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Dr. John
Dr. John, Texas Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 5542
Experience:  Over 14 years of clinical veterinary experience
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My dog has Paralysis in his hind for three weeks now.

Customer Question

My dog has Paralysis in his hind for three weeks now. Symptoms started occurring after he went swimming in a river near where I just moved to. The animal hospital did an MRI, Ultrasound, and blood tests and were not able to give a diagnosis. They think it is a bacterial infection and he has been on prednisone.
Are there supplements that I can give him that will help if it is a bacterial infection? He has not shown any signs of improvement. Is there anything I can do?
Here part of the discharge summary from the hospital:
I. CHIEF CONCERN: Down in the hind end
HISTORY: Floyd, a 10-year-old male castrated Labrador Retriever, presented to the TAMU Small Animal
Emergency service due to the inability to use his back legs. He was then transferred to our Neurology
service the next morning. Mr. Carroll reported that about 10 days ago Floyd went swimming and then
became ill (vomiting and diarrhea) that evening. Over the next 2 days Mr. Carroll noticed that Floyd was
becoming progressively weak in the hind end and last Friday he was unable to walk. On Friday 7/15/16,
Floyd was taken to another emergency clinic where he was diagnosed with muscle weakness and
prescribed carprofen, as well as, tramadol. Floyd was able to walk for 2 days but on Monday he was
unable to walk again. Floyd has had a decreased appetite since Monday but will eat table scraps. Floyd
also developed bloody urine about 2 days ago. Between Monday and presentation to TAMU ER he was
only urinating when his owner would pick him up by his belly. He did not defecate during this time. He has
been otherwise healthy until this episode. His last dose of carprofen was about 2 days prior to presentation.
IV. DIAGNOSTICS (Official Reports Provided in Appendix)
a. Standard Blood Work
i. Complete blood count- consistent with stress leukogram
ii.Serum biochemistry- within normal limits
b. Urinalysis- blood present, saved for culture
c. Cerebrospinal fluid analysis- Eosinophilic pleocytosis- most consistent with
infectious/inflammatory cause
d. Infectious disease testing:
i. Aspergillus: negative
ii.Blastomycosis- negative
iii. Coccidioidomycosis AGID- negative
iv. Cryptococcus Antigen Latex Test- negative
i. Histoplasmosis- negative
v.Neospora caninum IFA- negative
vi. Toxoplasmosis IgG- negative
vii. Toxoplasmosis IgM- negative
e. Diagnostic imaging
i. Radiography- chest radiographs within normal limits
ii.Ultrasound- mild enlargement of the medial iliac lymph node, most likely
reactive. Small hyperechoic nodule in the liver.
iii. Magnetic resonance imaging- Hyperintense spina
a. Visit summary:
Floyd presented to TAMU ER with the inability to move his hind limbs on his own on 6/22/16. On
presentation, he was non-ambulatory parapalegic in the hind limbs with superficial pain still intact. Floyd
also had decreased to absent reflexes in his hind limbs. His withdrawal reflex was completely absent.
When he presented to the Neurology service the next morning, he underwent an MRI for further
diagnosis. It was found that although he had multiple disc protrusions, they were non-compressive and
therefore were not causing his clinical signs. The main lesion presented as a hyperintensity in his spinal
cord in the T2-T10 region of his thoracic vertebra. Originally it was thought to be either neoplastic or
infectious/inflammatory in origin. On Monday, 7/25/16, Floyd was scheduled for an abdominal ultrasound
to look for a primary tumor that may have caused metastasis to the spinal cord. Floyd's ultrasound was
Page 4
within normal limits with the exception of a mildly enlarged lymph node (likely reactive) and an incidental
nodule in the liver. Based on these results and the eosinophillic CSF result, our likely differentials
included infectious/inflammatory in nature. Blood was drawn and submitted to test for several infectious
agents (protozoal, fungal, tickborne) since Floyd and his owners have traveled to Chicago, San
Francisco, Costa Rica, and West Texas. Floyd was negative for heartworm and all tickborne diseases.
Floyd was also negative the remaining infectious disease tests, thus his clinical signs are likely immune
mediated in nature.
While in hospital, Floyd was on injectable pain medication and injectable antibiotics (given
prophylactically to treat for infectious disease). He was also started on prednisone to reduce
inflammation. Floyd was given recumbency care and his bladder was expressed every 6 hours. He was
also given anti-anxiety medication to keep him comfortable in the hospital. His neurologic exam stayed
mostly the same for the first few days of treatment with very few reflexes present in his hind limbs. On
7/27/16, Floyd started to develop stronger reflexes in the hind limbs and he was able to withdraw for the first time. On 7/28/16, his withdrawal response was stronger and he had a cranial tibial reflex for the first time.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Rebecca replied 1 year ago.


I am so sorry to hear about Floyd. My name is Rebecca. I am a veterinarian and will do my best to help.

How is he doing now? I only see how he was doing up until July 27, when he was starting to show some small signs of improvement. What medications is he taking now? Is he any better than he was on July 27?