Posted on February 21, 2014

by Liz Jackson

I don’t know if you saw this article, but Dylan and Frank are friends battling the same neurological illness, hydrocephalus. What makes these two so special is  that Dylan is a 2 year old and Frank is a puppy. 


Hydrocephalus is a disorder where excessive cerebrospinal fluid accumulates in the brain, oftentimes causing the skull to expand. Hydrocephalus is not the only neurological condition shared by humans and dogs. For all I know, humans and dogs could be susceptible to all of the same neurological conditions. When I was being tested for Myasthenia Gravis, I happened upon some YouTube videos of dogs receiving the same diagnostic test I was hoping to get.

There is very little in medicine so diagnostically startling as the Tensilon test. Myasthenia Gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disorder that leads to fluctuating muscle weakness and fatigue. The Tensilon test is so simple. A doctor injects a patient with Tensilon. That’s it. If the patient has MG, their symptoms will improve. Drastically. Maybe even entirely. But, for only a few minutes. And then their symptoms return.

Tensilon is not a drug, it does not last for more than a few minutes, it can only be used diagnostically. And witnessing a dog experience this test has given me a little more empathy for my body.

It’s amazing the ability dogs have to both break my heart and fill it up…  all at the same time.

And because this is a puppy post, here’s an obligatory Hanky photo.


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