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Ear infection caused neurological damage.

October 4th, 2007, 05:13 PM
I have a rat terrier. He's five years old. A while ago, I noticed he was itching at one of his ears, so I bought him some ointment that was to clean out debris, and reduce itching. It didn't work too well, he began tilting his head, and couldn't even do so much as jump off the sofa (I am supposing he didn't want to because he was already off balance) This was all on the right side of his face, his right ear was hurting, he was tilting to the right side, his right nostril was runny. So I took him to the vet down the street, they said that his ears were both infected, leading to his sinuses being infected, and leading to his runny nose and lack of balance. So they kept him over night, got him updated on his shots, flushed out both of his ears, clipped his nails, etc.

We got him back the next day, his ears looked better, his feet looked pretty, over all, he looked better. He was active again, eating again, etc. The next vet appointment was set for October 4th, to see how he recovered. Well two days before that, he began to get really off balance again, weak, and his nose began getting runny again. Wouldn't drink, or do much of anything. Also I noticed that night that his right eye was a bit strange looking, it was a tad bit pink. I didn't take much concern with it because his next vet appointment was soon. The day before his vet appointment, I thought things were getting pretty serious, and in need of attention. So I called the vet to see if I could get him in any earlier than the 4th. He said no, they were all booked. So I called another vet, down the street, they got him in right away.

They looked at him, looked at his eye, gave me ointment for his eye, and gel for his ears, and also gave him a shot in his rear side. They didn't tell me what the shot was, but they told me that it was going to help him breathe better. (You could hear him trying to breathe through his nose, it was really clogged up). I asked if I should be worried at night with him (I'd get scared to fall asleep, I didn't want something bad to happen to him in his sleep, or mine). He said I shouldn't be worried, and that if his breathing didn't pick up by Friday, to call him.

So I got him home, he walked to the bathroom and laid down. (He likes to lay on the cold tile). I was over here, and I heard him kicking around in there. So I rushed over, and saw him on his back, kicking around, and he had some phlegm coming out of his mouth. I held him still, I didn't want him to work himself up any more than what he already was. I assume it had something to do with the shot they gave him. So I immediately called the vet back, and asked for the veterinarian that tended to him. I said "Um. The shot you gave my dog is causing some very odd effects right now". I told him the problem and he didn't seem to sympathetic. But he did tell me that he's probably having an asthma attack, and to keep him still and comfortable, and that he should come out of it. He came out of it a bit after the phone call.

That was yesterday. Yesterday and today I've pretty much been babying him. Got him to eat, got him to drink. I was happy with that, also happy with the dramatic swelling reduction in his eye. It was huge before, but really came down nicely. He was laying on the sofa, and seemed to have lapsed into another attack. He began crying and tensing his muscles, squirming around, etc. I held him as still as I could, tried keeping him cool, etc. Then finally I called my father over here to get him to help me. So he came over, and we got him back down to, not normal, but better breathing. He was no longer freaking out and crying.

Then my brother comes over with a flash light, then shines it in his eyes, and notices that there wasn't any dilation, or response. So right then and there we decided to take him to the emergency vet.

They took him in, he was in there a long time. They concluded that they'd have to keep him over night, and also that the ear infection he had, was there much longer than we'd suspected, and it had gotten to his brain, and given him neurological damage. He has a 20% chance of survival right now, and if he does survive, he's still going to have that damage.

I don't know what to really think about all of this, or about the last vet we took him to, that said he'd be fine. Or the vet prior to that, that didn't seem to think the infection was too far along.

Long post, though it's a lot to understand.:shrug:

Any input?

October 4th, 2007, 05:38 PM
So sorry your furbaby isn't doing sounds eerily the way my Harley was.....but my outcome wasn't as good. Did you see an opthomologist? (sp?? eye doctor)

It sounds like your doggie had a seizure and that needs IMMEDIATE attention. Did they offer to do a scan or MRI to see where the problem is?

I hope for your sake it is "just" an ear/eye infection.....

October 4th, 2007, 06:39 PM
I was thinking the same thin BusterBoo, it sounds like he was having seizures. I am not a veterinarian, but with the kicking around, and tensing of the muscles that could be what happened. I am so sorry to hear of all his troubles. I have recently lost my girl and I know your pain and worry. I would take him to a specialist, neurologist, if one is available in your area. I am hoping fo rthe best, keep us posted.. :pray::fingerscr:goodvibes:

October 4th, 2007, 07:06 PM
Oh, believe me. It's the best vet in the state. The treatment he's getting is over half a grand.

I do not know what tests they gave him, but it better be the extremely necessary ones, for how much we're paying.

The two vets we took him to prior to this, didn't seem to know much of what was going on. The first vet, yeah he knew that his ears were hurting, and that he had sinus troubles. So he flushed them, and gave us medication for them, but the place itself didn't look trustworthy. Despite the fact that he came home alright for the time being, I wouldn't want to take him there again. It wasn't clean, and that makes me nervous. The second place we took him to (yesterday) didn't seem to think much was wrong with him, gave him the shot, told me not to worry. But then when he got home he was having seizures, and now today, he's in an emergency clinic. The problem may be that I just live in a small, old, town and the animal hospitals aren't exactly going to be tip top and the best. So I had to drive out of town to get him to the emergency clinic.

I was only lead to believe that it was an asthma attack because the second vet told me that.

An ear infection that was accumulating over a span of 6-8 months, was the problem. But they were both cleaned, and treated, then this happened. I was told that things like ear infections with pets and such, can spread to their brain and cause neurological damage. I am pretty sure that's what's with my dog right now. (His name is Ollie). Or atleast that's what I was told. I was so nervous about him. I was sitting outside the vet in tears, while two members of my family were inside talking to the doctor.

We didn't want to put him down if there wasn't a chance of him surviving. There's a 20% chance, and that's enough for me. I am just unaware as to what is wrong with him, his breathing, etc, why he was seizuring and such. Then again, I guess it all adds up, if the infection did get into his head.

I was the only one who didn't talk to the doctor. I was assuming everything was at its worst, and I didn't want to hear any of it. It's one of the hardest things to actually cope with.

I'm just unaware of the possibilities. The good ones atleast.

A bit of me is settled, knowing that he's in the best hands he could possibly be in right now, and we're doing all we can.

As for his eye, I am pretty sure it was conjunctivitis, seeing as they gave me an antibacterial for it. It worked pretty well. That eye appeared the slightest bit of pink for awhile, I wasn't sure if it actually was or not, that's how slight it was. Then OVER NIGHT it just got giant and swollen like that. Then OVER NIGHT from the antibacterial, it dramatically decreased, swelling wise. He was then able to close his eye. Before he wasn't.

Right now he's over night at the vet. We hear from him tomorrow.

I'm just hoping for the best. This is really hard to deal with.

Jim Hall
October 4th, 2007, 07:43 PM
:pray: i hope he feels better

October 4th, 2007, 08:04 PM
So do I. And I just found out that the shot they gave him at the other vet. That was supposed to help him "breathe better" - Is used to treat asthma, but in too high of doses, and if used alone, it can cause seizures, and cause neurological symptoms.

I did not like that vet at all. It seemed like they were diagnosing people here and there in seconds just to get everyone out. They checked his temperature, nothing else, and gave him the shot. His nose was stuffy from his sinuses, he doesn't have asthma.

All of this is really bothering me. The vet bill just for today was almost a grand, I put up 250$, got some other family members to put up some money for him too, since he's a family dog and all. I may start a "Help Ollie" donation jar or something.

October 4th, 2007, 08:48 PM
I'm so sorry to hear about Ollie. Sounds like he has a massive infection. While the seizure may have been an outcome of the shot, he may also have seizured as a result of a prolonged high fever resulting from the infection. Hopefully he is getting an appropriate antibiotic and fluids to fight the infection. Keep us posted on his progress :goodvibes:

October 4th, 2007, 10:14 PM
He's in the best possible hands he could be in. He's on an IV right now, and cathoder, so he'll be as comfortable as possible for the night.

We're supposed to be hearing from them tomorrow. It'll be a really long day....Either it'll be a nightmare..Or we'll get to bring him home..


October 4th, 2007, 11:17 PM
I'm just not aware of the good possibilities here. I want him to get better so bad. But the vet didn't say "he's in such critical condition, we have to put him down". They think he has a chance..So I'm hoping that's true...20%. Better than 4%, right?

They're doing some blood tests to make sure he has nothing else wrong with him, they have him on Valium and other medications to keep him calm, comfortable, and hydrated throughout the night. They're basically clearing his system out, and seeing what happens, then doing whatever is necessary, after they fully find the details.

Though the shot the other vet gave him, was something to treat asthma. (he had a stuffy nose). I read up on it, and if it's used by itself, or in the wrong dosage, it can cause seizures, and lead to symptoms of neurological problems.

But as for now, his pupils are not responding to light. He won't follow your finger if you put it infront of him. He'll blink, pant, etc. But he's only his head. He's not in a vegetative state, I am assuming, since the vet said he has a chance..

So yeah. Like I said. Tomorrow we find out. It'll be a long day. Either we get to bring him home, or it'll be a nightmare.

October 5th, 2007, 04:38 PM
ANy updates on Ollie? I am sending good thoughts your way:goodvibes::goodvibes:

October 6th, 2007, 12:12 AM
This morning the vet called, and told us that they couldn't save him. We had to put him to sleep. He had no brain activity.

It was the hardest thing I've ever had to deal with. Had to put his belongings away, his clothes, his food bowl. The house is so quiet without the clinking of his collar. Today has been the longest day of my life. But it's taken a lot of pep talk to myself to realize that...He's in a better place right now, he's not sick anymore, he's not hurting anymore, and I'm glad that he's okay now. What is death really? I spent a lot of time contemplating it. Your bodily functions stop, but. The body is just an envelope for the soul. I'll miss him more than anything, it's going to take a long time to get back to normal here. We buried him up at my grandmothers house, in his nice coat, and we're getting him a nice marble headstone, getting some tattoos dedicated to him, and such. He was a very loved dog, he still is. We'll never forget him.

Ollie Grodis
03/04/02 - 10/05/07
You are the best. You are still, and always will be loved. Be safe baby.

October 6th, 2007, 12:26 AM
Thanks for a beautiful tribute with some great insights.

October 6th, 2007, 07:53 AM
I am so sorry to hear of your loss, it is obvious you loved Ollie very much.

:rip: sweet Ollie, I hope you are playing with my Harley at the Bridge... :pray:

January 22nd, 2010, 04:26 PM
I am a certified vet tech, and this thread came up in a google search about neurological damage in pets. I would like to make a note to everyone that reads it: the 'spells' or 'episodes' the OP's dog was having prior to its death were most likely seizures. Seizures may include the following signs: convulsions, foaming at the mouth, jaw-snapping, body contortion, uncontrollable defecation and urination, 'paddling' motions of limbs, and loss of consciousness. If your pet is having seizures you must take it to a veterinarian immediately. Failure to do so can result in brain damage, heart failure, and death. The OP's dog may have been saved if she had not waited hours to take it to a vet.

If anyone is googling their pet's symptoms and finding this thread, please take your pet to a vet immediately.

July 19th, 2012, 06:00 PM
I'm not a vet, but that probably had to been most definitely seizures. The brain damage could had been due to the seizures, but more than likely was probably associated due to infection/damage that came about from the ears that spread to the brain.

I had to put my dog to sleep 7/7/2012 after 1 day of him being in and out of seizures. He had 5-6 seizures(clusters) before we got him to the ER vet then continued to have them throughout the night and next morning. He had a temp of around 107, it went down to the high 90's, then went back up to 105. He made no recovery since that time. So we opted for euthanasia (7/7/2012). He was 10 years old and we had him since around 8 weeks old. He was an inside dog and was spoiled rotten.

I have a hard shell on the outside, but this really tore me up. I couldn't eat/sleep for the first week and even till today, my sleep is still messed up. It's been really hard.

I still don't really know the actual cause of it. He did have ongoing ear infections/yeast build up. He also had a few dental mass/abscesses that we had an appointment for to get removed(which was scheduled 30 days in advanced). He died before we went back to the vet. During the 30 days he was on a SAMe liver pill.

Somethings I would have done if I had known.

Make sure you know of a close emergency VET that is 24/7 or a place that can take dogs 24/7. A place that can also deal with seizures and overnight stays/monitoring. My dog had his seizures 2 hours before our VET was open in the morning so we took him to an ER place listed in their answering machine. Make sure you keep this information on a fridge or some place easily accessible.

Get routine blood work done (liver/thyroid/please search google for other crucial ones).

Make sure your VET checks their mouth/ears.

Hopefully this is of help to someone.