Lost our dog suddenly to encephalitis :(

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roykirk
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2016 12:16 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Lost our dog suddenly to encephalitis :(

Postby roykirk » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:34 pm

We had a very sad family tragedy recently when we lost our 6 year old purebred Maltese to what the vet neurologist thinks was a form of encephalitis. It was only after doing some research after the fact that we discovered Maltese can be prone to this ailment. :(

Our Maltese had been otherwise perfectly healthy up until last month when one day she suddenly started acting sick and lethargic. She didn't want to get up off our bed in the morning, and showed no interest in food or water. We have a two story house and when we noticed she was having trouble navigating the stairs, we decided to take her to our local vet. They diagnosed with an apparent "spinal injury," gave her some anti-inflammatories and pain medicine and sent her home. To our delight, she suddenly showed a fast improvement over the course of the next week and seemed well on her way to a full recovery. Unfortunately on about the 8th or 9th day, she suddenly relapsed and started exhibiting the same symptoms as previously, except much more severe. Called the same vet back who told us to stop by and get some more meds. This is the point where, if we'd known what we know now, we would have chosen a different tactic. Maybe it wouldn't have made any difference, but the chance that it might have will continue to haunt us.

We waited several hours for the new meds to work, during which our girl got worse and worse. By the evening, our vet advised us to take her to an veterinary emergency room. They had a neurologist on duty who started a full workup and ran an MRI. By now our dog was on a ventilator. The MRI showed significant swelling around the brain stem (despite the massive doses of corticosteroids and mannitol they'd been pumping in to her since she arrived). After consulting with the neurologist, we had to make the difficult decision to let her go. There was just about zero chance she'd ever resume her normal life, nor could we afford the $15,000+ bill they were quoting us to keep trying to save her.

Anyway, we loved our girl and loved the breed very much. I'm normally deathly allergic to indoor dogs, but after 6 years of sleeping on our bed every night, she never made me sneeze even once. One part of me would love to get another one some day, but to find out that the breed is known to be susceptible to this sort of condition....I don't know that I want to risk going through that again.

Ann
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:16 pm
Location: Knoxville,TN

Re: Lost our dog suddenly to encephalitis :(

Postby Ann » Sun Jun 26, 2016 6:47 pm

I had the same thing happen to my 3 year old Maltese. It's been 3 1/2 months and I'm nervous about getting another one too. I wish I knew how common this is or how to avoid buying a puppy who might have this.

They referred ours as GME.

sparrow21
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat May 28, 2016 5:12 am
Location: Chicago IL

Re: Lost our dog suddenly to encephalitis :(

Postby sparrow21 » Tue Jul 05, 2016 11:43 am

my heart-felt condolences,

its been a while now I do hope you are moving on now and chanelling your love on another maltese.

Mickeydog
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:55 am
Location: IL

Re: Lost our dog suddenly to encephalitis :(

Postby Mickeydog » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:16 am

The very same scenario happened with my female maltese. It began a few weeks after her vaccinations. She had knee surgery and then wasn't quite recovering well. She was shaking, etc. The vet went through the same protocol as yours. Anyway, I brought her in to him and said she was shaking in "pain" and then he quickly realized she was having a seizure. I immediately took her to an animal hospital and $$ later, she was returned to me. It took some time of attending to her, but she recovered fine and no seizures in 7+ years since! The vet suggested we only do titers test and said the vaccinations must have caused an issue with her immune system...when she had surgery her immune system was suppressed and she developed encephalitis. She had almost 6 mos of steroids thereafter, but she recovered nicely. She is a sweetheart and has not had any health issues since then. Her brother (same litter) never developed any issues like this.

Mickeydog
Posts: 7
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2016 1:55 am
Location: IL

Re: Lost our dog suddenly to encephalitis :(

Postby Mickeydog » Sat Nov 26, 2016 3:17 am

Don't be afraid to get another because of this. I have had a few and it is not an expected health issue.


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