Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The Face of Trigeminal Neuritis
Ummm, yeah - saliva is a bit of a problem.......
We have a diagnosis and I was right, it is Trigeminal Neuritis, or drop jaw. I posted a link on yesterday's update for a more in depth article, but it's basically a neurological disorder that can come out of the blue, or can result from injury or trauma. In Maizee's case it's out of the blue. It's a wait and see type thing and should go away in anywhere from two to 4 weeks. YAY! There's a slight chance it could be permanent, but it tends to be rare - so now we wait and see. Thankfully our vet is open to suggestion and wasn't at all bothered that I had shared the info I found with him - he wanted to check further and got back to me today and agreed that this is what we're dealing with.
So with my new found diagnostic capabilities I'm sure he'll be offering me a job in the clinic sometime soon.....Kidding, just kidding.
Thanks for all of you who got back to me with suggestions, and special thanks to Susan, who found the same article and called just when I was posting yesterday. I counted her as a second opinion, and she'll be joining me at the clinic too....God I kill myself - so damn funny.
The drama ends for another day and now it's off to watch Coronation Street - yeah, that's right Corrie.
Today is November 3, 2009 and I thought I would update this entry. I thank everyone for their comments and hope everyone's dog has made a complete recovery.
Maizee's TN lasted about 3 weeks until she was able to begin eating on her own. I found there were residual effects in terms of her energy and zest for life - that just took longer (about a month), to get back to her "old self". I will never know what triggered the problem, but given what happened next, I am wondering if her system was just so compromised that it made the TN possible. Maizee had a few diagnosed health issues, Pannus and a Hemangiopericytoma on her left front leg. We had made the decision to amputate her leg this July as she would be cancer free without it. Hemangiopericytoma is a soft tissue, non life threatening, slow growing cancer that tends to return after removal, but tends not to spread, and usually affects the limbs, so amputation tends to be the answer when it comes to getting rid of it. Because she was part whippet/greyhound and continued to love to run, we chose to manage it with homeopathy, Rife treatments, supplements, a raw diet and keeping in constant contact with our holistic vet (Dr. Sharon Kopinak - the best vet in the world, in my estimation).
What we didn't know however, was that Maizee had a secondary cancer brewing on her spleen. It was a hemangiosarcoma. This is an insidious, fast growing/spreading cancer that usually kills within 2-4 months of starting. It was on Saturday, June 27th, we had brought Maizee with us to do grocery shopping. Leaving her in the car with windows rolled down and in the shade, it was no warmer than 17C and we were gone for 10 minutes. When we came back she seemed not quite right. My first thought was that someone had fed her something through the window, but we went home had supper, which she ate with her usual gusto, but still not very spry. Maizee had rallied by morning and we had a great walk, breakfast, then she laid down and spent most of the day sleeping. By evening she didn't want dinner, wasn't drinking and was lethargic. We called the vet and met him at the clinic. Maizee's belly was full of blood and we made the agonizing decision to help her cross over. Our in town vet, Dr. Morris (also a fabulous vet), figured it was an hemangiosarcoma that had probably burst resulting in the internal bleeding. He said that most of the cases he is seeing are at this stage, when it's too late. He has caught this earlier, been able to remove the tumor and spleen, had a look at the liver which was perfect, closed the dog up, but within a month the dog had died. When he has done the autopsy, the liver was covered in tumors - just shocking. We spoke to another vet and he had said basically the same thing, he had removed the original tumor, brought the dog in on a Tuesday to remove the surgical staples, but by Friday he had to euthanize the dog because it had spread so rapidly.
I don't know what role TN had in Maizee's life. We just took the illness on it's own and got through it, but was it a flag that something else was going on? Who knows? Had we caught the other cancer, by other accounts, we couldn't have prolonged her life for much longer anyway. I guess I could go on and on beating myself up and second guessing everything, but what it comes down to is, it was her time to go. I miss Maizee everyday and continue on the long path of grief, missing all 4 of the animals we lost this summer - Moses, Tessa, Maizee and Pippitt. I thought things were supposed to happen in 3's what the hell happened???? They must be having one heck of a party somewhere - I hope...