Dog fights rare disease with help from Striegel Animal Hospital - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Dog fights rare disease with help from Striegel Animal Hospital

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CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Doctors in Carbondale hope hydrotherapy will help a dog battling an extremely rare disease called Coonhound Paralysis. Six weeks ago, the nine year-old dog named Rory was paralyzed after fighting with a raccoon. 

Three times a week Rory and her owner Chris Strusz visit Striegel Animal Hospital in Carbondale. The team here is helping Rory learn to walk again by doing extensive hydrotherapy using their underwater treadmill. 

Chris says for more than a month, the boxer mix has been unable to walk, and at times, unable to eat or drink on her own. After coming in contact with a raccoon, Rory's immune system started attacking her nerves leaving her paralyzed. 

"We came in the house and noticed that Rory was limping on one of her back paws and the next day we woke up and she was laying in her bed with arms completely tucked inside and had no ability to move whatsoever," said Strusz. 

After four scary days of not knowing what to do, Chris was referred to Dr. Brandy Doggett. She knew exactly what they were dealing with, and knew that with months of dedication Rory could recover. 

"There are no medications that will reverse it. There are no medications that will make it better. You take care of their pain, you take care of their inflammation and you do lots and lots and lots of physical rehabilitation," said Dr. Doggett. 

Striegel Animal Hospital is the only place south of O'Fallon that has an underwater treadmill. In just six weeks of using it, Rory has already made tremendous progress, gaining some of the strength back in her legs. 

"She's nine years old and she's not done. So we are going to go as far as it takes," said Strusz. 

Chris says thanks to their amazing support system at home and here at Striegel, she has faith Rory will soon be able to have a full life again.

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