Idiopathic acute canine polyradiculoneuropathy

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Idiopathic acute canine polyradiculoneuropathy (Coonhound paralysis) is an inflammatory neuropathy that has been reported in a number of dogs breeds including Coonhound[1] and Rottweiler[2].

Clinically affected dogs are usually previously healthy and present with acute progressive flaccid quadriparesis and hyporeflexia, facial paralysis and laryngeal weakness. These signs often develop 7-14 days after a raccoon bite or scratch[3], suggesting an underlying an immune-mediated reaction to raccoon saliva or other antigens.

Electrophysiological and pathological features indicated varying degrees of motor-sensory polyneuropathy with some demyelination[4].

A differential diagnosis would include protozoal polyradiculoneuritis, hypertrophic neuropathy (Tibetan Mastiff), tick paralysis, botulism and tetanus[5].

Recovery is usually rapid and often complete in dogs that did not die from respiratory complications[6].

Supportive intravenous fluids and prednisolone may be required but nursing care is primarily indicated and requires 2 - 4 weeks before recovery of normal ambulation. Relapses may occur.


  1. Cummings JF & Haas DC (1966) Coonhound paralysis. An acute idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis in dogs resembling the Landry-Guillain-Barré syndrome. J Neurol Sci 4(1):51-81
  2. Molín J et al (2011) Acute clinical onset chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy in a dog. Muscle Nerve 44(3):441-444
  3. Merck Vet Manual
  4. Northington JW & Brown MJ (1982) Acute canine idiopathic polyneuropathy. A Guillain-Barré-like syndrome in dogs. J Neurol Sci 56(2-3):259-273
  5. Boydell P (2010) Coonhound paralysis in South Yorkshire? Vet Rec 167(9):351
  6. Hawe RS (1979) Acute idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis in a dog (a case report and discussion). Vet Med Small Anim Clin 74(5):675-680