KZN dog survives rare human disease

2013-10-21 00:00

SHE’S a blonde beauty and a celebrity too. She’s the dog who nearly died after contracting Guillain Barre syndrome — a rare disease mainly known to affect humans.

Love and specialist care have ensured Rosie, an 18-month-old golden retriever, is on the mend. She was rushed to the vet in Durban after developing sudden paralysis in her back legs.

Her owners, Dain and Nick van der Ruy­den from Durban, were very anxious. She was the youngest of their two golden retrievers and they were extremely fond of her.

Their local vet realised that the paralysis was spreading and that the dog would need specialised care. He referred them to the Hilton Veterinary Hospital where specialist vet Dr Martin de Scally has the equipment to handle complicated cases.

De Scally realised that Rosie was deteriorating rapidly and she would need to be put on a ventilator and diagnosed quickly. The beautiful and sunny Rosie was sinking fast.

Her condition was determined through a process of elimination and it was decided the dog had a very rare case of Guillain Barre syndrome.

This syndrome is usually associated with humans, and affected popular radio traffic presenter Johan von Bargen (JVB) from East Coast Radio, this year.

The syndrome is rare in dogs.

The dog’s immune system becomes over stimulated after fighting an infection and then turns on itself, causing nerve damage and paralysis. If the syndrome is not diagnosed within days, the consequences are fatal, as breathing is affected. The only way to control the condition is to have intensive nursing and rehabilitation to prevent muscle and nerve damage while the nerves regenerate.

Rosie has progressed wonderfully in the three months she has been an in- patient at the Hilton Veterinary Hospital and she is a favourite with the staff. Her “parents” visit her at the weekends but currently they are overseas.

Recently, she has started swimming with veterinary nurse Lauren Dommett to strengthen her limbs.

Dommett said: “She is able to stand on her own for a few seconds and her front legs have fully recovered, it’s the back ones that need some more exercise.”

Rosie has recovered her bark and she happily watches the vets do their consultations from her mat in the back yard. She needs to be moved every two hours and walked with a harness as often as possible. Visitors are welcome.

Dr Derek Clover says that her calm nature and sunny disposition has made her a good candidate for rehabilitation. “In a lengthy recovery like this many dogs get very depressed and the cost is prohibitive. But she is very patient and co- operative and she has become the mini-celeb in our surgery. Everyone wants to know how Rosie is doing.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News
 

6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.

 
 

You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.