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temperature spikes

patton
April 11th, 2005, 04:35 PM
Winston is a 6 1/2 year old mixed breed...probably retriever/shepherd. He is our grand dog and came to live with us at age 1. Prior to that time, he had been hit by a car ( vet check noticed only an injured left front leg...no treatment ) but perhaps when hit, his head may have swung back and hit the car as well. After that episode, he was in the front passenger seat with our son when a car pulled out in front of them. Although braking prevented a collision, the stop was so abrupt that Winston shattered the front windshield with his head. So for sure, one head trauma and possibly two occured within his first year of life.
He has been living with us for several years and is a much loved member of the family.
Somewhere during the past 2 to 3 months he has started having temperature spikes. I first noticed them one night when he was sitting on my lap for his evening cuddle. They are so pronounced that it is like a child with a very high fever. They are localized to his head, primarily the top forward section. My guess is he averages 2 or 3 a day, maybe more, The duration is 2 to 5 minutes. His behavior doesn't change, no sign of seizures, eye change etc. Lately I can tell when one is coming as he starts licking as if he has a bad taste in his mouth.
Six sense tells me that this is related to his early brain trauma(s) but would like to know what it may portend for his future.
If we are with him when one occurs we hold and pet him until it passes. But I'm sure others happen that we are not aware of.
This is an unusual one for sure. When living in Alberta I asked my vet there if much was known about brain injury in pets and she said no. Hard to believe in this day and age.
We are interested in any insite to Winston's problem. Thanks.

Prin
April 11th, 2005, 05:07 PM
Maybe I'm nuts but I think any dog gets periods in the day when their heads are hot. My big Boo walks up to us sometimes and his head is on fire. How do you know that the temperature is a problem? Could it be that he felt hot once, went to see you, you worried and he liked it, so now he goes to see you each time?

Body temperature is not steady. You can get hot and then your body regulates and brings it back down.

Cactus Flower
April 11th, 2005, 10:38 PM
My guess is he averages 2 or 3 a day, maybe more, The duration is 2 to 5 minutes. His behavior doesn't change, no sign of seizures, eye change etc. Lately I can tell when one is coming as he starts licking as if he has a bad taste in his mouth.

Well the licking might be considered a behaviour change. It could be that he really does have a bad taste in his mouth, if this is brain related. I have had a brain injury, and believe me, it can cause some very strange symptoms/sensations.

I immediately started wondering about blood clots when I read your post. Surely a vet can do a scan to determine if there is any sort of mass (be it blood or tissue) in your dog's brain?

In humans, the brain is suspended in spinal fluid inside the skull, but also "tethered" by tiny little fibers to the skull. Collisions, such as your dog had before, commonly break some of those tethers. They do not grow back. That means that the brain is a bit more free-floating than it was before, which is fine for everyday life, except you no longer have the added protection of the lost tethers to help prevent it from smashing into the skull, should you have another trauma to the head. Whew! Make sense so far? Or are you snoring :p ?
(All of my "tethers" were torn away when I lost almost all of my spinal fluid, and my brain sank to the bottom of my skull. They even tell me to avoid jerky carnival rides now! I'm supposed to be extra cautious.)

Could it be possible that he got a bump on the head recently? Even just from rough-housing/playing? If so, he may have been less protected, therefore more damaged than you'd expect- by the bump. And you could be looking at an entirely new injury that has nothing to do with the first two.

Another thought- a new bump could loosen an old blood clot that was previously asymptomatic.

Trying to cover all angles here. I do hope you and your vet get this figured out soon!

Best of luck, and please keep us updated!