Coonhound Paralysis

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

Friday, December 15, 2006

Climbing onto the couch

Just two quick notes, but before I want people to know that it has been just over a year since Goya came down with coonhound paralysis. The first note is about Goya's progress from Bonnie:

Dad and I went out shopping last night and left Goya on the floor in the basement. When we got back, he was on the couch!!!!

He has been asking to get up on the various couches in the basement for several months now, but he has always needed help. Last night he made it all by himself! Good boy. I'm going to leave him in the basement today since he seems to be able to move around and be where he wants to be better there than he can upstairs.

The second note is about the kindness of strangers. As I believe Bonnie has mentioned, we take Goya to the local Starbucks every morning. It is only a little over a block away. This distance was almost infinite in June, and now is routine. While at Starbucks, we get a cheddar cheese brioche as a treat for Goya. He has to get to a standing position from a sitting position to get a piece. The sidewalk at Starbucks is rough enough that he can get to a standing position (he still has difficulty on our slippery floors). The goal is to get him standing about 10 times every morning as part of his rehabilitation. As a benefit he likes the brioche.

Today one of the MANY people we've met while outside Starbucks, bought Goya a starbucks card to pay for his brioche as a christmas present. It was really a nice surprise.


  • At Tue Jan 23, 05:33:00 PM EST, Anonymous Samantha K. said…

    I am so glad to hear that Goya is doing better. He is such a sweetheart and I only wish the best for him!

  • At Tue Feb 20, 12:07:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow! I can't believe I found someone alse who did so much for a dog with coonhound paralysis. We nursed one a nlong for almost 4 years...unfortunately he never fully recovered. Love to talk to's my email

  • At Mon Mar 19, 11:37:00 AM EDT, Blogger Bonnie said…

    Sam, thanks for your thoughts -- Goya's a homebody these days since I am not teaching the project course this year. He's happily snoring in front of the fire as I work at home.

    I'm sorry to hear that your dog never fully recovered. Goya also will never run out to the "squirrel tree" in our back yard, but he can saunter out to that tree and bark at the squirrels anyway. He is almost 10 years old and showing his age -- arthritis in his shoulders and he's still weak in his back legs. So I guess I wouldn't call this a "full recovery" either. But he is happy to walk to Starbucks every morning even if he is getting slower and slower and he loves meeting other dogs and friendly people. So that is recovery enough for us to believe all the effort was worth it.

  • At Fri Mar 30, 09:39:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Bonnie, I have a dog with coonhound paralysis. There is one thing that concerns me, did Goya wine or yip once in a while when you moved him from place to place? Email me at
    thank you! Tina

  • At Fri Mar 30, 09:47:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Tina said…

    Bonnie, I am so sorry I left the wrong email address it is seems I can't think straight since my Duchess went down with this (coonhound paralysis) Tina

  • At Mon Apr 09, 10:48:00 PM EDT, Blogger Bonnie said…

    Goya could always feel what you were doing with his feet and legs even though he couldn't move them -- coonhound paralysis only effects the signals going from the brain to the extremities, not the signals going from the extremities to the brain. So if one of the other dogs stepped on his foot, he would yelp, but not be able to move it out of the way. I don't remember if he whined or yipped when we moved him, but certainly if we had pinched him or twisted the wrong way, he would have. He is such a big, study dog, and very stoic, so it isn't easy to accidentally do something when moving him that hurts. So I can't say that he never yipped when we moved him, but I don't remember that happening.

    Actually, the fact that he could feel pinches was what allowed us to exercise him as soon as he started having any ability to move at all. He is so compliant, that I couldn't get him to resist if I pushed against his leg, but if I held his foot and pinched his toes, he would try to pull away. With me holding the leg, this created some resistance, which is what helps rebuild strength in the muscles. I tried to pinch him hard enough to be annoying so he would try to move away), but not hard enough to make him yip (a fine line to walk).

    I hope this helps.
    Best of luck to you and Duchess.


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