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Head trauma? Paralysis, head tilt, etc.

la_solitaria
April 12th, 2009, 12:17 AM
Yesterday, Friday, I had left my 5 1/2 yr old min pin at a friend's house when she called me to tell my my dog had fallen off the sofa onto the tile floor and was not moving. Not knowing what was going on, I told her to try to slide something under her w/out moving her and meet me at emergency vet ASAP.

Upon arriving at vet, my dog responded to my voice and tried to get up, sort of thrashed around a bit but couldn't stand up. At this point her eyes were dilated and fixed-if I remember correctly - her tongue was hanging out and she was whining.

Doc almost immediately said that there was no spinal injury. I can't even recall if they have done x-rays, but I would assume they would have as I signed the treatment form w/ all their initial recommendations. At first the doc felt that it was some sort of seizure, as he didn't think such a short fall could cause any harm. They did, however, start treating her for brain swelling and had to work to bring body temp up.

A neurologist looked at her today and said that he thought it was indeed head trauma. Today, approx 15 hrs after accident, my dog was still out of it. Her pupils were no longer dilated, she does seem to try to look at me and respond somewhat to other things, but otherwise still out to lunch. Her tongue is back in and she has her swallow reflexes. She has eaten, according to tech. No vomiting, no involuntary loss of bowels/bladder, no seizures. She has a head tilt to the right and her front legs aren't working. She seemed to be able to stand on the back, but her front legs are rigid. She will try to stand - with her back and her head curved to the right and just fall over. When I held her she just wanted to lean against me on her right side and would often twist her head back. She seemed to be shivering, though they said her temp was stable. Tonight 24 hrs later, they said no marked improvement - maybe slight and certainly no worse.

At this point I have declined the spinal tap and MRI and requested they continue treatment as for head trauma. I felt that she was perfectly fine up to this incident. I can think of only one instance a couple weeks ago of strange behavior coinciding w/ a drop in barometric pressure, she didn't want to go on a walk. She just sat down and seemed be in pain and to not want to move much. Shortly after giving her a dog aspirin she was fine and no problems before that or since then. I am already spending thousands and these procedures would have quadrupled my bill. I simply don't have the room on my credit card, am in between jobs and in between places to stay (I lived at my last job, lost job and home). However, I want to do whatever to help my dog get better. I would like to know the following things:
1). Can a 1 1/2 ft fall onto tile really cause such brain trauma?
2). How likely is it that there is some disease or disorder or tumor? She is up to date on all shots and spends only enough time outside for walks and potty. Like I said, other than that one morning no other symptoms or odd behavior before this.
3). Is it necessary to have spinal tap or MRI? What info would I get from this or how likely is it that it will change course of treatment?
4). How long is the typical course of treatment for a dog with this sort of injury? I will be leaving her at emergency vet over weekend to continue w/ antiswelling drugs and oxygen therapy.
5). How likely that my Baby will recover?
6). Assuming this is indeed the head trauma, what part of the brain is affected. From what I have read it seemed to be the brain stem, but the doc said frontal lobe. Any other opinions? Should I be worried about anything other than head trauma from the fall?

Thanks for your help!

Mat&Murph
April 12th, 2009, 01:43 AM
I am sorry for your troubles!!! :grouphug: You did the right thing by taking your baby to vet right away!! Hope things get better for you

LavenderRott
April 12th, 2009, 06:47 AM
I don't know the answer to all your questions - but as for the first question - YOU BET! It isn't so much the distance of the fall but the force and location of the landing. It is entirely possible that had he hit his head in a different spot, he would be perfectly fine.

You did exactly the right thing by rushing him to the vet. I certainly hope that he recovers.

bambee
April 12th, 2009, 07:32 AM
1). Can a 1 1/2 ft fall onto tile really cause such brain trauma?
2). How likely is it that there is some disease or disorder or tumor? She is up to date on all shots and spends only enough time outside for walks and potty. Like I said, other than that one morning no other symptoms or odd behavior before this.
3). Is it necessary to have spinal tap or MRI? What info would I get from this or how likely is it that it will change course of treatment?
4). How long is the typical course of treatment for a dog with this sort of injury? I will be leaving her at emergency vet over weekend to continue w/ antiswelling drugs and oxygen therapy.
5). How likely that my Baby will recover?
6). Assuming this is indeed the head trauma, what part of the brain is affected. From what I have read it seemed to be the brain stem, but the doc said frontal lobe. Any other opinions? Should I be worried about anything other than head trauma from the fall?

Thanks for your help!


1. Depending on the fall, which part of the head got hit. Did he fall head first? It is possible that that will cause trauma.
2. I think only the tests will give you the answer whether there is a tumor or disorder.
3. I'd go for the MRI. That will show you whether there is bleeding inside. Or tumor.
4. Sorry no idea. A couple of weeks perhaps. Depends on the extent of the injury.
5. Again, depending on the injury.
6. Trauma will be the part of the head which got hit during the fall.

I was also thinking about seizures. But it doesn't sound like it.

I hope your dog will get well soon!

Kahne9Lover
April 12th, 2009, 09:57 AM
Sorry about your baby. :grouphug: Do you think it is possible the fall itself was caused by a neurological incident of some sort? A stroke perhaps, and that the fall was result? Maybe you could contact a university vet hospital and see if they have lower costs for the testing. :pray:for a speedy recovery.