Coonhound Paralysis

This blog talks about our experience when Goya (our 150lb English Mastiff) came down with coonhound paralysis (also called acute idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis).

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The start of this bout. The first full week.

Bonnie wrote that Goya started to have serious problems the week of December 5th. I want to describe what we did that week, to diagnose and set ourselves up to handle a 150 lb bag of potatoes, which is about what Goya was.

Monday 12/5 - We went to the local Orthopedic vet. This was the same vet that wasn't able to help much the previous time. However, our normal vet was unable to move forward, and we had to go through the Orthopedic vet to get to the next level of support. Given Goya's previous experience they didn't try anything beyond the initial test of Myasthemia Gravis (negative). They also ruled out brain and spinal issues again. Goya had already been on antibiotics for several weeks, and that pretty much ruled out tick borne paralysis. So the next step was to get Goya an appointment with a Neurologist. There were 2 possible Neurologists, one near DC and one at Ohio State. The DC neurologist couldn't see him, so we made an appointment at Ohio State on Wedneday.

Wednesday 12/7 - We headed to Ohio State in the morning. We had an appointment at around 1 pm, and Ohio State is about 4 hours away. We got to the clinic and got Goya carried in. There was the first chat with the vets, a Neurologist and an intern (this is a teaching clinic so there always seems to be a vet intern involved) that covered history etc. They had the previous information, and the little more we could tell them about this time. After checking for all the obvious issues, the Neurologist claimed that this really looked like coonhound paralysis to him. One of the reasons he was not diagnosed with coonhound paralysis last time was because he still had some motor capability. He was not down. This time he really was down. There is no diagnostic test for coonhound paralysis. However, since he was down, and since he didn't show positive for anything else, it meant coonhound paralysis was the diagnosis. The prognosis however was ok. He would be down needing nursing care for 6 weeks to 6 months, and then he would get better. We decided to nurse him and took him home. It was a long day.

Thursday 12/8 - We were back in the house and had Goya on the first floor. After being here for a day though he started to show real signs of distress. So we got a neighbor to help and loaded him in the car and took him to the orthopedic vet. It turned out he just had to urinate and defecate which he did as soon as he got into the vet's office. The vet checked him over and claimed he seemed to be just fine for a dog that couldn't move. We talked about what needed to be done. While Ohio State had sent us home with daily catheters, this vet thought a permanent catheter was a better option. Less likely in the long run to cause infection. The exact opposite of Ohio State vet's comments. We opted for the permanent catheter, because it was easier and our orthopedic's comments made sense. We also weren't sure we could maintain the level of sanitation necessary for a daily catheterization without bladder infections.

However, we weren't ready to handle this large dog and stairs at home. So we left the dog at the vet's for 4 days while we got the house ready for him.


  • At Sun Apr 02, 01:42:00 PM EDT, Blogger Bonnie said…

    I wanted to give some details about what Gary called "signs of distress".
    This means that Goya panted terribly for 9 hours straight. I knew that was a sign of bloat, so I kept checking his stomach, but it was never taut. He drooled a lake while panting. He whined. It was terrible, BUT in our heart of hearts, neither Gary nor I thought he was in actual pain, which is why we called it "distress". We had no idea what this was from and we had no idea what to do, but we didn't think it was pain. It was a terrible day (I was alone with Goya for most of it and spent much of it lying on the floor with him trying to comfort him and crying). When Gary got home, we took him to the vet, as gary said, and he peed a river and pooped a mountain as soon as he got into the vet's waiting room. Then he calmed immediately. So his distress was from not wanting to eliminate in the house (good boy). We'll have another post on specifically how we've managed with that.


Post a Comment

<< Home