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Lilly News: Slight Diagnosis Shift, More Seizure Activity

Words cannot convey the exhaustion all of us feel as Lilly remains hospitalized, with new symptoms cropping up each day this week (so far). Thursday (2/2) was another long day, so just a few pix and notes and another video … before we tackle whatever comes up today (Friday 2/3).

Shifting Diagnosis: From Meningoencephalitis to Meningeoencephalomyelitis

I noticed on Lilly’s hospital cage card that the diagnosis now reads: Meningeoencephalomyelitis

I asked our family veterinarian what the difference is, and she said that they “myelitis” ending simply means that Lilly’s spinal cord is affected, along with her brain and brain lining.

best dog blog, champion of my heart, dog hospital cage cardHoning in on a Cause

I also noticed that Lilly’s hospital card says this as well: “vaccine induced.”

Now, it’s important to note that no one from the neurology team has said to us that they’ve decided this is indeed caused by Lilly’s rabies vaccine, given on January 23, 2012.

It’s also interesting to know that when our family veterinarian spoke to our neurologist (the same day I noticed the cage card) that the specialist told her that he still wasn’t sure on cause.

I’ve also not heard if our spinal cord fluid tests sent off to the veterinary school are back yet, so who knows?

When we visit Lilly for our allotted hour each day, it is NOT considered an appointment per se. We do get escorted back by one of the neurology technicians, and I can often get a couple of simple questions asked, but that’s about it.

AUGH! Another Seizure

Despite some powerful anti-convulsant meds, right before we arrived for our visit Thursday afternoon (2/2), Lilly had another seizure. That was pretty upsetting. That means she had 3 seizures in less than 12 hours:

  • 4:15 am (about 1 minute long)
  • 5:42 am (about 1 minute long, lost bladder control)
  • 12:30 pm (about 15-30 seconds long)

At first, she was antsy and unsettled when climbed into her cage, but it turned out she needed to pee, and we were in her way. I HATE that she doesn’t get the chance to go potty outside, but she really is unsteady, and they like to keep her close to medical help, if she needs it.

BUT, after she peed and we got her cage bedding changed out, Lilly sacked out. I mean conked, conked, conked out. She didn’t even hear us get up to leave.

The meds they give her when she has a seizure are designed to do that.

I’m just glad she is getting rest and seems relaxed, but it’s still sad to see her in such rough shape (relatively speaking).

best dog blog, champion of my heart, Lilly wearing jingle bells as a seizure warning deviceJingle Bell Canine Seizure Warning System

Now that Lilly is on 24-hour seizure watch, they’ve strung 3 jingle bells onto her harness so that when she has a seizure, they can hear her bells ringing.

Talk about turning a happy sound into something I’ll now fear … but it makes total sense since the jingling alerts the busy staff nearby.

I’m still learning all the seizure details and lingo, but indeed Lilly has GRAND MAL seizures that affect her whole body. That’s why the jingle bells make such a good warning system.

The Latest Lilly Video

Lilly wanted to be more mobile Thursday, but that’s likely because:

  • She had just had another seizure.
  • She needed to pee.

Lilly did seem a bit stronger, physically though … compared to how depressed she was the day before, like she’d given up trying to move.



Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related. I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

Sheryl - February 4, 2012

Poor baby. There’s nothing worse than witnessing your dog suffer, and not be able to comprehend what is happening to them. I’ve been through so many trying and serious health issues with my dog and I know how emotionally wrenching it is. Thinking of you and wishing Lilly improvement.

Beth - February 4, 2012

This just breaks my heart into pieces… I’ve been following the story as it unfolds… she is such a brave trooper, you and Lilly are in my prayers.

AC - February 4, 2012

Oh, Roxanne…we’re still pulling all our strength and courage for Lily. Hang in there…

Gigi - February 3, 2012

Roxanne- so sorry to hear about Lilly!! Please know that I will be thinking about you and hoping for a quick recovery.

Mary-Alice - February 3, 2012

Hello, dear Roxanne — Just echoing what Mel wrote. One of our cats had a seizure in front of me and was shattered for the rest of the day. On-line and emergency vet recommended dark and quiet as she pulled herself back together — and she did, eventually, but it took hours of resting in my husband’s lap. I can’t even imagine how exhausting and disorienting multiple seizures are for Lilly. The conking is unnerving, but surely exactly what she needs. Praying for you all, M.A.

Hawk aka BrownDog - February 3, 2012

Hi Y’all,

Thanks for the update.

Our niece and nephew had a rescue dog that had seizures frequently despite the medication he took. It always frightened them when he had a seizure, but he lived a long happy life with them.

We are praying for Lilly’s complete recovery.

BrownDog’s Human

Sam - February 3, 2012

Oh dear. We’ve been behind reading blogs – we will add Lilly to our prayers and are sending hugs to you.


Jana Rade - February 3, 2012

Little baby Lilly, this too shall pass.

Jasmine, after her horror wasn’t able to get up on her own and kept falling and her body folding under her in the most awkward ways. I was so worried about her knees still recovering from the surgeries …

Jasmine’s reason was her muscles which got totally fried and wasted away in matter of days.

Took a month before she started truly regaining her strength.

But she got through it and is now as good as new.

Jen - February 3, 2012

I’m glad that you’re able to visit Lilly every day like this, and that she seemed stronger today. It likely was because she had to pee, but that she still has that level of awareness and social/instinctive discomfort….as not-a-professional, I still take it as a good sign.

Thank you for sharing with us. I can’t begin to think about how hard this must be for you.

Stephanie - February 3, 2012

oh Roxanne, I am full of tears watching Lilly’s video. I don’t know where you both are holding your strength….just know that Balto and I are sending big hugs for you and gentle hugs for sweet Lilly.

Carol Bryant - February 3, 2012

You are documenting this well and I am sure your heart is so heavy with worry. I’d be such a mess and I know how you feel. Really do. I fear vaccines so much and had a dog with a cancer-induced mast cell reaction to vaccine. The rabies vaccine now scares me. I am continuing to pray and think of you and Lilly.

Bassetmomma - February 3, 2012

My heart is breaking for Lily! I pray she goes on to a total recovery!

Lorie Huston, DVM - February 3, 2012

I’m so sorry you and Lilly have to go through this, Roxanne. I’m thinking of you and hoping for a quick recovery for Lilly.

Bert - February 3, 2012

We can’t watch the video, all we do is think of our sweet Jamie.

Our hearts are with you all during this time. We are praying for a total recovery for her….

Bert and My Vickie

Kris @ Attainable Sustainable - February 3, 2012

Thinking of you, Rox. Can you get a clearer, more straight on shot of that cage card? I’m thinking that if it says that it’s vax induced, once Lilly’s back home with you, you could pursue some help with medical costs from the vax maker.

Hilda - February 3, 2012

Thinking of you and sending more hugs. Really hoping the seizures will subside naturally when the swelling/inflammation goes down. It’s so hard to read any more bad news in these posts.

Pup Fan - February 3, 2012

More hugs… keeping you in my thoughts and hoping that they can get her seizures under control.

Sheila Carlon - February 3, 2012

I see where someone posted that another dog had a similar reaction and they contacted the manufacturer who helped with some medical bills. That is a great idea.
Poor Lilly – I hope she can come home soon but right now it sounds like she is getting great care.
Hang in there.

Caron - February 3, 2012

What a sweet girl. It’s great that she is trying to get up and is a little curious. I hope that today brings some progress and some good rest for her. Hang in there.

Jane Boursaw - February 3, 2012

My heart’s breaking for you guys… Hoping and praying for speedy recovery and Lilly back to her old self ASAP.

Candy Blakeslee - February 3, 2012

I can hardly read these posts. My heart just aches for you, Tom, and Lily. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

Leslie - February 3, 2012

Thanks for the updates. You are still in our thoughts and we continue to send all good vibes your way.

She does look more alert in this video than the previous one. At least that’s a good sign. Hopefully they can get the seizures under control so her little body can concentrate on the inflammation.

Hang in there and try to take care of yourself, too, through all of this.

kb - February 3, 2012

We’re thinking of you, Roxanne. I hope that today is the day that Lilly turns the corner, heading toward home with you.

melF - February 3, 2012

In so many ways, reading our updates on Lilly makes me feel like I am reliving all that I went through with my dog Indy. She started having seizures after getting all of her vaccines in one visit, including her rabies. She started having seizures the next day and it continued on for the rest of her days.
Seeing Lilly wobby and unstable is pretty familiar. Although it is likely from the Meningeoencephalomyelitis, it could also be the seizures themselves. When INdy had them she would struggle to get to her feet, stumble around and look very disoriented for hours and then sleep most of the day. Peeing or pooping on herself during a seizure was pretty common too.
All I can say Roxanne and Tom is that I am hoping and praying for a turnaround soon so Lilly can go home with you. It makes me sad to see her like this. I am sure you feel the same.
I will continue to pray for her recovery and healing.

Cathy - February 3, 2012

Poor Lilly. Poor you. I can’t imagine how hard it is for you to see her like this. All of us here are hoping and praying for Lilly’s speedy return to good health.

Teri and the cats of Curlz and Swirlz - February 3, 2012

My heart goes out to you, at this very scary and anxious time. I am sorry you aren’t getting the information and support you need from the vets…can you make an appointment to sit down and talk with them, maybe recording what they say as it’s sometimes hard to make sense of jotted down notes later.

Dog-geek - February 3, 2012

I’ve been checking in frequently for updates – you still have my best thoughts coming your way – I hope that Lilly improves and is able to come home ASAP! What an ordeal!

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