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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello!

I'm not sure if this will generate many responses but I thought I'd give it a try.

I have two siblings who I've had since birth, own the mother also, and they have a neurological disorder that is like Episodic Ataxia in humans. Not sure how it happened but we suspect the vaccines due to the timing of the episodes and the development of the disorder.

Does anyone know someone with ataxia? Anyone know anything that helps when these episodes come on? What I can do to reduce them? I know so far chemicals in dog foods, flea medicines, heart worm medicines and other pesticides trigger episodes. So does extreme playing. I'm not sure there are even any holistic solutions due to it being a brain development issue but I'm hoping for something as they both had pretty bad episodes this weekend.

thanks in advance.
 

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Sorry, Iv never heard of that. Im guessing household cleaners and chemicals can have some sort of effect on it too though. Im sure someone will chime in with more knowlegde.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sorry, Iv never heard of that. Im guessing household cleaners and chemicals can have some sort of effect on it too though. Im sure someone will chime in with more knowlegde.
Yup, we are an all natural house in every shape... It has made us healthier and more conscious of the toxins around us so we're thankful for that. It's pretty rare as most animal owners haven't seen it. I've had a few rescues, since they see multiple dogs, say they've seen it. A few schools around the country study it but they don't want anything to do with you if it isn't genetic... they are all in bed with the vaccine companies so they can't risk losing their funding over it. Sad.
 

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Sheltielover

What exactly do they do - what are their symptoms and behaviors? No other traumatic injuries or surgeries?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sheltielover

What exactly do they do - what are their symptoms and behaviors? No other traumatic injuries or surgeries?
Okay. It's kind of a lot so bear with me. We adopted a sheltie from Craig's List on July 31, 2010. We later found out the person we got her from was a dog flipper/backyardbreeder. We took Hadley, our sheltie, to the vet the next day because I noticed she was peeing blood. We found out she was in awful condition -- peeing blood, matted fur, ear mites, worms, and the whole nine yards. Vet gave me antibiotics, ear medicine, de-wormer, and I think that's it. Then we took her back two weeks later and she was a lot better. We didn't have a vaccine record so he suggested her vaccines and we went along with it. Two weeks later, aprox, I came home from my internship and Hadley was being very odd! She wouldn't EAT! She loves to eat. She had some clear, stringy stuff coming from down there. She's digging at blankets in the closet! I'm reading and it's like all signs point to pregnant and labor! What the heck! I was told she was spayed! Anywho, about eight hours later Hadley is acting odd, panting heavy/squatting, I turn her over and OMG a puppy is hanging out! I about faint. I mean, I thought she was in labor, but it wasn't really a reality until then. We lived in an 800 sq ft apartment and hadn't even paid our pet deposit yet....and now we have SIX dogs! They all turned out healthy amazingly at birth. We took Hadley to the vet the following day to make sure she delivered everything and all the jazz. He never mentioned anything about the vaccines! I even said something but they brushed me off. So they're born, we raise them up and love them to death, find homes for three of them and kept two of them. They all got a round of vaccines at six weeks (WHY did they suggest so young?!) and then about three weeks after my girl, Lily, first set of shots we notice one evening she was acting odd. She can't stand up really. She's swaying back and forth. She's not very responsive. She's unable to hold her head up. All sounds like poisoning, right? We had caught her gnawing on a cigarette butt outside so we're freaking out. We give her peroxide within 5 minutes and she vomits a few times but nothing comes up unusual. We are scared to death and rush her to the ER vet. They give her charcoal and they said nothing came up. They are so silly they didn't even notice her odd behaviors really. They wanted to keep her overnight ($$$) so I told them no, that's okay and took her home. She was very sleepy and the next morning all was okay. Great we thought! Then two nights later, same thing. This time we do give peroxide again but no hospital. Then the next night again. We're scared to death. She stopped for about three weeks after that. She had another set of spells three weeks after her last set of vaccines. This time we took her to the doctor the next time and he ran all kinds of blood and organ tests and said it's epilepsy. I wasn't convinced and argued. He said liver shunt but the test proved now. He suggested encephalitis but I knew it wasn't that either. I pushed for vaccine reaction, they told me doubtful. After the testing and nothing conclusive, he told me I'd have to go to a state hospital because he couldn't do anything more for me. I called the state hospital and their suggestions weren't much better and still refused to admit vaccine damage so I didn't see the point in going to them.

My boy, developed them three weeks after his rabies shot and same story as before. My girl only has them at night but my boy has them during the day. We were able to take him to the vet DURING one. They pumped his stomach. I told them there's no need, as I had been with him every second, and I know he didn't get into anything. But the symptoms are so similar he was probably just not convinced. He asked me if I had prescription drugs or pot around they could be getting into and I told him after dealing with this for three months, I'd think I'd learned to put my stash up by now! Jesus. That's the extent of their trauma. Vaccinated in-utero with DHPP and Rabies and then vaccinated at 6, 12,16 weeks approximately. I spoke with many, many vets about this. The best, and correct I believe, response was from Dr. Schultz. He told me that what probably happened was when Hadley got vaccinated, she wasn't immune to the parvo and therefor she got a minor infection from it -- how the vaccine works. Well, the cerebellum was developing (it does so the last 3 weeks and first 2 weeks after birth) and the inflammation probably caused it to develop abnormally. I think it has something to do with their Purjunke Cells misfiring as these episodes are random and not consistent in nature.

When they are having an episode, we notice right away their eyes start looking different. They get this terrified look in their eyes. Then we notice their head is bobbling around -- back and forth, up and down. Then we see the hind end swaying -- back and forth. Their front feet are spaced far apart. They usually can't walk, and if they do, it's on their tippy toes because they have no concept of the ground below them. The swaying makes them nauseous and sometimes they vomit. The severity of these symptoms vary with each episode. My girl, if it's bad, will urinate on herself but my boy will cry and cry b/c he can't stand steady enough to pee but is one of those would never pee on anything puppies. That's heart breaking. They've never had one at the same time and like I said Lily only at evening/night, Theo daytime/early morning. I'll attach some videos so you can get an idea. Lily had one Friday and I had just used essential oils on them (diluted of course) but she's had them several times and is fine. This was a bad one for Lily. Theo had one Saturday and his wasn't too, too severe but he was out of it for about 15 hours. He also did something different this time -- he would walk sideways. I'll show you. You might mute the videos because we say "awww" a lot and it can be annoying. IT just comes out though :(

Here's how it looks when it kicks in (sorry about the quality): 4050181357143_ORIG.mp4 video by maddy_ciccone18 - Photobucket It's kind of like when you're sleeping, and you feel like you're falling so you jerk yourself awake.

Here's the sideways walking I was telling you about.. it happens at the end of the video: video3gpp_2_2.mp4 video by maddy_ciccone18 - Photobucket You'll notice he tries to run outside with the other dogs but they can never take more than 2-3 steps when they're in these states.
This one is really sad. MVI_3801.mp4 video by maddy_ciccone18 - Photobucket

Here's an example of a mild one... sorry, the house was dirty that day! haha MVI_3532.mp4 video by maddy_ciccone18 - Photobucket
Here's an example of a really bad one: VID_20110509_134857.mp4 video by maddy_ciccone18 - Photobucket

Thanks for listening. Sorry it's so much. It feels good to get it all out there and talk to people so thanks!!!
 

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I'm a great believer in the benefits of essential oils when used appropriately and I see that you have tried that with your dogs.

One note of caution: If too high of a concentration (dermally) of essential oils is used, it can often result in ataxia or muscle weakness. Unfortunately, that is exactly what you're trying to avoid. I would recheck the strength of your dilutions just to make sure that you didn't unknowingly actually make an attack worse.

I haven't followed exactly what all you give your dogs, but supplying good doses of essential fatty acids and B12 vitamin certainly couldn't hurt.

I'm so sorry that your dogs are suffering with such problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm a great believer in the benefits of essential oils when used appropriately and I see that you have tried that with your dogs.

One note of caution: If too high of a concentration (dermally) of essential oils is used, it can often result in ataxia or muscle weakness. Unfortunately, that is exactly what you're trying to avoid. I would recheck the strength of your dilutions just to make sure that you didn't unknowingly actually make an attack worse.

I haven't followed exactly what all you give your dogs, but supplying good doses of essential fatty acids and B12 vitamin certainly couldn't hurt.

I'm so sorry that your dogs are suffering with such problems.
Thanks for the tip! The episodes didn't kick in until about 3 hours after we sprayed the mix on them(the same mix we'd been using the three days prior to that). We make up a mix each week and spray it on them and ourselves every day so I think I'm just looking for things to grab onto but in reality this is probably something that has to do with their brain and they way it's working, not environmental things. I will make the batch less strong in the future but the thing is I'm paranoid so I think it's already diluted more than the average one. It looks so much like poisoning I can't help but fret when they have one and think I did something. I guess it's normal but it always comes back to what if I did this or that or this. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I haven't followed exactly what all you give your dogs, but supplying good doses of essential fatty acids and B12 vitamin certainly couldn't hurt.

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do you think they get this in their diet? They eat raw, free-range, grass-fed animals only. Dr. Dodds suggested Melatonin but it hasn't helped much. Magnesium oil seems to help sometimes, at least helps the severity.
 

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Not being a raw feeder, it's probably better for someone else to judge just how much fatty acids and B12 your dogs may be getting in their current diet.

l didn't mean to cause you further worry in regards to the essential oils, I just wasn't sure if you were aware of the possible side effects of over concentration. It sounds like you have really researched a lot of different avenues and have tried reasonable things. Sometimes in medicine even doing all that is possible doesn't bring the results we hope for. Your dogs are fortunate that you care so much for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Not being a raw feeder, it's probably better for someone else to judge just how much fatty acids and B12 your dogs may be getting in their current diet.

l didn't mean to cause you further worry in regards to the essential oils, I just wasn't sure if you were aware of the possible side effects of over concentration. It sounds like you have really researched a lot of different avenues and have tried reasonable things. Sometimes in medicine even doing all that is possible doesn't bring the results we hope for. Your dogs are fortunate that you care so much for them.
Thanks for the kind words. I feel like we've tried so much and they still happen. I know there are some pharmaceuticals for humans who have Episodic Ataxia but they've never been tested on dogs and that worries me. I looked at foods high in b12 and they do get 4 of the 12 recommended. We're moving out to SC so hopefully seafood will be easier to access and it seemed many seafoods were high in B12. They get cod liver oil daily so I think that's good for fatty acids. Maybe I've just gotten it down to as little episodes as possible, but never can get it down to zero because some factors I can't control. Sigh... I just hate seeming them suffer. It's horrible. Luckily, they only happen sometimes a few times a month and sometimes no times so I guess we should just be happy for so many good days.
 

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Please Help!! My pup is going through the exact same thing!!

I know it has been a long time since you posted this, but I really need help with my Sheltie / border collie rescue, Finn, that is having the exact same thing. He is 10 months old and has been having episodes since we got him at 10 weeks. His first was the night after his first vaccinations (coincidence??). Since then, he has them every few weeks, once he went 2 whole months but that was followed by three in a week. After many visits to the vet where honestly, they didn't really believe me and said he must have been ingesting something to make him intoxicated...I knew after a few times that was definitely not it. We did a liver shunt test, tested for the MRD1 gene, blood work and other tests and nothing. All clean. I started keeping a journal of when he had them, what happened and what was happening before the episode. No clear pattern or trigger is obvious. After the three in a week, we felt a neurologist was our only next step where he got an MRI and a spinal tap. All normal, a slight elevation of protein in his spinal fluid but nothing he was too concerned about. They labeled it "episodic ataxia" and said that it was something they have only seen a couple times. But offered no real suggestions for what could help him. There is a med but he suggested not going with that since his episodes are so far apart at this point and the med is very harsh....I think they also use it as a bird poison. Very frustrating but it was good to know he doesn't have anything like a brain tumor or anything. He was four weeks episode free until Saturday and is still not 100% today. Exactly the same as you described. You can see it in the eyes first.....once you have seen a few, you just know its coming. Then comes the head wobbling, the trunkeal swaying, the staggering....the panic in his eyes is the worse. It is so heartbreaking. He used to loose bladder control but has gotten better about that. He also used to fall but as he got older he does not fall over anymore. Some last shorter than others...some seem to last forever. It is so heartbreaking. If you are still on here and are willing to tell me how your story has progressed, I would appreciate it so much. I spent my weekend trying to make him feel better and my Husband and I are so depressed watching him go through this. A nasty side effect of all of this is that I think it is breeding some pretty horrible anxiety in Finn. He is very intelligent and I think it is starting to affect the way he lives his day to day life even when he feels okay. We are going to try to find a trainer who is willing to work with us on this part....we can't seem to get a hold of his anxiety level at the moment.....not to mention our anxiety of watching our new pup go through all of this. It is horribly sad. We try to "normalize" the episodes as not to make it worse on him, we hang around the house and try to do normal daily things. Trying to avoid the things that might frighten him but trying not to react to much to what is happening. This is been incredibly heartbreaking and frustrating since no one seems to know what is happening. I search online occasionally, especially since it has been given a "name". Your story is the only one that I have found that is even close. I hope you are still a part of this forum.....I would really appreciate any advice or insight you have since you have lived it. We want to do whatever we can to help him.....he is so sweet and such a smart, fun and active boy when he is feeling good. He comes to work with us every day and is a huge part of our life.
 

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I haven't followed this thread, but from what you are saying and what sheltielover said, this sounds like vaccine related. All the symptoms are the same as common vaccine injury, AKA vaccinosis. I personally feed a prey model raw diet and don't vaccinate due to the possible dangers. I titer test to prove immunity. I suggest you contact a holistic vet on this. Traditional vets are going to avoid the vaccine subject, and want to try every drug known to man which is just going to lead to problem after problem. A holistic vet can/will use a different approach.

Vaccine related damages tend to be permanent, especially immune related ones. But you don't know for sure until you see the right vet.

Also, if this is seizure stuff, some breeds, herding ones in particular tend to have issues with them. So, it could also be a genetic breed related problem as well. But like I said, see the right vet for this.
 
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