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Paralyzed Dogs Have Hope With New Research

The American Animal Hospital Association reports on new research to help paralyzed dogs to walk again.


Sharon Seltzer, a writer for the AAHA website, discussed the results of preliminary research studies into paraplegic dogs that sound promising inn a recent article on their site.

Paralysis in dogs is commonly caused by physical trauma, such as from a car accident or injury, strokes, disc problems, degenerative myelopathy and more. Research at both North Carolina State University and Iowa State University are looking into ways that the brain and spine can work together without the normal physical processes in play due to damage.

Drs. Natasha Olby and Ji-Hey Lim at North Carolina State University's Canine Spinal Cord Injury Program, are looking into the use of the 4-AP drug to repair nerve signals to the brain. In an initial study with 19 dogs who were believed to be permanently paralyzed, the dogs were given 4-AP and the doctors were thrilled to find that ALL 19 of the dogs improved and even walked a few steps without aide. Some of the dogs were even able to walk on a treadmill after the treatment. They are currently working on further studies looking into additional issues for recovery such as the dogs' genetics and specific treatment plans for each dog's needs.

Meanwhile at Iowa State University, Drs. Nicholas Jeffery and Hilary Hu are leading the Clinical Trial on Paralysis in Dogs. This is a three-year study exploring the efficacy of using the drug chondroitinase combined with physical therapy for paralyzed dogs. At least 60 dogs are involved in the study with more to come. (If you live in Iowa and would like to involve your dog, contact the researchers.)

This is great news for owners of dogs suffering from paralysis and we hope for more promising results from these researchers to come!

Photo credit: Gli Animali vengono verso di Noi, se li chiamiamo per Nome. via photopin(license)

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