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Acute Polyradiculoneuritis (Coonhound Paralysis)

By: Dr. Erika de Papp

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Optimal treatment for your pet requires a combination of home and professional veterinary care. Follow-up can be critical, especially if your pet does not improve over the expected time frame.

This disease generally follows a long course. Once the pet is stable, much of the supportive care will be done at home. This can be a real challenge, especially in large dogs. If supported in an upright position, most dogs can drink and eat on their own. To avoid the risk of inhaling their meals, it's imperative to keep your pet upright while eating and drinking. Additionally, offering water frequently is important to prevent dehydration.

Infections associated with the respiratory tract, skin and urinary tract are possible concerns in bedridden patients. Signs to watch for that may be an indicator of infection include cough, nasal discharge, labored breathing, rashes or irritated skin, blood in the urine or apparent straining to urinate. Any of these symptoms should prompt a call to your veterinarian.

Follow-up care with your veterinarian allows assessment of improving neurologic function. Additionally, infection may be discovered earlier if your pet is evaluated by your veterinarian at regular intervals during the illness.

Relapses or recurrence of disease are not uncommon, so dogs that develop disease following raccoon exposure should be retired from hunting.

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