Beaker”, 2 yr. old., NM Beagle owned by Cascade Beagle Rescue
Diagnosis: Traumatic spinal injury and hemorrhage
Case Summary: patient presented with paralysis of hind legs and pain in mid-lower spine.
Neurologist's findings: no deep pain awareness in pelvic limbs and tail, pain on lumbar spine palpation, overfilled bladder, no evidence of spinal fracture. MRI showed diffuse spinal cord hemorrhage along the thoracolumbar spine. Patient was provided with supportive care for 3 days following injury. Patient was then noted to have deep and superficial pain awareness in hind limbs but still lacked conscious proprioception and voluntary motor control. Patient was discharged and referred for rehabilitation.
Initial rehab exam was performed 20 days following original injury. Beaker showed ability to bear weight on hind limbs but prorogation was very limited. Rehab plan included: 1) home exercise program to increase strength, awareness, and flexibility 2) in-clinic hydrotherapy sessions in underwater treadmill twice weekly, 3) supplementation with Synod G and B vitamins, 4) and a medication regimen which included steroids, muscle relaxants and analgesics.
Within 4 weeks of starting the exercise program Beaker became independently mobile although he still had some mild ataxia (uncoordinated gait in rear legs). Continence had significantly improved. He required less medication. There was mild intermittent rib and spinal stiffness.
Within 14 weeks of beginning therapy, Beaker was discharged to go to a new home. His strength and endurance allowed him to walk up to 20 minutes in the water treadmill. His gait was only slightly jerky at a walk, but had the ability to run and climb stairs and go over obstacles. He seemed happy and was no longer on any medications. His prognosis for a full recovery is good.
For more information about Beaker a.k.a. Braveheart link to http://www.cascaderescue.org . This story has a happy ending, but is a tough story to read. So get your Kleenex ready.