Intensive Functional Neurorehabilitation and Follow-up of 84 Paraplegic Dogs Affected by Intervertebral Disc Disease
BackgroundThe objectives of this study were to verify whether the functionality obtained with functional neurorehabilitation intensive protocols (FNRIP) improve ambulation, promoting a new therapeutic approach, and understand the expected time for functional recovery. Furthermore, to know whether "spinal reflex" locomotion could be a functional locomotory pattern, which may improve the quality of life.A controlled prospective clinical study using a large cohort of 84 dogs comprising mostly
... prising mostly chondrodystrophic-breeds. The dogs were diagnosed with T10-L3 Hansen Type I, using computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging, and treated with hemilaminectomy. All had postsurgical neurological stage 0 or 1, according to the Open Field Score (OFS), and showed either an absent or decreased flexor peripheral reflex. All patients were subjected to FNRIP within a maximum of 3 months, data were recorded on days 1,3,7,15,30,45,60,75, 90 and patients were followed-up after 8-10 days, at 1 and 6 months, and in some cases, after 1 and 2 years. ResultsFifty-one dogs were admitted with an OFS of 1 and were discharged with an OFS of 13 (100% functionality). Of the 29 dogs that were admitted with an OFS 0, 16 were discharged (55%) in an ambulatory state, of which six dogs recovered deep pain perception (DPP) after 4 weeks, and 10 showed functional "spinal reflex" locomotion. 79.3% of these dogs achieved autonomous miction. The results were time-limited, as they were recorded within 2 to 3 months, with follow-up until 6 months. A pattern of sustained functional "spinal reflex" locomotion was observed in 30% of the dogs observed over 2 years.ConclusionsThe FNRIP are viable to regain independence and quality of life in paraplegic dogs with/without DPP, secondary to acute Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).