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My 7 year old Border Collie/Red Heeler dog suddenly became…

My 7 year old Border...
My 7 year old Border Collie/Red Heeler dog suddenly became paralyzed a week ago. We found her down in the pasture unable to get to the house. She couldn't urinate at all the first 3 days, although she had bowel movements. She would not eat or drink. After about 3-4 days she started drinking water and ate a tiny bit. Then for the next 3 days she would drink but not eat. I tried feeding her ground hamburger today. She wouldn't touch it. I tried chicken and she gobbled it right up. I have to help her urinate twice a day, but the last couple of days she has been going some on her own. Is there any hope her paralysis will go away?
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Answered in 25 minutes by:
11/13/2014
Dr. Whitehead
Dr. Whitehead, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 4,055
Experience: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, internship trained, with 5 years of experience in high quality practice treating dogs, cats, and some exotics.
Verified
Hello there. My name is***** and I am very sorry to hear about Dakota. These situations are so tough because they come on so suddenly and require a ton of nursing care. The hard thing to determine is the chance of recovery because the underlying cause is not known. When paralysis sets in this suddenly we think about it being caused by a clot (stroke) of sorts called a Fibrocartelogenous embolism or FCE. These cut off blood supply to the spinal chord resulting in sudden and severe paralysis. In some instances its just the back legs or all four legs or even just one. Although something else like a tumor or trauma cannot be ruled out without imaging such as MRI or CT scan. So having her seen by the vet is recommended to at least take spinal x rays to make sure there is no break in her back. If there is a break in her back or a tumor then chances of recovery are slim to none unfortunately. But if this is a clot or a stroke then there is a decent chance that with time (4 to 6 weeks or longer) that she could show recovery. The hard part is not knowing how much recovery will occur. Usually it is not 100% and she will always have some handicaps. But if she is comfortable and eating and drinking and you are willing to do the nursing care it is worth giving her a couple weeks to see if there are any signs of recovery. Keeping her clean and dry is important and helping her urinate is obviously very important. Daily massaging of her muscles and range of motion exercises are important. That is just taking her legs and moving them in a natural motion for a few minutes a few times a day each. With little signs of improvement there are better chances of her improving. Again it is impossible to know how much she will recovery but it is worth trying if she shows signs of improvement even if slow. Again having her seen by your vet is helpful to rule out things that she cannot recovery from. Also I have had small success using steroids in some of these clots and paralysis cases so discuss that with your vet. But again is worth a try if willing to do the nursing care and if she is eating and drinking.

I hope this helps and I hope this makes sense. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have any further questions or concerns. I would be happy to help. Please do not forget to rate my response so I receive credit for my time.

Dr. Whitehead
Dr. Whitehead, Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 4,055
Experience: Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, internship trained, with 5 years of experience in high quality practice treating dogs, cats, and some exotics.
Verified
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Customer reply replied 3 years ago

Thank you so much for your time and expert opinion. It has helped a lot.

You are very welcome. I wish you and Dakota the best. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have further questions or concerns.
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