The
facts about
Trigeminal neuritis in Dogs
This diary is about our beloved Sky Baby, just 4 years old on Oct. 20, 2009, she came down with
Trigeminal neuritis all of a sudden. She showed symptoms of what I thought was maybe a
broken tooth or abscessed tooth yesterday afternoon quite suddenly. I had her to my vet first
thing this morning and to my dismay, she was diagnosed with this. To make matters worse, she
is about halfway through her pregnancy, she's due Dec. 10th. So steroids are not an option at
this point.

After researching this, I would have to say that she doesn't have a really bad case of it at this
point as some dogs can't eat or drink at all. Sky is able to take in some water and lifting her
water bowl seems to help some. She is able to eat her frozen boneless chicken breast, her
favorite food. However, it takes her about an hour & 45 minutes to eat it and normally it takes her
15 minutes tops. I also made up a liver paste thick, but not too thick and was able to spoon feed
it to her with great results. My dogs are all used to eating off spoons anyway as that's how they
get their yogurt. While she is salivating quite a bit, it seems not  as much as some dogs do.

I am going to update this page throughout this ordeal and take photos along the way as well in
hopes that this might help someone else looking for information about this horrible affliction in
their beloved dog. I'll post links to any information I can find about it here for those who are
interested.

From what I can gather from my vet and researching it, it's very rare and usually goes away in
about 2-3 weeks, however it can also come back again my vet called it "transient". Even more
rarely it can be permanent, I'm praying very hard the latter is not the case. The cause is
unknown in most cases as in hers. As far as I know at this point this is not a genetic disorder.

She's a little stressed as she at times is licking her paws and the floor, but she knows how much
she is loved and seems to still be in pretty good spirits.

Here are some links related to this disorder:

http://dogs.suite101.com/article.cfm/trigeminal_neuritis_in_the_dog

http://www.petplace.com/dogs/trigeminal-neuritis-in-dogs/page1.aspx

http://www.ehow.com/how_4509762_care-dog-trigeminal-neuritis.html

http://www.suite101.com/blog/miacarter/q_how_do_i_prevent_dehydration_in_dogs_with_trigem
inal_neuritis
November 16, 2009
These first photos were taken soon after we found out what this affliction was.
You can click on the smaller photos to view them larger.

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November 17, 2009
Sky is doing well today and still in very good spirits. She even wanted to go out and run with the
other girls this morning. Being in Florida, mornings are the coolest time for them and they so
love their morning runs. She's loving all the attention being lavished on her and all the special
meals she's been getting, LOL. She doesn't seem as though she's lost any weight, but I'm going
to have Tim help me weigh her tonight so we can keep a record of her weight through out this
ordeal.

She ate another piece of frozen chicken last night before I went to sleep and this morning I made
her a breakfast of liver paste and her kibble. I soaked her kibble until it was soft and put it in the
blender along with the liver paste and made it into a thick soupy mixture. She ate about half of it,
got a drink of water went outside to potty and came back in and ate some more. She ate all but
1/2 cup of what I had given her which was 4 cups of the liquid mixture.

It's now 11:00 am and I just gave her another piece of frozen chicken, she's working on that now.
My thoughts are that the frozen chicken has lots of moisture in it and also is a good form of
physical therapy for her jaws and mouth. When my mom had her stroke many years ago, I
remember the therapist telling me that anything I could think of to do to get her to work the
effected muscles would benefit her greatly. So I would come up with clever ways to do that
such as to get her to work her mouth I would kiss her constantly, my thought is that the chewing
Sky has to do to work that piece of chicken is just what she needs. I also gave her a 12" bully
stick this morning, her favorite thing to chew and she has been chewing on it off and on all day.

I just finished making up a new batch of my homemade dog food which all of my dogs love and
were happy to smell it cooking, LOL. It has lots of good things in it including plenty of meats,
eggs, veggies, brown rice, sweet potato, blueberries, apples, bone meal and flaxseed oil. Sky
will get this for dinner tonight along with another piece of frozen chicken at bedtime.

I'm watching her closely for any signs of dehydration. She is showing no signs at this point. She
is able to drink water but it takes her along time and she salivates a lot into the water dish so
after each time she drinks I change her water so she always has fresh clean water available.

I'd like to thank everyone who has posted their thoughts & well wishes on the WS Genetics list
and also those that have written to me privately. I'm sorry if you haven't heard back from me,
I've been really busy caring for Sky, but please know I am reading all of your emails and taking
into consideration all of your thoughts. A special thank you to Judy Huston and Diana Updike for
contacting different doctors to try and get as much information as possible about this for us. The
WS world never ceases to amaze me how everyone will rally around one of it's own, bless you
all!! Sky sends lots of sloppy doggy kisses to each of you as well!! :0)   
Please feel free to cross post or share this diary with anyone!
Sky's eyes seem a bit less droopy today, maybe it's just my wishful thinking, but I
don't think so. She seems to be getting more of the almond shape back in them.
You can click on any of the small photos to view them larger
November 18, 2009
Sky Baby continues to improve and stay in good spirits. No signs of dehydration. Her eyes look
almost normal now and her jowls continues to look better. It's not taking her quite as long to eat
her frozen chicken breast now so I know her chewing capability is getting stronger with each
passing day. It took her about an hour and 15 minutes. She's chewing quite a bit on the bully
stick today. She's wanting to spend more and more time out of her sick pen and wants to be
with her pack and she took her morning run with them again this morning.

Judy Huston was able to make contact with Dr. Schultz, here is what he had to say.

* Have you ever treated this?
We have not had a case but know about the disorder

* What would your treatment be with a pregnant bitch?
absolutely do not give steroids.  The most important thing is to have her caloric needs met on a
daily basis.  There are programs available on the computer to determine her caloric needs.  Dr.
Sara Abood at MSU is a nutritionist that will be able to help.  Chicken and Liver are not balanced
diets for a pregnant dog - it is also important to keep her hydrated.  The owners may consider
having a stomach tube placed for easier forced feedings.  She will need an anesthetic for the
procedure but it should not be a problem during pregnancy.

* In your experience, is it genetic?  She has had three pups in a first litter and the owner is
concerned.
No known cause is available and there is little or no concern for her current pups or her previous
pups

* If you have treated it, is her vet correct that it is often transient and might go away as fast as it
came and maybe never come back?
This may last as little as 2 weeks but may last longer.  

* In your experience, what is the cause?
No known cause is available in any literature search that I have done.

* How important is it to have an MRI or Ct scan to determine whether it is a tumor that caused
this condition?
The chance of a tumor at her age is remote and she fits the idiopathic diagnosis.  Further
neurological examination is necessary if she has signs that she is getting worse.  Referral to a
veterinary neurologist is the next step.  It may be possible to go to a specialty clinic if one is
available - instead of the university.
November 19, 2009

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