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Rebecca
Rebecca, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 13295
Experience:  More than 30 years of companion animal practice.
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My chihuahua rat terrier i

Customer Question

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

hello and thank you for using this site to help you. Your question did not come through, Please tell me what is wrong with your Chihuahua so it can be addressed.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I recently tried to ask a question and it didn't go thru..Sally G. Is the vet waiting for my question.,i have a 5-7 year old Chihuahua rat terrier that started having seizures about 3 months ago.I lost 4 dogs at this time from what I thought was poison..2
if them had the ends of their tongues rotted off and they died..my big dog outside started drinking a LOT of water after I let him out late one night at this same time..he died the next morning..2 days later my little chihuahua rat terrier started seizing
while he was sleeping..I took him to my vet, she sent me to a neurologist in Little Rock and diagnosed him with GHE, I believe is what she said..some sort of encephalitis, swelling of brain and spine..he is in Atopica, Phenobarbitol, and urgent care canned
food, and Neutracal vitamin supplement..he sometimes has good progress and other times he has bad days..his appetite is diminishing this week..he won't use his legs to stand or walk unless he has to attend to bathroom needs..his balance is really bad right
now..he acts like he can hear, but most of the time he acts like he can't see..my question is, in your experiences will this condition improve over time,..is there anything else I can do or give him to improve this situation..it's a miracle he's even alive
as he was seizing for over 3 hours the first day, and was in acute care at my vets office for a week..he showed lots of progress during that time, including walking, but seems to have trouble with the will to walk..I've tried a little water therapy to get
him to move his legs, which worked at first, but now the water just really frightens him, so I just bathe him with a shower hose now.. The vet in Little Rock wanted to take a PET SCAN and a SPINAL TAP, but this was extremely expensive, and as I am on a limited
income and disabled, I could not afford this..my dogs are my babies and my source of comfort during the day when my husband is at work..I'm doing everything I can to help him recover from this nightmare..I would appreciate any input your and the other vets
may have on his condition..is there a possibility that this was poison that started all this..my vet said this GHE is prone to be in small dogs only, perticularly Yorkies..THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR YOUR TIME AND CONSIDERATION ON THIS MATTER..LOOKING FORWARD
TO HEARING FROM YOU..
Expert:  Sally G. replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for that information. I did try to do a search to find your other question but could not find another question. I will opt out and hopefully a Vet will pick this up. to help you:)

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

I am so sorry to hear about Tippy #2. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help. I am also sorry you had to wait until now for a veterinarian. I just came online and saw your question.

It is hard to predict if he will get better without knowing for sure what he has (which would mean doing the expensive tests that the specialist wanted to do). I understand not wanting to do the scan and the spinal tap; these tests are not only expensive, but invasive.

I might consider trying a combination of steroids, doxycycline, and clindamycin if the Atopica is not helping. I just attended a lecture by a neurology expert, and that is what he uses when the dog owner can't afford these tests.

There is a possibility that a poison started all this. Is there any chance the dogs could have been exposed to rat poison containing the ingredient bromethalin?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I've looked into pet insurance for Tippy, but will they accept me with him having a pre-exsisting condition..I could get the nessessary test done this way to find out if there's any other therapy or diagnosis...I have the original dog food that they were eating at the time (Pedigree)..I immediately noticed that they were being very slow to eat this particular bag, and had been eating Pedigree without any problems before this..I got done to about two thirds of the bag and emptied the rest in my dog food bin and there was a lot of mold in the bottom..I opened the second bag, and in the bottom was mold also..I took these bags to Tractor Supply where I bought them and received two more bags..but they still were slow to eat the new bags..I still have some of this so food, but I don't know where to send it to be tested..I asked my vet, and she said that no recalls had been sent out on Pedigree..I don't know if this condition started from bad dog food, or a bad neighbor, or just a condition from his genes..Do you have any suggestions as to where I can send this dog food and the cost of having it tested..I was told by one vet that has had experience with GHE, and he definitely thinks it was poison..I buried her, but she was completely wrapped in a bag with duct tape..Do you think I should have her autopsied to help her some answers to this mess..what do you think that the MRI and the SPINAL TAP could possibly reveal..THANK YOU FOR YOUR GUIDANCE IN THIS VERY CONFUSING AND EXASPERATING PROBLEM..I have had many many dogs and have NEVER had anything like this happen..LOOKING FORWARD TO HEARING FROM YOU
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

Every pet insurance is different. Some may not take you with a pre existing condition, some will but the premium will be high.

Who is the dog that is buried? How long as she been buried? An autopsy may or may not tell you whether there was poison but if she has been in the ground awhile it may not. Also, you would have to have expensive toxicology tests done to tell if she was poisoned.

I am not sure where you could send the dog food to be tested. I might start by calling the Pedigree company to see if they will help pay for testing. If your veterinarian does not know what lab in your state will do testing, you could try calling your state veterinary board or state health department. I just did a search, and there are no recalls for Pedigree at this time.

The vet school in California has a lab that does this kind of testing, but you have to know what you are testing for. It is very hard to just test for "poison"; there is a different test for each one and it would be very expensive to run them all.

The MRI and Spinal tap will probably tell you what is wrong with Tippy. If it is a mold infection, the spinal tap could pick up the presence of mold, or mold antibodies.

Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.

How is Tippy doing? Can I answer anything else about him?