Reilly is a 2-yr-old Labrador Retriever who was referred to BVNS by Dr. DeChant of Goochland Animal Clinic for intermittently holding up his right pelvic limb, keeping his tail curled up over his back or between his legs where it is usually down or flat, hunching his back, and generally just acting “off” at daycare. When Reilly presented to his referring veterinarian one morning he was able to use his pelvic limbs, but by that afternoon he was no longer standing.
BAVI initially performed a thoraco-lumbar MRI and Dr. Young found significant inflammation in his spinal cord. Some of his spinal fluid was sent out for infectious disease testing and he was sent home that night on antibiotics and steroids while we waited for the results. The following day his condition deteriorated drastically and he started knuckling in all four limbs and by the end of the day he was no longer able to support his own weight. He was arching his neck and back, had developed diarrhea, lost a significant amount of weight, and continued to be very weak in all four limbs. He was hospitalized and started on fluids and intravenous pain medications.
Fortunately, Reilly is doing well today because Dr. Young was able to diagnose him with a protozoal disease called Sarcocystis that many believed could only affect horses. Thankfully, today we know that canines can in fact succumb to this debilitating disease and we know how to treat it. Reilly is the living proof! Today he is moving around like his old self again! He’s eating and drinking normally and he finally seems comfortable again. Mom’s biggest concern now is about when she can increase his activity level back to where it used to be and let him run around like his old goofy, Labrador self again!