Coonhound Paralysis? aka acute idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis

  1. Ok gals, this is a remote one, but has anyone here ever heard of "coonhood paralysis"???

    It's technically called "acute idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis" I think.

    The onset has been linked to racoon bites in hunting dogs, but also as an nerve immune problem with no known external cause.

  2. I have not come across with this diagnosis during my years as a RVT, but I take it is a neurological disorder? Lizavet8?
  3. OMG, where are you guys getting this stuff (LOL)

    What do you want to know?
  4. So my 12 yr old female Weim, Lexi, was just diagnosed with Coonhound Paralysis/Disease.

    The onset was fairly rapid:

    she was a bit wobbly early Saturday evening and within an hour she was unable to stand. The paralysis progressed rapidly after that and by the time we left the emergency vet at 2am she wasn't responding to pain stimulous.

    At that time we had no idea what was going. Since our dogs live inside there was almost zero chance that she ate anything untoward, so we were ruling out poison. Her blood panel was normal. No spinal or other ortho injuries.

    Monday we rushed her up to her vet and he said, "Coonhound Paralysis".


    So this is what I know:

    Coonhound paralysis is also termed Idiopathic Polyradiculoneuritis, and is essentially a sudden onset inflammation of the nerves outside of the spinal cord and brain.

    It is termed coonhound paralysis since the condition was first recognized in coonhounds, which as the name implies, is a breed that is a coon hunter. Some cases have a history of contact with raccoons, or perhaps raccoon saliva, but some do not have a clear history of exposure.

    The source of this condition is still somewhat of a mystery, but current opinion favors this being an auto-immune condition. This means that the body recognizes itself as foreign, and mounts a reaction against itself; as it would to a bacteria or virus invader.

    Recover prognosis is very good.

    But what we don't know is HOW LONG she will be paralyzed.

    I used to be heavily involved in the local Northern CA dog clubs, hunt trails, etc but my network of Dog People has never dealt with this :sad:

    If anyone knows anyone that has ever seen this, please please let me know....

  5. The prognosis for this disease is very good. As you have probably surmised, there is more we don't know about this disease than we know! The closest correspondant human syndrome is Guillian-Barre. There isn't much treatment except time....for mildly affected dogs, several weeks, for the severe cases, as long as several months. The greatest danger would be respiratory issues if neurological function of the respiratory system is affected.

    Did they do a CSF tap?
  6. They did not do a tap. My vet has seen this before and he was fairly certain and we were reluctant to do something that invasive :sad:

    Have you had any direct experience with dogs that come down with this?

    It is heartbreaking to see my sweet girl unable to move :push:

    Although, this morning she actually lifted her free leg and tail-stub when she had to pee!!!
  7. I am so sorry to hear your girl is down with this disease. I hope she has a speedy and full recovery.
  8. Where I practice, it is relatively rare-I have seen tick paralysis and botulism, both of which look similar. I talked to a vet friend-she said all hers have done well.
    The main thing to worry about will be urine scalding and bladder infections-uncomfortable but not serious. Make sure she has a nice, soft bed. I'm so sorry she's down-I know how disheartening it can be. I'm thinking of you guys!
  9. Thanks NW!!! :heart:

    Thanks Liza!! It's a bit reassuring to know that someone else has heard of this. It sounds like a made-up disease :rolleyes: But it's very real and it's very distressing.

    DH made her a cart with a little bucket at one end :shame:

    We are just taking things one day at a time...
  10. Is there any chance of this spreading to your other dogs?
  11. I pray not!! This is truly horrifying.

    Weimaraners have a history of auto-immune disorders. In fact, when she was a pup we spread all her vaccines, so instead of a DHLPP, she got a D one week, then an H the next week, and so on. Vaccines are thought to harm the immune systems later in pets' lives, particularly Lepto.

    But she hasn't had a vaccine in the last six months, and no known contact with a raccoon (unless it was she saw one on Animal Planet whilst she was lounging on the couch!! LOL). So who knows :shrugs: