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Facial Nerve Paralysis - Anyone With Experience? Please Help :-(


Guest SealDogMermaid
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Guest SealDogMermaid

Hello all -

 

Yesterday I noticed our 6 y/o female grey, Seal, was holding her right ear funny (sort of out to the side). I thought she may have had some gunk in there and proceeded to swab out the ear with ear cleaning pads but found nothing. Then tonight she was drooling a bit and had a lot of chewed food on the side of her mouth (same side as the ear). Sure enough her bottom lip on that side is completely slack/droopy. After researching online, I tested her eye/blink reflex on that same side. She can't blink the eye at all. So all signs clearly point to facial nerve paralysis, but I wanted to know if any of you have had a similar situation with your greys, and if so what the cause of the paralysis was and what the vet did as far as tests, follow up care, medication, etc. We have just moved and will be starting with a new vet (a little sooner than we had expected now!) and i want to make sure that i am well informed before going in there (we will be taking her asap).

 

Seal has shown no signs otherwise of any abnormal behavior, bodily function, etc. She has no prior history of seizures nor have we ever witnessed her having one. She seems to be her usual self other than the paralysis. The only change recently is that we have just started changing their food over from Nutro Venison meal (sensitive stomach) to Taste of the Wild high prairie and are at 1/2cup TOTW and 1-1/2cup Nutro. But there hasnt been any sign that the food is bugging her (no change in stool or bodily function)

 

Medically she has a history of UTIs that we have corrected and maintained with cranberry supplements. She has been on Proin (50mg 2x/day) for urinary incontinence for about a year. She has an Epulis (calcification/tumor on the gums) that has yet to be removed. Our vet said to keep an eye on it but they are usually benign. It has gotten a bit bigger in the past few months and we have been saving to have it removed and biopsied next month. The Epulis is on the opposite side of the face from the paralysis.

 

Any info and advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Guest happygrey

Sorry, I don't have any experience with this. Just wanted to pop in, and welcome you and wish Seal a speedy recovery. I am not that far from Haverhill. Best of luck figuring this out.

 

FWIW, I'd doubt that it's a reaction to food....but I suppose one never knows. Keep us updated.

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Long shot, but you might consider checking Seal carefully for any tiny ticks. Dogs can develop partial paralysis from ticks.

 

One of our hounds had a TMI mini-stroke but it involved one entire side of her body, legs and head. She fully recovered within about 10-15 minutes. Seal's facial paralysis is clearly very different.

 

Possible deep ear or deep gum infection comes to mind too.

http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=632

 

Hopefully others will jump in to help.

Edited by 3greytjoys
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My Brindle had that. I called it the canine version of Bell's palsy.

 

She had MAJOR surgery 3 months prior and that can trigger it. But it doesn't sound like your girl had recent surgery. Get Doggles for her to wear when she's outside to keep stuff out of her eye. Brindle hated them, but I forced her to wear them. It takes about 3 months to go away. But it does go completely. If it's not the Bell's palsy, but a tick, I can't answer prognosis on that.

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Minny's face/ear- even his eye- got that way and there was also a heat tilt after his sudden seizures which were apparently brought on by a brain issue aggravated by a rabies shot or as a result of the rabies shot itself. He could not recover and crossed over. It happenned during his 9th birthday. Previous to the rabies shot he was very healthy-big and strong.

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Guest SealDogMermaid

Thank you all so much for your responses. It is so nice to have a knowledgeable friendly community to bounce things off of!

 

Havent found any small ticks but that would certainly make sense. The ear infection thing came up during my google search and i have my fingers crossed that thats all it is. Or that it is a Bell's palsy thing like MP_the4pack mentioned.

 

The doggles are a great idea and we will def be picking up a pair! She is able to close the eye at least halfway - its more the reflex/blink that doesnt happen - but we will make sure to keep the eye lubed until we can get her to the vet. Does anyone know a good brand to use?

 

racindog, i'm very sorry to hear about your sweet Minny :-( had he just gotten the rabies shot prior to the incident? How long before? Seal hasnt had one in almost a year (or any other vaccination for that matter - she is going to be due for some beginning of Nov). I'm hoping thats not the case :-(

 

My Brindle had that. I called it the canine version of Bell's palsy.

 

She had MAJOR surgery 3 months prior and that can trigger it. But it doesn't sound like your girl had recent surgery. Get Doggles for her to wear when she's outside to keep stuff out of her eye. Brindle hated them, but I forced her to wear them. It takes about 3 months to go away. But it does go completely. If it's not the Bell's palsy, but a tick, I can't answer prognosis on that.

 

Could the vet do anything to help the situation or did you just have to wait it out? Glad to hear there is potential for it to go away though - can it reoccur?

 

also just found this article explaining someone's experience with the same thing: http://www.squidoo.com/dogs-facial-stroke-symptoms-causes-treatment

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Really need to see the vet. Even something like an abscessed tooth could put pressure on those nerves, and you'd want to address that ASAP.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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Thank you all so much for your responses. It is so nice to have a knowledgeable friendly community to bounce things off of!

 

Havent found any small ticks but that would certainly make sense. The ear infection thing came up during my google search and i have my fingers crossed that thats all it is. Or that it is a Bell's palsy thing like MP_the4pack mentioned.

 

The doggles are a great idea and we will def be picking up a pair! She is able to close the eye at least halfway - its more the reflex/blink that doesnt happen - but we will make sure to keep the eye lubed until we can get her to the vet. Does anyone know a good brand to use?

 

racindog, i'm very sorry to hear about your sweet Minny :-( had he just gotten the rabies shot prior to the incident? How long before? Seal hasnt had one in almost a year (or any other vaccination for that matter - she is going to be due for some beginning of Nov). I'm hoping thats not the case :-(

 

My Brindle had that. I called it the canine version of Bell's palsy.

 

She had MAJOR surgery 3 months prior and that can trigger it. But it doesn't sound like your girl had recent surgery. Get Doggles for her to wear when she's outside to keep stuff out of her eye. Brindle hated them, but I forced her to wear them. It takes about 3 months to go away. But it does go completely. If it's not the Bell's palsy, but a tick, I can't answer prognosis on that.

 

Could the vet do anything to help the situation or did you just have to wait it out? Glad to hear there is potential for it to go away though - can it reoccur?

 

also just found this article explaining someone's experience with the same thing: http://www.squidoo.c...auses-treatment

 

Vet could not do anything. We had to wait it out. She got it Sept or Oct and it was gone by xmas.

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Guest SealDogMermaid

Vet could not do anything. We had to wait it out. She got it Sept or Oct and it was gone by xmas.

 

Hopefully that is the case and she will return to normal soon *fingers crossed* In the meantime we are keeping the eye lubed and are massaging her facial muscles for 15min 2x/day. Will def report back post-vet-visit!

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I can't speak for the hound, but I had people's bell's palsy with same symptoms, except my left eye blinked out of sync ( slower than) my right. I thought I had had a stroke. It was caught early by a great nurse pratictioner and a course of antivirals (valtrex) and prednisone halted the progression and I made a full recovery. In humans it is often due to a virus attacking tthe facial nerve. I got it during cold season.

 

Best wishes for your beastie, I hope the doc figures out what the cause is and can treat it however is best for a dog.

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Guest SealDogMermaid

I can't speak for the hound, but I had people's bell's palsy with same symptoms, except my left eye blinked out of sync ( slower than) my right. I thought I had had a stroke. It was caught early by a great nurse pratictioner and a course of antivirals (valtrex) and prednisone halted the progression and I made a full recovery. In humans it is often due to a virus attacking tthe facial nerve. I got it during cold season.

 

Best wishes for your beastie, I hope the doc figures out what the cause is and can treat it however is best for a dog.

 

Huh, thats interesting - thank you for sharing your experience. I will ask the vet about viruses that attack the facial nerve and report back! :-)

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Guest SealDogMermaid

**Update** So Seal went to the vet two days ago. He was very helpful/knowledgeable and took a lot of time with us. Seal was perfectly normal in her physical exam (heartrate, blood pressure, etc). He ran a blood panel which came back today as perfectly normal in all aspects (so no liver or kidney dysfunction) and she also tested negative for lyme. He prescribed her some antibiotics in case there is any infection. We are relieved that everything is looking ok, but it a little unnerving that there is no diagnosis. The Dr said many times this sort of paralysis is idiopathic, so we will just continue to massage her facial muscles and stay vigilant over any signs of petite mal seizure or behavioral changes that may point towards a larger problem (like a brain tumor). But she is still her normal self - playing and running around, good spirits, eating normally etc. Hopefully these symptoms will improve over several months and eventually disappear. Thank you again to everyone who chimed in with your knowledge and words of encouragement :-)

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Guest clodagh

This happened with our previous dog - a collie mix. He had a couple of short seizures, then facial paralysis, and eventually diagnosed (via MRI) with brain cancer.

Unfortunately, Bob has now passed and is waiting for me at the rainbow bridge.

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I'm dealing with this!!!!! I believe it is termed Trigeminal Neuritis. It is similar to Bell's palsy in humans. Can be caused by rabies, auto immune or just a random hit of it. Asti my Australian got hit with it last Monday. Not a darn thing can be done but ride it out. All her labs can back perfect so hers is random.

 

It's so sad!!!! She can't close her mouth. She is drooling horrendously!!! She is eating, but its difficult. Her tongue works and she can swallow. Getting food into her mouth is hard. The worst part is she is horribly depressed!!!! :(

 

I hope it goes away soon!

The Girls

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Guest SealDogMermaid

Sounds like Horners syndrome--hopefully, it will resolve soon--thanks for the update!! Always a pet peeve of mine when folks dont update--always leaves you wondering and also updates can always educate too :-)

 

Of course! Yes, i agree- very helpful/educational - there have been many times where i have gotten my info from searching older conversations on here, and the updated info is very important in many cases :-)

 

This happened with our previous dog - a collie mix. He had a couple of short seizures, then facial paralysis, and eventually diagnosed (via MRI) with brain cancer.

Unfortunately, Bob has now passed and is waiting for me at the rainbow bridge.

 

Im so sorry for your loss :-( The info is troubling, but i thank you for sharing. Were the short seizures grand mal seizures or petite mal? My vet had described petite mal seizures to me and we are watching out for them as they are a bit more subtle than grand mal. She hasnt showed any sign of seizure so far and her bloodwork came back ok. Would an MRI be the only way to detect cancer or would it potentially show signs in the bloodwork?

 

I'm dealing with this!!!!! I believe it is termed Trigeminal Neuritis. It is similar to Bell's palsy in humans. Can be caused by rabies, auto immune or just a random hit of it. Asti my Australian got hit with it last Monday. Not a darn thing can be done but ride it out. All her labs can back perfect so hers is random.

 

It's so sad!!!! She can't close her mouth. She is drooling horrendously!!! She is eating, but its difficult. Her tongue works and she can swallow. Getting food into her mouth is hard. The worst part is she is horribly depressed!!!! :(

 

I hope it goes away soon!

 

Huh - its so puzzling and frustrating isnt it? Seal's labs all came back clean too! I hope Asti gets better! She can't close her mouth? Thats awful :-( Seal can close her mouth and seems to be blinking more often (just not on reflex) and it seems like her lip is improving a bit too (less food in the cheek pouch etc), so i hope that means that Asti will start seeing the same improvements soon. <3 Did your vet prescribe any antibiotics in case of any sort of infection? Seal just finished hers (was on them for about 5 days) - i can't really tell if the improvements are due to the antibiotics helping (in the case of a deep inner ear infection or something) or if it is just slowly recovering on its own. Keep me posted on how Asti is coming along! I will be thinking of her as we go through it with our girl :-)

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Guest SealDogMermaid

No antibiotics. Ran boatloads of blood work. Clean. Counts didn't indicate any infection. It's just a waiting game.

Ehk - so frustrating! Best of luck with everything :heart Please keep me posted on her progress! :)

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Guest SealDogMermaid

Asti appears to finally be making positive progress! She can move her mouth a little and its not open about 2" anymore. Still not working right, or closed, but definitely better. Her spirits have improved a bit too. :)

 

O thats great news!!! Im glad she is doing better <3 Thats encouraging - you must feel relieved!

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