Owned by Pugs

Monday, July 17, 2006

Pug Dog Encephalitis Resource

Pug Dog Encephalitis (PDE) is a fatal disease that only affects pugs.  Village of Hope is a great resource completely devoted to educating others about PDE and raising money to research this deadly disease.  Village of Hope is a great place to start in finding out more about Pug Dog Encephalitis or to connect with others who have witnessed first-hand the affects of this disease.

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April 30/2008 I just lost my puggie to PDE it took only 8 days from start to finish She was depressed would not jump down from furniture. I took her to my regular vet and she was treated for a sore back. the next night she suffered a massive seizure and 2 more in the night. I took her to the emergency clinic in the morning and she was treated with epilepsy meds and siezure free for 24hrs and I was allowed to take her home. She appeared to be blind and could not walk very good. I hoped it was from the rapid amount of meds that were given to her and the vet said this was probably the cause and the symptoms would ease as the meds levels reduced in her body. I picked her up at 6pm and she had a great dinner of steak and potatoes and a lick of whip cream for dessert. By midnight she could no longer stand and cuddled back into bed with me. At 6am she seemed to show mannerisms of being blind and streached her head and neck up did a few shallow breaths and stopped breathing. She was 1 yr and 10 months old. My heart and my childrens hearts are broken and my house feels so empty. I pray for a cure for this horrible disease.



My pug has been showing lameness in his back legs just for a few seconds and he has only done it twice in the last week.  My parents are jumping into conclusions and saying it is pde, there have been no other signs and after reading all of these horrible stories I am really hoping its not.  Was the lameness in the legs the first symtom??  He is also 5 years old and I saw a website that said the age for this disease is between 2 and 3 years so has he past the stage to have this disease?  My husband and I are supposed to be putting down a deposit on a new pug puppy tomorrow.  I dont think I could go through losing a dog this way.  Especially not two dogs.  Do youi have any advice?



My advise to anyone with questions is definitely check out the websites on this subject. When my Pug suddenly seized and went in to the hosp and they told me they suspected the PDE- I looked it up right away. I saw what the symptoms were and up to this point, it’s all right on. And if your vet isn’t helping, or giving any sort of diagnosis- I’d get a second opinion. At least with medicine, you may have a chance to have them around alittle longer and have a decent goodbye.

MRI and Spinal tap are the only good ways to get the (unconfirmed) diagnosis while they’re alive. I have the University of Penn just 25 minutes away from me and they gave her the (unconfirmed) diagnosis of PDE after the two tests. That was on May 2. I’ve been lucky to have her home for a month since diagnosis, she’s a fighter. But she started to have mild, cluster seizures last week- that were brought under control by extra meds. But they returned on Monday and her meds were increased yet again. She’s now aggressively circling and extremely aggitated alot of the time. I’m thinking that it’s about time to make the decision to put her at rest, but it’s breaking my heart. I just can’t live watching her be on more medicine then an adult human should be on, with the confusion, circling and aggitation. I’ve done everything I can for her, given her more love and special treats and treatment since she got sick and now I think it’s time.

I believe we will allow U of Penn use her for research because I’d like to have something good come of this awful experience. We won’t have a confirmed diagnosis of PDE until she’s gone- but we all know that’s what it is. It was so sudden, she was healthy as a horse and 4.5 years old! So young, yet on the brink of missing the PDE cut off. I will miss her, but I’d rather she be at peace then like she is now.



Our little pug Otis died last week from PDE within 4 days. Symptoms included depression, loss of appetite, walking with his tail down and appeared to have lumbar pain. Two days later he had two big seizures in the night and was crying out. He lost his sight in one eye and loss of use in his legs. sadly Otis died the next day. It is soo sad and such a shame that this beautiful breed suffer from this horrific disorder.  If any of you notice any changes in your pugs behaviour i would be straight to the vets- after all you know your dog the best. I miss him so much and life wont be the same without him. There is no other breed that compares to pugs- they are simply the best!!!!!



Does anyone know of any other good sites out there for PDE? I’ve seen a few, but I still have some questions that I can’t seem to get answered. Thanks.



My guy had to be put to sleep a few days ago from PDE.  For all of you who are going through this, I am so sorry for your heartache.  No vet knew what was wrong.  It happened over a course of 8 months, first he was “just not himself”.  He wasn’t responding the way he normally would have, just staring off, then he went blind.  Seizures came and went (was on phenobarbatol), paced in circles, had episodes of “screaming”, head tilting, was so lethargic, and would press his head into the ground.  This happened for 3 months.  The strangest thing is that they can return to normal behavior periodically so we were fooled into thinking he was okay.  4 months later, all it took was one seizure that did not stop.  He was foaming at the mouth and lost control of his blatter & bowel.  He spiked a fever of 108 which caused brain damage, he would have slipped into a coma so he had to be euthenized.  We weren’t even aware of PDE until after the fact.  We only hope more can be done for this scary, fatal disease.  If we had known, we would have dedicated his body for research.



7-05-08 Recently our 8 month old puppy became sick with PDE. Our Vet. treated her with antibiotics for infection and Phenobarbital for seizures.The Vet.did a spinal tap for a positive I.D. The test came back positive.The Vet.knew of a treatment and we went for it. The treatment worked and our puppy is home and doing great.This treatment is not a cure but it is a god sent answer to our prayers and maybe yours.I hope that someone out there can use this info. to find a cure before our puppies time is up.The treatment is Chemo IV .If anyone has used this I would like to how well it worked.

Dawna T


Our fun loving little girl Pugzy started having symptoms one week ago.  Within a few days she could hardly walk and now that I read the symptoms I realize she had them all.  On July 4th I held her as the vet helped her to her final resting place.  She was having multiple seizures.  This was so shockingly fast—She was our second pug, our first had epilepsy and we controlled it with medication.  I love these dogs—I just hope I can muster the courage to get another.



Our pug Girlie was 1st diagnosed 3 1/2 weeks ago with epilepsy.  3 days later she was back in the hospital and being refered to a neurologist for the possibility that she had PDE.  It was confirmed right away and since then she has been in and out of the hospital 5 times and is on various cocktails of drugs.  If this doesnt work when we pick her home tonight we have some rough decisions to make.  My heart hurts so much I cant believe this has happened to us.  I just pray she hasnt spent her last days in and out of the hospital with me going on false hope.

aja morgan


My 3 1/2 year old pug Rocky started having seizures once a month last October. He was taking Phenobarbitol which did not work and then added Potassium Bromide which also did not work. Now, he is off the meds and I am using Valium to control the seizures and it is working…no seizures. However, the seizures attempts are occurring once a week instead of once a month. I am still worried that this may be a slow progressive form of PDE. I do not have the thousands of dollars for MRI’s and Spinal Taps. Is there anything anyone can tell me??? I love Rocky SOOOO MUCH!!!



I read your comments about Rocky and in my opinion he does seem old to develop PDE.  I went through the terrible disease with our 1 year old Howie.  He was only able to hold on for 3 days after his first seizure.  Getting spinal taps and MRI’s is not going to save your pug as we unfortunately found out.  I would keep him on the meds and stay with what’s working.  I will definitely pray for the best and I’m sure he’ll be fine.



I recently wrote a comment about our 9 month old puppy Mckenzie.She has PDE and has been in treatment for about 2 months.She has been receiving chemo and it has worked great. I believe the key to prolonging her life was early treatment.She regained her sight and all motor skills.She is not cured so the doctors say but you would never know to look at her.



Could anyone tell me what causes PDI. My vet said the disease is not clearly understood. The person I purchased him from has a show kennel of champions and 30 years of breeding the same lines and has never had a pug with PDI. This paticular dad and mom has had 4 litters and the puppies from these litters has not had PDI.I to have a pug with this disease and I would like answers.

Michelle & Ed


We lost our little Bella 2 weeks ago on 8/14/08, she was only 1 year 7 months old. For 2 weeks she wasn’t acting normal, she seemed tired and very sad. I took her to the vet 3 times and they thought she hurt her back. She was put on steroids and pain meds. I took her to the hospital where they did an mri and found out she had pde, she was gone the next morning. It’s extremely devastating to understand how she could be so happy and healthy 1 day and sick the next. We love and miss her sooo much, it breaks our hearts to know she’s not with us anymore. We Love you Bella (you were our little poophead)



I have a 2 yr. old female pug who was diagnosed w/ PDE.  Spinal Tap is really the only test that will give this information.  Hazelnut started having a cluster seizure episode last week and are starting a chemotherapy type treatment.

morgan hall


Sunday our 2 year old pug Rita started acting funny so on Monday we took her to the vet and she was diagnosed with pde. All we could do then was pray, hope, and give her medicine but by Thursday night she had a terrible seizure and was taken to the animal hospital. Friday morning she was returned to us and continued having seisures all day. Our family doctor along with the neurologist said her chances were all against her. My dad had to come pick me up early from school so I could come home and be with my Rita and watch her be euthanized. This disease is so cruel and awful, and I can only pray for the people who are dealing with it now. My Rita meant the world to me. I have already decided that I will never own a pug again because know one can replace my baby Rita!
    -Morgan Hall 15 yrs old

Colleen Duffy


My sweet Isaac died of PDE on May 23, 2008.  Within 24 hours.  Like some others on this site, in hindsight, for about 3 weeks prior to the day he died, he stopped wanting to jump off his favorite chair.  I noticed it but could come up with real-good no-big-reasons why.  I had said to a few friends, he’s just a little funky - but I couldn’t explain it any better than that. And I still can’t. He had no overt signs.  He was totally happy and fine and eating normal, walking and going to the bathroom all normal. Personality all the same.  Sweet as sweet can be.  He was 6 yrs old.  And then at 11pm, on the 22nd,something changed.  He got up and went to the other side of the couch from me and looked vacantly into nowhere.  I stayed up with him all night until my vet opened in the am.  Went from there to the hospital and heard about PDE for the 1st time.  12 hours later he was dead.  When we got there they did an MRI and spinal tap.  His brain had swollen twice its size and was pushing 1/2 of it out of the brain cavity.  THey strung me along and implied that maybe they could help him with steroids and by keeping him there.  THe hospital should have been honest and humane with me and Isaac and told me that he had only hours and let me stay with him or send him home….but we were separated and Isaac died alone in their metal cage.  I will live with that forever. I allowed them to autopsy his brain for the sake of pugs and their owners everywhere.  THere is nothing like the love of a pug.  I have a new one that I rescued. I still miss Isaac and I love this one, Enabelle, like crazy! THey both came from pet stores which tend to have poorly bred dogs - which they think may be a influencing factor in PDE.  My vet says as common as PDE is - it is still rare.  I can only pray.  And I will pray for all pugs and the people who love them.



I have a female pug 11 yrs old she has been having little siezures everyday. It sounds like she has this problem. Is this common in pugs this old?



This is the saddest thing ever.  Four days, and now our beloved Portia is gone.  She died last night in her sleep (which has been all too fitful, with stretching and crying last night), lying between us.  Our hearts, too, are broken by this experience.  The vet thought it was a “tweak” and muscle strain.  She had the classic “won’t-jump-from” bed or chair beginning on Monday.  The muscle spasms were occasional, and then the straining, looking up, seemingly blind, and then disoriented.  We know epilepsy, and we could tell the difference.  We are grateful for this site, as I’ve tried to make more sense of two visits to the vet and the diagnosis of “a muscle pain.”  We are glad she died with us, but that was only because it was so rapid.  She came from a home breeder who seemed to have less than an optimal situation.  If we had the money, we would send her to Texas to help in the research.  My heart goes out to all of you who have experienced the same very tragic loss.

Allison carmello


Well, I first came here when my precious Girlie was diagnosed with this horrible disease.  With all the reading I did I saw very little hope.  Someone contacted me who read my email and gave me so much hope.  There pug came down with this almost the same exact time as Girlie and their dog was doing wonderful.  Im sorry to report today that I lost my Girlie yesterday after being diagnosed almost exacly 3 months ago.  My heart is broken.  We have truly lost a prcious memeber of our family.  Its like losing a child.  I wish everyone who has battled this with their baby the strength it take to get through this.  I know I have not found it yet.  Its been 34 hours and i can still hardly believe it.  God Bless You All!



Well,  our little Bernie just turned 1 in October.  He has had 3 seisures within the last few days that have caused he head to just bobble while sleeping.  It reminded me of Parkinsons.  After surfing the web, I was introduced to this terrible desease called PED.  I could not beleive it.  I have 3 pugs and one of them is Bernie’s Brother.  At first look the vet seems to think Epilepsy.  I hope he is correct. My symphathies to all who have lost thier little buddies!!



My pug has had epilepsy for 3 years.  She is now 4 and it seems to be worse and have more PDE symptoms.  Has anyone had any experience with PDE progressing so slowly?  She has had cluster seizures twice in the last year and the last batch caused blindness in one eye.  After the last cluster seizures she was pacing in circles and pressing her head but that went away.  She had two seizures (mild) last weekend and seems to have lost some sight in her good eye.  She is doing fairly well but I don’t want her to suffer. Any thoughts or advice?



I am about to cry, my baby Stitch is starting to lose control of his back legs and is getting a little temperamental-  I hope this is not PDE- but what else could it be.  He has been such a joy to me in his short, ten month life. ( I nicknamed him LLD, Lovable Little Dude)  He has such personality, and now I may lose him.  I walked him last night and came home to find that his little feet were bleeding from scraping on the ground, I didn’t even hear the scraping- I have an appointment with a doggie neuro on Tuesday- ok, before I “lose it” I will sign off- 

Extremely sad pug-a-lug owner in VA



Reading your woes makes my heart break.  My daughter has pug named Pork Chop that she loves to death.  We had her at the emergency vet this weekend while I was visiting and the vet seems to think this is what is happening to Porky. My heart is breaking for Pork Chop and my daughter.  I had a flight home today and I cried for 45 minutes on the plane just thinking about little Porky.  She has all the symptoms and vet suggested an internal medicine doctor for her, but told my daughter that honestly he was not optimistic:(  Pugs are the best of the best and to think that this happens to them at such a young age and that they can’t seem to find a cure breaks my heart.
My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

The Montgomery's


How ironic that I would google the symptoms of PDE and find this site, and in just half a day lose our beloved Georgie.

He started acting strange late last night, eye sight and walking problems, trouble jumping on the couch. Then this morning, the circle pacing, blindness in one eye then facial spasms. My wife immediately took him to the vet, and as mentioned here all tests were normal, although the vet wanted a specialist to check his eye, we were convinced it neurological. Then the seizure hit, after that down hill all the way. More seizures follow back at the vet.

We transferred him to an emergency vet to be watched overnight. They had heard of PDE, but just confirmed everything I read here. It looked very bleak. They treated him with steroids and Valium. An hour later we checked on him, they said he had had another seizure but the Valium had him resting comfortably. Not ten minutes later they called to tell us he had passed.

Unbelievable, all this in less than 12hrs. My daughters are devastated, as this would have been Georgie’s first Christmas with us.

This is our second rescue Pug, we’ve had him for less than a year, he was only about 2yrs old. Of course he fit right in and loved having a family that loved him right off the bat.

I’m extremely angry that there was absolutely nothing that could be done for our little guy. He was just his chipper little self not two days ago, our family is crushed.

Tamara Nieman


My dog, Ug has gotten progressively worse the past 2 months; with seiaures more frequently. But, suddenly today he has had 3 seizures that I have seen and 1 my husband saw- Grand Mal with drooling and bladder incontinence nearly every time and bowel incontinence several times. Now he cannot seem to stop pacing. It is terrible to see him this way! I love my dog SO much! His adoptive brother, Oz, who is another pug is so upset to see him this way also. I took Ug to the vet 2 weeks ago and all of his kidney, liver and metabolic functions were fine…He is 5 years 9 months old.



I received a call from my sister two days ago regarding her 5 yo male pug.He had walked circles around the couch, stopped and acted as if he was trying to vomit. He then fell over on his side, eyes open and unblinking. When I arrived he was still in the same position,breathing and did not react to painful stimuli. We rushed to the vet. They were going to draw blood but the second Dr. came in and got our Dr. because “Lilo” was crashing. The Dr. returned to say they started an IV and he was breathing again. They offered little information. PDE was never mentioned. All they said was maybe cardiac, neuro,toxins or a blood clot. They said he acted anestitized. Lilo died minutes later. The entire event was less than an hour with no warning signs that we noticed. The only thing unusual was excessive thirst starting two days prior. RIP Lilo little guy. We miss you.



I also had a pug named bella mia. she was born 1/20/06.. October 16, 2008 she had her first seizure ook her to the vet and she was diagnosed with PDE. symptoms that she had were running in circles, pressing her head against things, went blind in both eye’s, (only for a day or so.) she was on 9 medications twice daily for 2 months 12/13/08 she was not able to walk.. 12/14/08 almost 3 years old we were forced to put bella down. She will be loved by us forever and in our hearts forever. If your dog is experiencing these symptoms the vet will want you to get MRI’s and spinal taps very costly and in the end the results will be putting your dog down or death on it’s own.. plus a lot of heart brake..

I hope this information helps…

R.i.p Bella Mia



Hello. We’re thinking of buying a particular pug tomorrow. We’ve already put down a deposit on her. I’m so scared of this PDE, though! I don’t think I could bear watching my puppy go through that! How common is PDE anyway? It seems very common, although that just may be what I’m reading. I’m really reconsidering this, because it sounds awful. My son is only 5, and I don’t think he’d be able to deal with that kind of horror either.  Help?  Advice?  Thanks.

giovanna Mastrovich


Do not be afraid to bring these wonderful animals into your home.  PDE is rare.  We have added 2 more pugs to our family since loosing Bentley.  Each pug has his own personality and will give you many many years of love and affection.

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