Coonhound Paralysis

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

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Two breakthroughs today! Starbucks and Stand-up

Just a quick entry on a busy day.

Goya had two breakthroughs today.

1. He walked all the way to Starbucks and back (about 1.5 city blocks each way). A few days ago he only got half way there, so this was progress.

2. On the way to Starbucks he stopped to sit for a little rest on a nieghbor's lawn that slopes up from the street. When I thought he had rested enough, I said "OK, let's go" and started to get behind him to help him stand. Before I could get there, he stood up by himself!!! Now, he did have a little help from gravity, because he was sitting on a slope, but this is the first time he has successfully gotten into a standing position without human help. His body still remembers how to do it, and his will is still trying. We'll probably take him back to that little slope often to practice.

You go, Goya!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Another dog's story

I just found another dog's story about coonhound paralysis on the web and wanted to include it here. Phoebe is smaller than Goya, had a rougher time in the beginning, but recovered fully within 7 weeks, so her story is different than ours.
Phoebe's coonhound paraylsis story.

Bonnie added the following on DEc 31, 2006:
The above link is now broken, because the author seems to have moved it into an "account only" area. The only thing non-members of can get to is at
and it says:
"Later that night, Dr. Davis called. The staff neurologist had examined Phoebe and felt there were four possible diagnoses: Coonhound Paralysis, Botulism, Tick Paralysis, or Myasthenia Gravis. Dr. Davis gave me an update on Phoebe's condition. The paralysis had extended as far as her face. Now she couldn't even blink."
I'm going to send the author email and ask her if she can make her full post accessible again for coonhound paralysis sufferers.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Goya is released from Physical Therapy

Friday (June 30th) Goya was released from Physical Therapy. He walked, all by himself with no help, into the PT building and walked all around the waiting room (and caused a minor ruckus with two cats in a carrier). When it was his turn to go into the PT room, we lifted his back-end up, then he walked all through the two PT rooms -- exploring here and there, bck and forth, wagging his tail a mile a minute the whole time.

Sally thought that doing land exercises would be better for him now than being in the water tredmill. She had him doing circles (healing in a tight circle, both clockwise and counterclockwise) because the side closest to the ccenter of the circle has to hold more weight, so doing both directions exercises each side separately. Then she had him doing sits-to-stand, with as little help as we can give him. It is now quite easy to pcik up his backside with your hands on his "butt bones" -- if I pick him up a few inches, then he gets his feet under him and once he does, he can almost push his way up himself. When we are home, he also is supposed to go up the one step to the back porch and stand there for a while. Evidently, dogs support most of their weight on their front feet and he need exercisse on his back legs, so we need to do things that exercise his back legs. Elevating his front by having his front feet one step up puts more weight on his back feet. Likewise, making him walk up a small hill in the backyard elevates his front and helps him exercise his back legs.

Since these are all things we can do with him at home, Sally suggested that we exercise him at home several times a day and come back to PT only for two reasons. (1) if he doesn't progress for 2 weeks in a row, or (2) he gets 100% better and we come back to showoff! Hopefully, the latter is only a few weeks away.