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Bartonella? Meningitis? Cancer? Vets can not determine what is wrong ...
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Bartonella? Meningitis? Cancer? Vets can not determine what is wrong with my dog, please help with any ideas....

My dog is less active with congestion, & a possible ear infection since spring.  In August I noticed skin sagging under her neck which I had never noticed.   A couple of days later she had a seizure which lasted about 30 seconds followed by a stiff neck.  I took her to vet and  blood tests showed some slightly low protein levels. He also noticed sagging skin on her chest all the way down to her legs (which he called edema) and some swollen mammory glands. He gave us doxycycline for possibble tick born disease. We have not seen a seizure since, other symptoms still persist.  She soon after started becoming more congested with nasal drainage, hard swallowing, smacking, and coughing (and once vomitted) up white mucus from deep in her chest.  A specialist said she may have heart disease:negative results.  Next  it might be a mass causing blockage and causing edema, but did not address the respiratory issues/ears/sunuses etc...  then sent to get a CT scan of her chest for a tumor in her chest that was not showing on  xray.  I asked that her head and neck be scanned as well, becuase I felt like that is where the problem stemmed from but they only looked at chest.  Nothing found in that scan. The Dr who scanned her saw fluid in her lungs and diagnosed her: possible pneumonia and gave us antibiotic which we treated her with for 10 days.  We now have her on Baytril for another 10.  The specialist is not sure but thinks she has bartonella or cancer.  Her current symptoms are: Itching stopped up ears, nasal discharge, hard swallowing, occasional signs of neck stiffness and stiffness all over after laying still, slightly weaker than before, Deep coughing, loss of some muscle tone,labored breathing, Edema from neck to back legs, some swollen glands, occasional sensitivity to touch, and the previous seizure. She is eating, walking, and sometimes playful. Is she having complications from Ear/sinus infections left untreated?  or symptoms caused by cancer or bartonella?  Any ideas?
Type of Animal
:  
Dog
Age of Animal
:  
4 yrs
Sex of Animal
:  
Female
Breed of Animal
:  
Siberian Husky
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
:  
October 03, 2009
City
:  
Sherwood
State/Province
:  
AR
Country
:  
USA
Blood Test Results
:  
inconclusive??
X-Ray Results
:  
fluid in lungs
Other pertinent test results
:  
CT Scan of chest-no masses present
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Hi, Jeana,

I am so sorry your dog is having so many health issues.  I know it has to be very troubling -- especially without a definitive diagnosis.  Unfortunately, in this case it is hard to give a single diagnosis which would fit all symptoms.

A tumor in the neck or cranial chest could cause the majority of symptoms your dog is experience.  Then, again, your dog may just have chronic ear disease as well. How long has she been on Baytril and have you noticed any improvement?  Another possibility would be vasculitis secondary to autoimmune disease.

My best suggestion at this point would be going to a specialist who has not seen your dog before for a second opinion.  Sometimes a new set of eyes looking at the same symptoms can spot something that was previously overlooked.

Best of luck to you and your dog. Let us know what you find out.

Terry L. Dew, DVM, DACVS
2 Comments
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Thank you so Much!  She has been on Baytril since yesterday.  She is about the same, not getting worse but not getting better.  What I read about Bacterial Meningitis sounded like that could be the problem but the Specialist said it was unlikely, I just wonder if it is possible at all or would menigitis (meningitis) have her on her death bed by now?  We may get a second opinion and I will post back later in the week.  Thanks again Terry!

Determined to find an answer,
Jeana
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