UPDATE #1: Wednesday, 7:30am CT
Lucky is still having tremors and severe balance issues. She made it through the night, but I'm still worried. If it doesn't start to improve we'll be going into the vet's again later today and go from there. This girl needs all the positive thoughts, prayers, POTP, ect you can give her.
I'm writing this Tuesday night after just getting back from the vet with Lucky. She is in serious need of some good vibes, prayers, power of the paw, whatever you fancy...and if you could put in a quick word for my sanity, that'd be great and much appreciated. :p
Okay, so this (Tuesday) evening at 5:10pm -I know the exact time as I freaked and texted my mom -, I went to get Lucky out of her crate to go potty. I immediately noticed something was off. She was jerking her head every few seconds, and did not want to move. My mind immediately went to thoughts of "oh my god, she's having a seizure and is going to die", even though it wasn't presented like the limited number of seizures I've seen. She was completely aware and responsive, for one thing.
After a minute or two she came out of the little spell and seemed normal for her, so I leashed her up and took her out front to potty. She was having some difficulty with her back end; not exactly staggering, but off balance. My house is a one story, but she had trouble getting over the small lip of the front door to get into the house. Aside from that, she seemed okay.
Maybe 10 minutes later she had another episode, and after calling the vet and describing what was happening, she went in. They fit us in right away, and we saw the same vet and tech we'd seen the day before. I'd taken a video of her having an episode, but by the time we arrived she was in the midst of another one and they got to see first hand what was going on.
I told them in detail about how she'd been that day (normal until the early evening), which of her medications she'd had (skin spray, wormer, ear wipes, ear ointment, and eye ointment that morning), what and how much she'd eaten/drunk (1 1/4c puppy food and 1/4c wet food over 5 meals, plenty of water), how her pottying was (fine, "normal" for her), all the details.
Her temp was normal, and heart rate was normal and lungs sounded fine. The vet even said her skin looked a bit better than it had the previous day. His initial suspicion was either anemia, or perhaps a reaction to one of her meds, though he wasn't certain. They took her to the back to draw blood (PCV/hematocrit) and watch her episode at greater length.
After a nail biting 20 minutes, he came back in and said her levels were seriously low for an average dog, but given her condition, they could be much worse. He's concerned, but not panicked about it just yet. He gave her an injection of vitamin B-complex, and prescribed some iron/vitamin drops. We're going back Friday for another blood draw, and if her levels haven't improved or have worsen, she'll need a transfusion. That's the bad news.
The good news is that these episodes are not seizures. There were a lot of technical terms, and while I grasped it all, I'm freaking exhausted and I'm not functionally at full capacity right now. ;) I'll try to explain as best I can.
The vet suspects she's having a toxicity reaction to the ointment used to treat her ear infection. Something in it's triggering the neurological responses for her tremors and her balance issues. While incredibly uncommon, this type of thing can crop up if the dog is sensitive to whatever drug prescribed. Since she has no medical history, we're going into all of this blind. Her ears were flushed out in order to get as much of the ointment out as possible, and the use of it immediately stopped. If this doesn't help, we'll start looking at other options.
There's a multitude of other things that could be triggering the tremors, but once you compile all the evidence and add in the fact she hadn't been trembling prior to adding in the drugs, it points to one of the drugs. If not, more extensive bloodwork will be done and we'll go from there.
We spoke to the staff and asked frankly if we were being selfish, if we were making her suffer. They don't believe so, and they think she can be saved. It'll be a long road, but she could come out on top despite it all. I completely trust them, and I was so glad to have that reassurance.
Left at 7pm, and it's 9:50 right now. She's still twitching and having trouble with her balance, but there's been slight improvements already: she's more alert and seems less frightened by them, she's walking completely under her own power for short potty breaks, and while she's still very clumsy, she's no longer face planting like she was before we went in.
She's peed twice, had a few sips of water and a few bites of chicken breast. Having her in blankets in her crate in the dark seems to really be helping her.
I'm hoping so hard that it was just the ear medications. I'm terrified every time I walk by her crate, petrified I'll look in it and find her dead. I didn't think I could get attached to a dog so quickly. I'm emotionally spent, and we've only just begun. All I want is for her to make it, and have a life that will help make up for the horrors she's endured. It's fucking heartbreaking.
So that's that. I'll try and get an update in on this post in the morning!
- Dachshund Mommy