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Concussion Recovery?
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Concussion Recovery?

My GF's toy Yorkie was spooked and fell off my dining room table this morning where he landed on flat his right side. She brought him to me as he was unresponsive, not breathing and had a very slow/or no heart rate. I was able to revive him and we rushed him to the vet where he started to gain some coherence, but still lacked coordination and was unable to sit or stand.
The DVM gave him a subQ anti-inflammatory and 1/2 of a Valium for his muscle rigidity. He released the dog to us with instructions to give 1/4 to 1/2 Valium every 12 hours. He seems dazed and in another world. He can't walk, stand or even lay properly. He has rigidity in his neck, but he can move his head and right side. He tries to right himself but can't yet so he can't go outside to potty. I know it is a brain injury/concussion. He hasn't vomited or lost control of bowel/bladder. I just don't know what else to do. This dog means more to my GF than life itself. What else can we do. It's the weekend and all the vet said to do is watch him but I feel we should be doing more.
Type of Animal
:  
Toy Yorkie
Age of Animal
:  
7+
Sex of Animal
:  
Male
Breed of Animal
:  
Yorkshire Terrier
Last date your pet was examined by a vet?
:  
February 28, 2009
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234713_tn?1283530259
I am so sorry about your GF's dog!

If he has not improved by tomorrow he should go back to the vet for in hospital treatment such as IV fluid administration, Steroids, and other medications.  If there is bruising, inflammation, disk disease or injury to the spine the steroids may help, unless the  spine is severed or partially severed.  The rigidity to the neck that you describe is not a good sign.

Valium is used as a muscle relaxer, and works well in conjunction with steroids, which are anti-inflammatories.

In your GF's dog's case only time will tell.  If he has paralysis as a result of this injury surgery may be required.  If you cannot have the surgery performed than your dog may benefit from acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas for paralysis,  as a last resort.  

Please give us an update.
5 Comments
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779793_tn?1235859826
It has been 32 hours since the accident. His breathing is mostly back to normal, around 3:30 AM it just changed instantly from a shallow pant to nearly normal. He still lacks coordination, he is moving a lot more, but still cannot stand or walk. He moves his neck freely, but it bobs as if there is still neurological problems. When he gets excited his neck tightens and left front paw becomes rigid almost like a seizure, but I can bend it after a few moments of calming him.
He has been going to the bathroom where he lays and we have been keeping him clean and have pads under him. His latest BM's are watery, assuming that all he had yesterday was water and I blended up some chicken and syringe fed him this morning. He is taking water by syringe, but won't voluntarily eat or drink. I don't know if the Diazapam is contributing to his loose bowel, but I also noticed a little reddish tinge in one indicating there may be some blood, but none since. He will be going back to the vet first thing tomorrow. I doubt that we can have any major surgical procedures as this is a small community and the DVM's here don't have much more than simple x-ray machines.

I hope it is nothing that I did trying to resuscitate him. For all I knew he was dead. He wasn't breathing and didn't have a heartbeat for 2 or 3 minutes until he started breathing on his own after massaging his chest/doing cpr. I keep wondering if I could have done something different.
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234713_tn?1283530259
Your CPR probably saved his life!  You did the right thing.

The two or three minutes of his not breathing may be responsible for a bit of brain damage.

I hope that you will be getting steroids while at the vet.

Please continue to give updates if you can,  Thanks!
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779793_tn?1235859826
His vet visit went well Monday afternoon. The vet re-examined *Ittie* and noted marked improvement all around but decided that he still had some brain swelling issues so he got another shot of steroids plus sent home some dexamethasone pills to be started Wednesday.

He is still wobbly and uncoordinated but he can go outside to potty as long as I carry him & hold him steady so he doesn't topple over. He loses balance frequently so we are keeping him in a nice warm clothes basket by our side.  He will lap water on his own, but absolutely refuses to eat. Previously we would have to act as if other dogs were coming to get his food and yell at the imaginary interlopers before he would eat normally. This gets no reaction out of him now so we have been continuing syringe feeding of soft food and also got him some Nutri-cal. He had lost 1/2 lb in the 2 days since his initial vet visit.

We are still giving him the valium to relax. I guess now its just a big waiting game to see how long and how much he will ultimately improve. I sure do miss his feisty playful nature. He used to bark and growl at me when I would come into the kitchen in the AM, and now just to see him lay and stare with barely any reaction is heartbreaking.

On a side note, when he gets back to normal, we have to take him to get his teeth worked on. Most are loose and a couple are already gone. He is an older dog of 7+ years so I guess they are showing his age.
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779793_tn?1235859826
It has been ONE MONTH and he is 100% recovered. He had to have 15 teeth pulled a couple of weeks ago because they were loose and possibly infected. He came through that like a champ. (Better than me going to the dentist and having 5 taken out.. Eeks!)

I am grateful to this message area and to DVM Cheng. Thanks for everything!

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This Forum's Experts
234713_tn?1283530259
Aleda M Cheng, D.V.M., C.V.ABlank
American Animal Hospital
Randolph, NJ
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