Dog Paralysis: Causes and Treatments
While we are addressing dog paralysis in this article, other pets are susceptible to paralysis as well. There are many ways that our pets can become paralyzed. These may include tick bites, congenital diseases, bacterial infections, and trauma resulting from impact. Not surprisingly, veterinarians are seeing an increasing number of impact-related injuries. These injuries are being caused by the normal activities that our dogs routinely and frequently do around their homes on a daily basis. These include activities such as jumping off of furniture, porches, and stairs, out of vehicles or jumping in the air to catch a Frisbee.
Dogs were genetically engineered over the course of many millennia to run across flat ground. Unlike cats, they do not have much in the way of natural shock absorbing structures in their bodies, therefore, any type of hard landings from anything taller than they are can potentially damage its spine. Trauma to a dog’s vertebrae or disks can create a vulnerability to the nerves within the spinal cord. This results in further trauma to the neural pathway, and possibly dog paralysis. When a dog is experiencing paralysis, it is often because communications between the spinal cord and the brain have been disrupted.
Conventional veterinary treatments:
In April of 2019, Blu, a 2-year-old male Shiz Tsu, jumped off a recliner at his family’s home in Homosassa after hearing the doorbell ring. Almost immediately, he became acutely paralyzed and had no bowel or urinary control. He was immediately suffering from dog paralysis. Blu's family took him to two different conventional veterinarians for evaluation and treatment. As they soon discovered, the only available treatment options are steroids, muscles relaxers, and surgery. This is very often the case in conventional veterinary care. Both of the veterinarians told Blu’s family that, due to the severity of his injuries, the only long-term option would be surgery, followed by a lengthy period of rehabilitation. But, they were cautioned that even after undergoing the lengthy and expensive surgery/rehabilitation process – there would still be no guarantee of a full recovery for Blu.
Integrative veterinary treatments:
Hoping to find an alternative to surgery and prescription medications for Blu, his owners brought him to see Dr. Trish. After evaluating Blu’s condition, Dr. Trish designed a treatment program. The treatment plan for Blu included both Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulation (VOM) and Low-Level Laser treatments. As you can see in the accompanying video, in the course of just over four weeks Dr. Trish was able to restore most of Blu’s ability to walk and his quality of life. In addition, she was also able to slowly wean him off all of the steroids and muscle-relaxants that he had been taking prior to coming to The Healing Place.
At The Healing Place, we will take the time to not only treat these types of injuries(dog paralysis), but also to show our pet owners the many things that they can do to care for their pets at home. These activities include specific stretching and massage techniques to help rehabilitate an injured pet or to prevent future injuries,
The following video short video shows Blu's progression.
Contact The Healing Place to get started with integrative veterinary care. Learn more about the products and services we offer. Dr. Trish has had amazing success in treating dog paralysis in a number of dogs.
Read additional articles by Dr. Trish below:
- Choosing a breed of dog or cat
- General care
- Choice of veterinary care
- Treatment choices
- Vaccines and Titers
Dr. Trish Kallenbach DVM, CVCP has been providing exceptional holistic veterinary care for nearly two decades, continually expanding her training and treatment knowledge. She is an active member of AVMA, AHVMA, and FVMA.