There are many treatment options out there, no matter what the condition is. The purpose of this page is to provide you with knowledge of your options. The truth is that there are many vets who don't realize there are options out there to recommend to their patients, and there are also many managed vet practices and managed vet hospital practices that have a policy not to recommend patients (customers) to their competition, even if it's the best option for the patient. There are still plenty of amazing vets and specialists who will bend over backwards to find the best specialists in the world to help, but the more information you are armed with, the better equipped you are to get the best possible care for your pup, even if your vet is in a situation where they don't know or can't refer. A lot of vets are thankful to have their clients do their own research and even help provide them with new information too! So don't be afraid to speak up, question things, do your own research and fight for what you believe to be right, and always follow your Gut Feeling. If something doesn't feel right - listen to that gut... find another specialist, another hospital, or if you feel something is weird with your pup get to the vet hospital ASAP - better safe than sorry.
Before making ANY decisions, make sure you have gotten a PROPER Diagnosis from a Veterinary Neurologist.. If you don't have one within 3-5 hours.. On our Find A Veterinary Neurologist Page there are listings for Veterinary Neurologists who will do consultations with you and your vet (BE A PART OF THIS - don't just rely on your vet - you're paying for the consult - you have every right to be on that call! Plus you need to hear the knowledge first hand. Take Notes, and don't be afraid to ask if you can record the call and then ask for a copy of the neurologist's write up so you have the information handy. Chances are this will all go over your head because so much is going on and you'll need to look back at your notes.
It's ideal though to go to a Veterinary Neurologist and get a formal diagnosis from them.. THEN they will go over treatment options with you and you can ask about other options.. Keeping in mind that if their hospital doesn't offer something, they may not be allowed to recommend it or suggest /refer you because of the hospital policy. Don't be afraid to do your own research and don't be afraid to get 2nd opinions if something doesn't feel right, and don't be afraid to ask for your records and go to another neurologist or specialist who provides the other service.. It's ok to have extra neurologists on your team.. If you work with multiple neurologists they WILL work together, but you may need to be the person taking the lead.
After your Veterinary Neurologist examines your pet and determines the cause of the paralysis they may recommend Bed Rest.
Physical Therapy, also known as Physiotherapy in other parts of the world is extremely important in helping your dog rehabilitate, maintain strength and regain mobility.
Hyperbaric Oyxgen Therapy or HBOT or HBO is a non-invasive treatment that delivers oxygen into the mitochondria of cells and helps tissue heal and helps new stem cells regenerate naturally. This is an amazing tool used to repair nerve damage, brain damage and regrow other damaged tissues. It also can speed up the time of recovery. There are some conditions you need to be aware of that would keep one from being a candidate for HBOT, but if you or your pup is a candidate, this is an amazing tool to help with all causes of paralysis including Degenerative Myelopathy, infections, tick paralysis, toxicity, and pain management More on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT )
Regenerative Therapies may be another option you want to discuss with your veterinary neurologist or veterinary orthopedist depending on the condition. These therapies include Stem Cell Therapy, and Platelet Rich Plasma (or PRP) . Here is an article on Regenerative Therapy that may be of interest to Pet Owners (and people!)
Depending on the condition, it may be appropriate to administer specific antibiotics, or antiviral, or anti-coagulants, or coagulants or anti-inflammatory medication, but only after a Neurological consult.
Surgery is often the last possible thing a neurologist wants to do. If your regular vet immediately tells you this is your only option, you absolutely want to make sure you see a neurologist. The last thing that should be done is any cutting.
If there is a mass causing the paralysis radiation therapy is a great option. It is 100% non-invasive. There are some amazing technologies out there like Cyberknife, Stereotactic Radio Surgery (SRS), and TrueBeam and some others That will zap that mass in 1-3 15min sessions without any side effects.
After consulting with a neurologist and getting a formal diagnosis a good TCVM veterinarian (someone who is a regular vet but has gone through an additional 3+ years of training in Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) may be appropriate in conjunction with other treatments, or potentially as your only treatment depending on the diagnosis. TCVM is comprised of 4 core modalities: Acupuncture, Tua-na Massage, Herbal Therapy, and Food Therapy and has been around for 1000's of years and is highly effective for treating certain conditions and supporting the body through all conditions. Please see our page on TCVM (coming soon... )