Last Wednesday, an extraordinary coincidence happened.
A client came in with her elderly pointer for a follow up visit. She then mentioned that she had her ‘granddog’ Hugo with her. Could possibly have a look as he hadn’t been able to walk for about one month despite numerous vets looking at him. I said maybe…
What was I thinking? I was fully booked to the eyeballs, running around like a headless chook and had a visiting veterinarian come to watch my work. But collapsed dogs when everything else has been ruled out could be Acute Canine idiopathic Polyradiculoneuritis or commonly referred to as Coonhound Paralysis. It’s a condition I find them especially satisfying to treat. So that’s why I said yes. To save my sanity, I decided to keep him in the hospital for the day to better assess and treat in my spare nanoseconds.
Later that morning, my nurse reminded me that I had another dog, Pippa that was in hospital for me to look at. It was one that we had agreed to squish in as it too had had numerous vet visits and even a CT scan. The owners were contemplating whether it was better to say goodbye after seeing their dog become weaker and weaker over a month and was now paralysed in all four legs. I had a quick look and did a double take. Wasn’t this Hugo? Nope, this was Pippa. Both dogs were little, black fluffies with big eyes. What’s the chances of it being the same thing? Yep. Sphinx sitting pose; face planting when trying to get up; weaker in the front legs than back legs; these were all signs I had seen in previous patients. The fascial tension even felt identical. My money was definitely on Coonhound paralysis.
Team Kim and Ebony swung into action. After Kim’s treatment, we persuaded both owners that the best course of action was a week of intensive rehabilitation with Ebony. Fingers crossed. All the other Coonhound paralysis dogs had taken about two weeks to get up from their paralysed state.
To my utter amazement, Ebony sent me video of Pippa walking with support that very evening! It was definitely going in the right direction. The next couple of days, it was twice daily updates from Ebony. Hugo stood by himself the next morning. Who was going to get there first? Pippa…Hugo? It was like a race at the Olympics.
This morning, I got a surprise wake up video. Hugo was walking by himself! Pippa is nearly there too. Only after two and a half days! Woo hoo. Needless to say, both owners were thrilled and a few tears of joy have been shed.
So just like those athletes we have been watching, achievements have been gained through hard work by Pippa and Hugo, supported by the amazing dedication and tough love by Ebony, guided by the treatment and experience of Kim and fuelled by the love of the owners and the trust they have placed in our hands. Last but not least, Dr Alicia who suggested that maybe Pippa’s owners should try this option. The power of teamwork really rocks.