The cause of this disease is unknown. It is believed to be a immune-mediated disease with antibodies directed at the dog's own peripheral nerves. This illness is not limited to Coonhounds.
Paralysis begins as weakness in the hind quarters and progresses forward until the dog is unable to stand. During this time, the dog remains anxious but alert. The paralysis can affect the muscles involved in respiration and swallowing. It reaches its peak at about 10 days. Muscle atrophy may be dramatic.
The agent triggering the immune reaction may be a virus or bacteria. It occurs most often in hunting dogs one to two weeks after having had contact with a raccoon.
Good nursing care is the main treatment. Full recovery may take weeks or months.
Please contact your veterinarian form more information regarding this condition.
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