Hyperparathyroidism

One of our two Basenjis - a 9 year old male - was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism some months ago.

Symptoms were occasional loss of orientation, wobbling eyes and seizures (of a few minutes resulting in his lying on his side twitching & sometimes shrieking). He also lost weight and coat condition, having a variable appetite. Later he had chronic diarrhoea which subsequently turned out to be a campilobacter infection which was successfully treated with antibiotics and steroids. He has been clear of this for three weeks now.

The hyperparathyroidism was treated with daily calcium/vitD tablets and this certainly got rid of the symptoms.

When he finally came off his antibiotics/steroids he reverted to being uninterested in food or anything else. He then went back on steroids a week ago & began returning to normal in terms of interest and food though with no real weight gain.

Once more though his twitching & disorientation symptoms have returned with reduced appetite.

Has any member had a similar experience &, if so, what was the outcome? We are now fearing something more deep-seated is at work. Of course we will be back at the vet's tomorrow but any additional information here would be gratefully received.

Mike
Somerset
UK

I'm really sorry to about this Mike. There's a vet here who is an expert in the thyroid issues and her name is Dr. Jean Dodds. Email her at hemopet@hotmail.com. She's really good at answering and my be able to give you some helpful information.
http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/HEMOPET.HTM

Houston

I so sorry to hear about your poor baby. I would contact Dr Dobbs for sure, like Nobarkus said..

Thank you both for your responses. Yes I first heard of Dr Dodds today from Sally Wallis, a prominent English breeder, so will email her after talking to our vet tomorrow.

@mramsay:

Thank you both for your responses. Yes I first heard of Dr Dodds today from Sally Wallis, a prominent English breeder, so will email her after talking to our vet tomorrow.

Please keep us updated on what you found out and how she's doing.

He's just had a major seizure - totally rigid & stopped breathing. We thought he'd gone but he soon regained consciousness and, unsurprisingly, is confused. I have given him a double dose of calcium tablets dissolved in water to stabilise until the morning, I hope.

Houston

Oh my..I don't know what to say..poor dog..and you too. it must be so hard not knowing what to do..I am so sorry..

I wish you the best as my heart goes out to you.

Rita Jean

I'm so sorry to read about your troubles. I'd suggest trying a holistic vet in addition to a more traditional vet.

Thankfully our vet also specialises in herbal & homeopathic treatments which I guess is quite rare so I remain hopeful. The little chap is now settled comfortably in my wife's lap and looking around at everything with his usual inquisitiveness.

Thank you all for your good wishes - we're both touched.

Mike & Jenny

Hi Mike and Jenny,
i am so sorry to hear about your Basenjis seizures. Ours had seizures too but due to a liver problem. They are horrible to watch and it must of been terryfying when he stopped breathing. I do hope your vet can sort things out.
Benji went on treatment for his liver and we controlled the fits with Epilease. We were given rectal valium to give as soon as he came out of the fit. We noticed he was a bit off before each fit and quite off for several days after, this we were told is normal.
It was difficult when he was ill but i would say he did have quality of life between seizures.

@mramsay:

Thankfully our vet also specialises in herbal & homeopathic treatments which I guess is quite rare so I remain hopeful. The little chap is now settled comfortably in my wife's lap and looking around at everything with his usual inquisitiveness.

Thank you all for your good wishes - we're both touched.

Mike & Jenny

Through all this trouble/problem we forgot to welcome you Mike, Jenny and your 2 Basenjis to the forum! What are their names? If you have some pictures please post them as we would love to see them.

Houston

Yes, where are our manners?

Welcome to the forum, nice to have y'all onboard.

I hope to see pictures of your pack one day, but understand you have lots on your mind right now.

Let us know how he is doing once you've been to the vet.

Yes, welcome.
This must be very frightening for you. I'm sorry. Please keep us posted on your little buddy's condition.

Thank you all for your warm welcome & support. I will get round to putting up one or two pics but not right now. He had another seizure around 1am this morning - his shriek woke me so I went to check him & resettle him. The look of confusion & uncertainty in his eyes was quite pitiful but he recovered quickly, resisting my putting him back to bed when he wanted to walk about!

Maybe today's visit to the vet will produce the desired outcome….

Well, it's relatively good news in that the result of this morning's blood test indicates that the problem is an excessively low level of calcium. This is despite my having given him a higher than usual dose of calcium/vitD tablets after his seizure yesterday. The answer for now is to supplement the normal number of tablets with extra vitD - we are getting hold of those soon. Meanwhile he seems happier today has started eating again.

I will update when we've seen how he progresses. By the way, his name is Bing (after Chandler!) and our bitch is Rosie, aged 7, because of her colour - red(ish!). We also have Poppy a 9 year-old Great Dane bitch, Pepsi, a blue Burmese cat (neutered queen), Zach, a 25 year-old Westphalian gelding (German warmblood) and Sassy, a 13 year-old Morgan mare and Buzzy (they both are - as named!), her 5 year-old gelded son!

Thank you all again. How do I upload pics on this forum please?

I would, I think, definitely contact Dr. Dodds. She is absolutely great at thyroid issues.

Houston

I googled hyperparathyroidism when your post came up and that is one of the things they talked about on the different site's I saw..good to know that you have an answer..what now? They were talking about, of course potential diet change, adding bicarbs and other meds to the dogs regimen.

I'm so relieved that your vet has found an answer for the fits and I hope your boy continues to improve. You have quite a big animal family there - sounds great. Welcome to this great forum from the UK. I look forward to seeing your pictures.

There's one big red face here. Bing has hypoparathyroidism, the result of an auto-immune problem. This results in under-absoption of calcium, hence the need for the calcium/vitD supplement. I understand that it is incurable so we can only hope to stabilise it. At least we should be able to stop the dreadful seizures.

I was truly amazed to have had an almost instant response from Jean Dodds, despite her currently travelling internationally. Even more impressive was her immediate response to my subsequent reply! A truly dedicated lady….

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