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Pip diagnosis - Central cord syndrome

Neurological Disorders Resources. Treatment and care for pets having pain or trouble walking or standing due to spinal injuries or neurological disorders like IVDD, FCE and DM.
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CarolC
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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He did something else really, REALLY cool yesterday. He was doing his wall exercise and after a treat he settled down into kind of a sternal crouch against the baseboard. We've been practicing standing up, where if I see him like that I will put a treat out in front of him to encourage him to stand up from sternal to walk to it. When I put the treat out in front of him about 15", he stood up with his 2 front legs first, BOTH of them, from sternal, and THEN his hind legs stood up. So he did a push-up with his front legs. This may be the most exciting thing I've seen in weeks.
:wow:
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critters
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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:snoopy:
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CarolC
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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So tonight we were going to do the wall exercises and usually I put the treat down at one end of the wall and stand him at the other end, and he walks to the treat. But we've been practicing getting up from a crouch, and I got a bright idea :idea: and thought that tonight I would try laying him down next to the wall, not standing up, so every treat would be practice getting up (if he'd do it). I put the bag of treats on the cat castle where I count them out, and laid Pip next to the baseboard at the starting end of the wall, and turned around to get treats out of the bag. Heard a noise and looked over at Pip. He had already scrambled to his feet and gone down to the other end (where a treat was supposed to be)! :smart: Of course this WOULD be the time I can't get the bag open, aargh, but I finally got it and delivered him his treat. Which he deserved!!! :lol:
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critters
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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:wow:
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CarolC
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Cool, cool, cool!

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I've been trying to figure out ways to make the wall exercise more challenging, because he's pretty good at the regular walking along the wall to get a treat. So we started doing it where he has to stand up at the start of his walking. Well, he mastered that as soon as we did it.

Original wall treats exercise.PNG
Original wall treats exercise.PNG (4.81 KiB) Viewed 709 times

Today I wondered if he could walk farther by starting against the crate at the end of his wall and doing a corner. So I thought, "Let's see if he can learn to do corners." I set him in a standing position several steps from the wall, balancing against the crate, and expected him to lean against the crate going to the corner, then make a right angle turn and go on to his treat. Oh, no. He wasn't going to do that. He walked about 2 steps against the crate, then made a diagonal and cut the corner to get to the wall. THEN he proceeded on to his treat. NO WALL on the diagonal. Several steps without anything to lean on for balance.

Advanced wall treats exercise.PNG
Advanced wall treats exercise.PNG (5.2 KiB) Viewed 709 times
WOOHOO!!!

EDIT TO ADD: When we went to do the evening exercises, he wouldn't do it. He wouldn't even lean against the crate.
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critters
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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:lol: He's too smart!

Your graphic is terrific!!! :smart:
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CarolC
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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Thanks. :) I was bummed because he wouldn't do it last night, but this morning he did it again. :hurray:

I think I need to 1) be sure he's warmed up before we try it 2) put him fairly close for a short diagonal right now and increase gradually, and 3) only do maybe one diagonal practice per session or per day till he gets his confidence.

EDIT 1/31: He's done it twice today. :D :D :D
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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So. :D This morning we were doing our wall exercises. In each exercise session he alternates, right-to-left, then left-to-right, for a total of 6 passes along the wall and 6 treats. On the first segment I am still lying him down, so he scrambles to his feet from a lying position to walk to his first treat. On the 5th treat, which was a right-to-left, I stood him against the crate so he could either do a corner or a diagonal. He always does a diagonal, never a corner, but it's his choice. He started doing his diagonal, then straightened out and kept going NOT USING THE WALL FOR BALANCE, and walked along the wall about 6"-10" from the wall the whole way till he got his treat. In other words, he walked to the treat himself without any support. I don't think he ever touched the wall. He almost did a ricochet when ending his diagonal and straightening out to go parallel to the wall, but he stopped short of actually touching the wall. I don't expect him to do that every time, but it's cool that he knows he can do this now. I think this is another case of when they have the ability but have to learn that they DO have it now, which is not obvious when you are one week from being paralyzed for 10 months and you are used to not being able to.
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critters
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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:hurray: :ecstatic:
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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Today I set him up against the crate to do his one treat on the diagonal. He really didn't want to, kept sitting down. The previous 4 treats were mostly not his best walking. Finally it seemed like he was going to try the diagonal and he started away from the crate, but whether on purpose or not, he started walking across the room, not in the direction of the treat. He walked straight, not going fast, with good coordinated steps till he ran into the kitty castle and laid down.

I have been worried he might have trouble braking as that involves front legs, but the castle is carpeted. If you're going to run into something, it's the best option. The walking was very good walking, not the usual zigzag. I was delighted. The treat was over there and he was over here, so I brought him a treat. I don't care if he walks to the treat, I'm just happy for the walking. That deserved a treat! I measured and it was 10 feet 9 inches of straight, normal-speed, not zigzagging walking.

We started the wall practice in September.
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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Go Pip!!! :party:
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CarolC
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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This morning he was doing really well on his wall treats, so on treat #5 I wanted to do the diagonal, but I remembered how he went off across the room the previous time with good steps. I didn't know why he did it, my best guess was he got started in the wrong direction and kept going because walking felt good. Today I wonder if he was trying to show me, "I am tired of the wall, I'd like the middle of the room."

So I put a treat over on the cat castle (where he went before when he walked 10'9") and was going to start him at the crate, but it looked too far. And I don't want him running into things. So I moved the treat closer to the middle of the room. I set him up standing, and the very good part is this is doable now, where before it was not. He can stand well enough that I can hold his waist from above with a "pinch" of the fingers of one hand just enough to prevent swaying, and he does the rest. This allows me to release him easily when he is ready to go, which I was having a problem with on the diagonal. I couldn't tell when he was ready and my bad timing letting go (too late) threw him off sometimes.

So I set him up and he went and he didn't quite make it and veered to the right a little and fell over. But it was good. I left the treat and set him up again and he went again. This time he still veered to the right a little but went the correct distance and landed in a crouch, which is HUGE. He stopped and landed in a crouch, he did not fall over. So I brought the treat to him. SO proud of him.

He seemed to like this exercise, so we did the same with treat #6. I am putting them out about 4' away. Need to figure out the best distance.

What I did not realize so clearly until now is, when you are recovering from front paralysis, your front legs are what do the steering, so we need to practice steering. But I can tell by the look on his face that he likes to figure these things out. He concentrates and sees if he can do it.

The other thing I was thinking is, if you know you're going to have trouble stopping and run into things, you might not want to start. If someone gave you a car but it had no brakes, you wouldn't want to start it. Maybe if someone put you in the middle of a big parking lot or field where you couldn't run into anything, you might give it a try, slowly. He has been practicing stopping for 4 months doing the wall treats exercise. He stops well, but he has the support of the wall. So now I think he will be practicing using the stopping ability in free walking without support. I'm so impressed with what he did today!

So we will be doing our new exercise. I guess we'll call if floor walking? We can do wall treats for the first couple to warm up, then if he's doing well we'll do some treats in the middle of the floor.

You can't tell I'm excited, can you?! :blush: :oops: :lol:
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critters
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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I still have marks on the walls from Baby leaning on them. :wub:
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Re: Pip diagnosis

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Drum roll...Pip went about 50 feet today. Not all in one go, but still! He went the first 18' in a low, zigzag run, then flopped. Then he got sternal and did 4 more good running steps and flopped. Then a series of other short runs till he had gone from the back fence almost to the door. I went and got him because I didn't want him running into the porch post or anything.

I notice he is no longer distressed if I leave him in the grass and walk away. I think it's because he knows he can get himself to the door and he doesn't need me. When he stopped and rested during his 50' run, he was looking around, barking at the house next door, sniffing the grass, not looking upset, just enjoying the scenery, then he'd continue.

The biggest thing may be that he's able to get sternal much more reliably now. He has to get back to sternal every time he flops. I watched as he was on his side paddling (flailing) in the grass, and it was like a thought came to him, "Wait, tuck and roll," which he did and was sternal again.

This is a strange comment and it may be wrong. He's had good use of his hind legs all along. He's been recovering the use of his front legs. It's like his trunk/core is coming last. I don't know how it works with central cord syndrome, but that's what it looks like is going on. He is able to lever himself up onto his elbows and forearms with his front legs from either side. It takes effort. He can then tuck his hind legs, and then as a second movement roll his tucked legs under him using his hips. I don't think he is twisting his trunk/core/waist very much to help do it. It's not his midsection getting his hind feet rolled under. It's more like he uses his hind legs' ability, which was mostly preserved, to tuck his feet and roll them under. Then his front is mostly sternal, his hips are fully sternal, and finally his midsection comes into line, at which time his front legs become fully sternal with equal weight on each leg and his whole body is sternal. It's like

1) push onto my elbows/forearms
2) tuck my hind legs and try to get my hips to turn them under
3) get the rest of my body to follow suit

Until step 3, he is still leaning more heavily on whichever front leg he used to get onto his elbows/forearms. Step 3 is when he distributes his weight evenly on his 2 front legs (now lying in a sternal Sphinx position) and his spine is straight and he's relaxed.

I was trying to decide, when do we say he is really walking, because he was during the first 18' of his 50' run. I think it's too soon to say so yet.

He's doing really good. He's 10 months and a week post cervical FCE/ANNPE now.
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Re: Pip diagnosis - Central cord syndrome

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VERY interesting!! :smart:
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