It doesn't seem like it's been a month since Emma passed away. It hurt so much watching her go through what she did. It's been very difficult to grieve properly. Just when I started to think I was doing better, something triggers the memory of my poor baby going through such a bad time. This blog is part of my way of coping with what happened. To type it all out and make people aware of what happened and how it can be potentially prevented in future breedings is the best way to try to help the breed. In one week, this blog has had 769 views!!! Because of you passing along and sharing my blog, you are helping educate people about PDE. For that, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
"In Loving Memory of Emma" Facebook Contest. Please vote & share daily through 5/2/12.
Emma's Pug Dog Encephalitis Story ~
March 23rd was a Friday evening. My niece & her 18 month old daughter came over to visit. Normally Emma would want to play with her, but she was standoffish that night. She wouldn't play with Meeko (my 9 year old Pug), her tail was uncurled, acted stiff and her back was huntched. I knew somthing wasn't right because it was not like her at all. It was worse the next day, she was having difficulty raising her neck to look up so I phoned the vet who made an appointment for Tuesday since she was still eating, drinking and using the bathroom.
First thing Monday morning (3/26) I called the vet because she was worse. She ate very slow and acted like she couldn't move the right side of her neck & was very sluggish. The vet saw her and treated her for a neck strain. Her urine tests came back as everything being fine and since she was eating and going potty ok, she didn't think there was a blockage. She mentioned PDE, but I didn't think anything of it because I just knew it was just a pulled muscle or something simple. She was prescribed Prednisone and Tramadol, which seemed to help a bit.
On Tuesday her tail was curled again, she was trotting around and making her normal puggie noises she makes. Thursday morning she wouldn't eat and started showing symptoms again. Friday morning she lost control of her right side and would tip over when she tried to get a drink of water. She lost her balance quite a few times and her right side was leaning sideways. She couldn't stand up to use the bathroom and rolled out of her bed several times. Her chin/face was twitching and she was a little disoriented. Back to the vet we went! She was puzzled by her symptoms and I lost it when she mentioned the symptoms resembling PDE. They kept her for the day to take xrays and bloodwork. Her dosage of prednisone was upped and gave her pepcid to try to get her to eat in case the meds were upsetting her tummy.
The xrays came back normal and the bloodwork was sent out so we'd get the results back on Monday. Saturday morning (3/31) Ems wasn't feeling well at all and only ate a few bites of kibble along with her prednisone. My poor baby had 7 seizures in 25 minutes. I rushed her to the vet They had to give her 2 doses of Phenobarb (anti-seizure medication), Valium and Mannitol (reduces swelling of the brain). Her vet didn't give up hope on her and tried so hard to save her. He was able to look at the bloodwork online and it showed an increase of white blood cells. He was hoping it was a form of meningitis, which could've been treated. If not, it was more than likely those three nasty letters - PDE. Emma showed all the signs of it.
I kept thinking back to Monday when the vet mentioned PDE as a slight possibility, but it wasn't significant at that time. I was in complete denial because after all, in my eyes it was just a neck injury. All that week I kept telling myself and saying to my husband, "She's ok, she isn't having seizures, it can't be PDE". That day it became more of a reality that this is what may have taken my precious baby girl's life. I completely lost it. That evening the vet started her on Metronidazole & Baytril, antibiotics that treat bacterial infections, in case it was a form of meningitis or toher infection that could be helped. He took her home with him that evening to treat her and she went into acute respiratory failure and passed away about an hour later.
I'm attaching 2 photos of her. The first is the last photo that was taken of her on 3/31/12. The other one is from 3/20/12, just 11 days earlier. As you can see, she lost a lot of weight in that short period of time.