepy and glazed she looked. She checked Symone out, and thinks that while GME is possible, it could also just be seizures. Now, what is causing those seizures? Brain tumor? Genetics? GME? We really don’t know right now. So their plan is to start her on a very low dose of seizure meds, and wait two weeks (that’s how long it takes the medication to be at a therapeutic level). If I notice a change, and she is getting more like her old self, then it is likely that it is not GME, and she can be managed with the medication. If there is no change, then the changes are not from the seizures. They will then begin to treat her for GME, which includes lots of steroids. There is no cure for GME, and with her age, it’s not a good diagnosis, that’s for sure. So hopefully it is just the seizures, as dogs can live with them for a long time, and medication can manage them, at least for a little while.
We’ll wait to see how the next two weeks ago, and what the treatment plan is, to decide whether we will continue with looking for a forever home. If it’s seizures that can be managed, then we’ll keep searching for that perfect retirement home! If not, well we’ll deal with that when the time comes. She has a place in my home for as long as she needs it!
So, that’s that. Please keep Lady Symone in your thoughts over the next couple of weeks, and pray for improvements!
Have a great weekend, friends!