07 February, 2008

Is a Coon Hound really a Coon Hound if there is no test??

Well, I almost can't believe what has happened over the last few days! It's now Thursday and the past couple of days have been a series of amazing feats for Kiera.

Tuesday, I took her to my normal vet who was finally back from 5 weeks of holiday. He is one of the few Homeopathic vets in New Zealand and has been her vet for the past 4 years. Brett had been reading the specialists notes on Kiera and then listened to what I had to say about her health and lead up to her paralysis. He told me that Kiera was probably put in to the "too hard basket" because she didn't really fit into any category with her symptoms. He said that some vets diagnose Coon Hound Paralysis as a last option when in reality they have absoultely no idea what is going on. That made me come to some questions - if there is no test to diagnose Coon Hound Paralysis (or Acute Idiopathic Polyradiculoneuritis when the animal has had no exposure to a Raccoon) is it really what Kiera has? How many dogs have been diagnosed with it when it isn't what they have? Is there really some other form of treatment than rest and Physiotherapy?

Brett, in his usual way, didn't really care what the specialist vet had to say about what Kiera had or didn't have. He cares about correcting the symptoms he sees with complimentary homeopathic remedies. Basically, doing SOMETHING is better than doing nothing. He prescribed a specific mixture for Kiera - Gelsinium and Plumbum mixed together at 30c (this is a measurement - not a temperature). The Gelsinium will help with her neurological transmitters and the Plumbum will give her strength in her legs. She takes it twice a day, well, I actually have to trick her into having it because she HATES it!!! There is alcohol in the base and she can't stand it. Putting a glass dropper into a dogs mouth who is shaking her head violently is not really the best thing to do. The way I get around this is I put the drops on my finger and rub my finger on her nose or around her mouth. Then she licks it off - good enough!

So, here is a breakdown of Kiera's progress.....

Monday, she sat up on her own and walked with only support on her hind legs after Hydrotherapy.

Tuesday, she took steps on her own after I helped her up.

Wednesday, she was able to get up on her own and took steps walked to her food bowl herself. Isn't food a great motivator??? We had some friends and their kids come over in the afternoon. Kiera always loves company so she was pretty happy. The kids went down to see our chooks and the chooks freaked out a bit because the kids were being noisey and walking around the coop. We had left Kiera upstairs and she was howling to come downstairs with us when she heard the commotion. I went upstairs and put her sling on her hind legs and she RAN down the hill to the back yard. I had to pull as hard as I could to get her to slow down.

She isn't 100% yet, but the leaps and bounds she is coming along in is amazing! I said to everyone, because Kiera went down on the anniversary of my Mom's death, I was determined that she was going to be walking on her own by Mom's birthday. Today is her birthday. We have Hydrotherapy in 2 hours, lets see what today brings.

This photo is what we saw driving to see Kiera at the vet the second day she was sick - was it a sign? The rainbow was in the cloud......

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

I am so glad to hear about Kiera's progress!

I agree that coonhound paralysis may be a "catch-all" when vets don't know what's going on. However, that might not be too bad. After they have eliminated all the things that do have tests, if they call it coonhound paralysis, at least the owners can find out that the prognosis is good with patient nursing and physical therapy. It would be far worse if the vet said "I don't know what's going on, the dog will probably die, so you might as well put it out of its misery."

Good luck to you and Kiera; I'll check back.