Starting on Monday, August 6, 2012, Lilly began declining. Monday was bad. Tuesday was MUCH worse. Wednesday (today) was beyond terrible. I called our veterinary neurologist’s cell number early, and Lilly and I made a mad dash for the hospital this morning. She is now hospitalized. Details below.
I wish I felt up to writing more and with more polish (pardon typos, etc), but here are the details that matter most right now:
- Lilly has a high fever (104 degrees).
- Lilly has a low heart rate (80 beats per minute).
- Lilly cannot move much at all.
- Lilly’s eyes are twitching side to side in the socket (for similar reasons that her head rocked like she was on a boat last time).
- Lilly’s mental acuity is beyond dull. Her eyes are open, but she doesn’t smile or wag or kiss at all.
It’s bad, kids. I’m not at all convinced Lilly will survive this relapse. Heart break doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel.
From my perspective she is as worse than when she was first hospitalized in January 2012 after receiving her rabies vaccine. What makes this harder is that I know what’s ahead — even if she recovers at all, so while scary, this major, major, major relapse is more devastating for me.
So far (fingers crossed), she has NOT had any seizures.
However, she is showing clinical signs (based on full neurological examination) that different parts of her brain are also affected this time … in addition to the ones we know about from her initial onset of vaccine-induced meningoencephalomyelitis.
The goal right now is to get a bunch of meds on board fast (2 antibiotics, steroids, etc.). An another brain MRI is planned, along with another spinal tap, but those require anesthesia, and our veterinary neurologist does NOT want to put her under until she is stable / strong enough.
That may be tomorrow (Thursday 8/9).
That may be Friday (8/10).
A bunch of x-ray views are also planned.
We’re waiting on full blood test results to check organ function and her complete blood count, including her white cell count which (along with the kinds of white cells they find in her spinal fluid) will give us a good idea of what’s going on.
There is a chance she’ll need another 36-hour course of the chemotherapy drug cytosine, but that decision will come after we get the diagnostics and know better what has gone wrong again in her brain.
We’re likely looking at another $5,000 in spending this week, alone. *sigh*
You’ll understand … I did not take any photos or video today because we were in such an emergency state. Suffice it to say she looked like a black-and-white ragdoll.
Oh, and obviously, we’ve cancelled her acupuncture appointment for Saturday.
Those new to our story can use this link to all posts about Lilly’s vaccine-induced meningoencephalomyelitis (inflammation of the brain, lining of the brain, and spinal cord). Or the adverse rabies vaccine reaction FAQ posts are all linked here.
I had already planned a big blog post for Thursday about a terrible rabies case in North Carolina, so that will go live as planned in the morning.
Beyond that, I don’t know when I’ll be able to return to blogging in earnest. I will try, though, to post some updates. You can always look on our Champion of My Heart Facebook Fan Page for news as well. Sometimes that’s faster and easier to update when we’re on the go or at the hospital.