Mystery illness in my dog- please help?

Hello, and thanks for reminding me to update you all. I also thought for sure it was a brain tumor, but she had an MRI yesterday, and it seems she has cognitive dysfunction syndrome. The big surprise is that we thought we had an 8-year-old dog, but the neurologist said that after looking at how advanced the degeneration was and also at her teeth, etc., she's likely a good bit older. (We adopted her from a rescue, and the shelter had made its best guess on age.) The neurologist also said she was surprised there had only been one seizure, given the extent of the degeneration. (She had a small seizure last Friday that I forgot to post about on here.) So now we have an anti-seizure prescription along with a drug for the CDS itself. Hopefully the meds will let her live out the rest of her time with us somewhat comfortably. She's still eating, going outside to the bathroom, wagging her tail, sleeping fairly well, etc. She's not had a panting/trembling episode or a seizure since last Friday.

The takeaway, which I hope helps someone else reading, is that bulldogs don't often manifest symptoms the way other dogs do. When I first started bringing her to the vet for this issue, the videos I had taken looked like any other dog demanding attention- whining, whimpering, even barking at one point, panting. But our dog, who is 75% English bulldog, was really content for most of her life to sit beside us. She rarely had any of those behaviors, because it wasn't her temperment. She also hasn't yet manifested a lot of the symptoms of CDS (house-soiling, wandering around the house at night, standing in corners confused), so again, a tough one to diagnose.

Also, as someone mentioned up thread, I encourage people to get diagnostic testing before trying prescriptions, if it's financially feasible. Lastly, please always trust your gut and advocate for your pet as best you can. You know your dog better than anyone. Thanks again to everyone replying and offering support!
Thank you so much for your post. I have a full breed English bulldog whom passed away a few days ago and had the exact same symptoms as yours does. We were only able to get him to the emergency room once and had medicines like steroids, to manage his pain. He was also a rescue and was turning 6 when we got him. He passed a week after those symptoms.
 
Thank you so much for your post. I have a full breed English bulldog whom passed away a few days ago and had the exact same symptoms as yours does. We were only able to get him to the emergency room once and had medicines like steroids, to manage his pain. He was also a rescue and was turning 6 when we got him. He passed a week after those symptoms.
Oh no, I'm so sorry for your loss. It's incredibly hard. I hope you're taking care of yourself as best you can.

To also update this thread a bit, if it could help anyone: my dog is currently on phenobarbital (for seizures) and Anipryl (for canine cognitive dysfunction). Unfortunately she's very sensitive to the pheno, and the side effects, such as ataxia, are challenging. We are giving her a little more time to acclimate, but might have to consider a different seizure drug if her quality of life isn't good. She is also on her fourth round of antibiotics for a recurring sinus infection, which we can't quite figure out the origin of. I wipe her nose about 50 times a day/night and I know this isn't much fun for her. We're aware that we always have to weigh quality of life versus continuing life-saving measures, and we want to do the right thing by her. Again, hope this helps anyone who isn't sure what's happening with their dog. Thanks again for everyone's input as well!
 
Thank you so much for your post. I have a full breed English bulldog whom passed away a few days ago and had the exact same symptoms as yours does. We were only able to get him to the emergency room once and had medicines like steroids, to manage his pain. He was also a rescue and was turning 6 when we got him. He passed a week after those symptoms.
I’m so sorry for your loss ❤️‍🩹
 
I’m so sorry for your loss ❤️‍🩹

Thank you so much for your post. I have a full breed English bulldog whom passed away a few days ago and had the exact same symptoms as yours does. We were only able to get him to the emergency room once and had medicines like steroids, to manage his pain. He was also a rescue and was turning 6 when we got him. He passed a week after those symptoms.

I’m so sorry for your loss ❤️‍🩹
Thank you so much! Really means a lot to have someone understand. May I ask what conditions your dog was diagnosed with after everything? My sweet boy passed and we we given generic reasons like his weight and heart is enlarged didn’t help. We never did a necropsy because my husband couldn’t handle it. I’m still trying to figure out what was the cause because after exhibiting the same symptoms as your dog with unidentified pain and inflammation. He had a recurrent tail infection that never cleared up but bloodwork was normal. His tail pocket cleared up when he was rushed back to the hospital for inflamed palate. He was given steroid shots and then later meds to control the inflammation. I found an abscess on his left ear and mentioned it but no one seemed alarmed. He was given antibiotics when his skin tags got infected and he passed shortly after. after the then it went to his stomach. In addition, I noticed on his left side of the face he had something in h swollen to block his nostrils. All the meds they gave him became non-responsive or took hours, sometimes day to respond. Was your dog diagnosed with a condition? If so, please share the condition with me as it will help me find closure. I am so glad I found you here.
 
Hey LovemyBoyboy- I wasn't sure if you were responding to me regarding the condition my dog was officially diagnosed with, but here's what we ended up with as far as diagnoses: She has canine cognitive dysfunction (dog Alzheimer's) and a seizure disorder. What the doctors were not sure about is the definitive cause of the seizure disorder. Her head scan showed a lot of degeneration in the brain, so that might be what's causing them, but there could have been a stroke/episode that we somehow missed also. All we know for sure is that there isn't a mass/tumor anywhere, so that's not what's causing seizure activity.

In Sebastian's case, it sounds like he was too young to have had anything similar to what I've described, but could the swelling on the side of the face and the blocked nostril have indicated a mass of some sort? Again, I'm so sorry for what you've had to deal with. It's hard enough when they pass but not knowing why is another heartbreak, I'm sure.

We had an English bulldog prior to this one who lived to be 14, and in her last year she did have an enlarged heart situation that manifested similarly to what I've described for my current dog (panting episodes, shaking, etc.). So that's the other tricky part- that similar displays can mean completely different diseases.
 
Hey LovemyBoyboy- I wasn't sure if you were responding to me regarding the condition my dog was officially diagnosed with, but here's what we ended up with as far as diagnoses: She has canine cognitive dysfunction (dog Alzheimer's) and a seizure disorder. What the doctors were not sure about is the definitive cause of the seizure disorder. Her head scan showed a lot of degeneration in the brain, so that might be what's causing them, but there could have been a stroke/episode that we somehow missed also. All we know for sure is that there isn't a mass/tumor anywhere, so that's not what's causing seizure activity.

In Sebastian's case, it sounds like he was too young to have had anything similar to what I've described, but could the swelling on the side of the face and the blocked nostril have indicated a mass of some sort? Again, I'm so sorry for what you've had to deal with. It's hard enough when they pass but not knowing why is another heartbreak, I'm sure.

We had an English bulldog prior to this one who lived to be 14, and in her last year she did have an enlarged heart situation that manifested similarly to what I've described for my current dog (panting episodes, shaking, etc.). So that's the other tricky part- that similar displays can mean completely different diseases.
Yes, my response was for you. Thank you for your thoughts on this.
 
There like little children they can't really tell you what's wrong, good luck, just a thought have you tried probiotics of any kind, either food, yogurt, kefir, just make sure you read the ingredients I even put chia seeds in it he gets his omegas that way too
 
I agree, they are like little children! Yes, we do give probiotics in the form of a treat, and also I give her yogurt with a tiny bit of peanut butter and CBD oil on a lick mat at midday and at night before bedtime. She's doing quite well these days. We are feeding her raw (Primal), along with pumpkin and fish oil, twice a day. She also gets watermelon, hip/joint treats, etc. She has had very little seizure activity—maybe once a month, if that, now that she's finally acclimated to the phenobarbital. The magic combo of drugs for keeping her good is pheno, anipryl, carprofen, and trazadone. Of course I don't love giving her even one drug, but side effects seem minimal and her quality of life is pretty good. Thanks again to everyone for keeping this thread active, just in case someone needs the info!
 
I agree, they are like little children! Yes, we do give probiotics in the form of a treat, and also I give her yogurt with a tiny bit of peanut butter and CBD oil on a lick mat at midday and at night before bedtime. She's doing quite well these days. We are feeding her raw (Primal), along with pumpkin and fish oil, twice a day. She also gets watermelon, hip/joint treats, etc. She has had very little seizure activity—maybe once a month, if that, now that she's finally acclimated to the phenobarbital. The magic combo of drugs for keeping her good is pheno, anipryl, carprofen, and trazadone. Of course I don't love giving her even one drug, but side effects seem minimal and her quality of life is pretty good. Thanks again to everyone for keeping this thread active, just in case someone needs the info!
CBD oil n a raw diet will remove any inflammation.

Have you asked your vet if you remove pheno, anipryl, carprofen, and trazadone but ONE at a time without removing cbd oil see what happens?

Did your vet prescribed the cbd or that was your decision?
Great decision btw.
 

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