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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 33257
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
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Hi in asking about a rescue dog when found she seemed in perfect

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Hi in asking about a rescue dog when found she seemed in perfect health but couple of weeks latet she suddenly cant get up she can move all her legs but cant get up. The extreme suddeness made us suspect it was vestibular. Initial improvement but still ataxic, paralysis on right side of face. She can move all legs but can't get up. Didnt respond to antibiotics or steroids. The specialist did a csf - all negative. Also ran bloods - all normal except anaplasmosis and low plts

Aloha! You're speaking to Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry to hear of this with your rescue. The paralysis on the right side of her face is likely to be a facial nerve paralysis which as an idiopathic (unknown cause) disorder won't cause her ataxia and inability to rise. Facial paralysis can, however, exist concomitantly with disorders of the central nervous system such as neoplasia, encephalitis, trauma, and polyneuropathies.

Anaplasmosis can cause ataxia but I would have expected to see lethargy, fever, and lameness slowly developing prior to the advent of ataxia. In addition, no response to doxycycline or tetracycline should preclude the diagnosis of anaplasmosis. A normal CSF tap and blood leads us to consider a polyneuropathy or acute idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis which might be a challenge to clarify. Polyradiculoneuritis can present as acute-onset tetraparesis/tetraplegia in as little as 72 hours. Polyradiculoneuritis is a diagnosis of exclusion. A working clinical diagnosis is based on the typical clincal presentation of an acute-onset lower motor neuron paraparesis/plegia that rapidly progresses to tetraparesis/plegia.

I'm sorry that I can't be more specific for you. Her presentation requires advanced testing (electromyography and nerve conduction velocity studies, e.g.) which aren't available readily. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Would she be able to move her legs though? She can move all her legs but cant get up. Hasnt had any doxycycline could it still be a bacterial infection?
Yes, a -plegia defines a weakness in which motor ability is preserved. A -paresis, however, defines paralysis in which motor ability is lost. Yes, there are bacterial infections such as those caused by ticks (anaplasmosis, babesiosis/ piroplasmosis, ehrlichiosis e.g.) that only respond satisfactorily to doxycycline or tetracycline. I would be surprised if a tick-borne infection would cause such profound morbidity (symptoms) in your rescue, however. Because there's little to lose, initiating doxycycline therapy at a dose of 5-10mg/kg every 12 hours for 14-21 days would be prudent.

Please continue our conversation if you wish.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks i will
The lady at the rescue dealing
With it its spain ticks galore in this heat it wouldnt suprise me if se had tock paralysis and still had some
Ticks in her
Once ticks are removed, dogs suffering tick paralysis should recover within 24 hours.

I'm going to check back with you in a few days for an update. Feel free to return to our conversation - even after rating - prior to my contacting you if you wish.
Dr. Michael Salkin and 3 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you for your kind accept. I appreciate it. I'll speak to you soon.

Please disregard the info request.
May I have an update, please?