Onset of the symptom may occur rapidly, but in many cases, they are progressive, worsening over the course of days and weeks as the paralysis spreads from the back legs through the body, and the respiratory system becomes more impaired. If the inflammation has progressed to the point that your dog is having difficulty breathing, it may need to be hospitalized for few days until it is fully out of danger.
Some patients can develop severe respiratory problems, requiring ventilator support until the system has recovered enough for the dog to breath easily again. Because affected animals are often not able to drink water, your veterinarian will also administer intravenous fluids if your dog has become dehydrated. Depending on how far the disease has progressed, your dog may also need physiotherapy because of generalized muscle atrophy.
Living and Management
Good home nursing care is mandatory for speedy and successful recovery. Some affected dogs may require special consideration for proper feeding and drinking; you may even need to feed your dog by hand for a few days until it is able to eat on its own again. Rest is essential, and the easiest way to achieve is that is by setting aside a quiet, comfortable space in the home, away from entry ways and heavy use rooms, where your dog can recover. Do not allow the dog to get overexcited, or be bothered by active children or other pets. If it is difficult to limit your dog's movement, cage rest may be considered a more practical option.
While your dog is resting, make sure to check in throughout the day, turning it from one side to the other about every four hours in order to prevent pressure sores, which can result from prolonged rest in one position. Regular bathing is also required to prevent urine and fecal scalding. During the recovery period, stay close to home, with just short, slow outdoor trips for urinary and bowel relief. If your dog is too paralyzed to walk, you may need to consult with your veterinarian about the need for a catheter.
Your veterinarian will brief you on the physiotherapy protocols to prevent further aggravation of weakened muscles, but massaging the muscles and gently stretching the dog's limbs will help to keep the muscles from atrophying excessively.
You may need to take your dog to veterinary physiotherapist for physiotherapy sessions over the course of several months. Stay in touch with your veterinarian, discussing any complications you may notice overtime and progress your dog is making. You may need to take your dog to a veterinarian for a regular progress evaluation every two to three weeks.
Recovery is different for individual dogs. Some may begin to recover quickly, within days and weeks, while others never completely recover. At home care and therapy is essential, in either case.
An in-depth examination of the properties of urine; used to determine the presence or absence of illness
Relating to a disease of unknown origin, which may or may not have arisen spontaneously
The wasting away of certain tissues; a medical condition that occurs when tissues fail to grow.
Term used to imply that a situation or condition is more severe than usual; also used to refer to a disease having run a short course or come on suddenly.
The term used to describe the movement of an animal