Ailments of the nervous system

Continued from last week


Usually parlayses are associated with problems of the spinal cord. The spinal cord is that thick bundle of nerve tissue which in vertebrates (animals with backbones) extends longitudinally from the brain to the tail. This bundle of nerves (like biological electric wires) gives off, at intervals, nerve groups to various parts of the trunk and limbs. It serves therefore as a pathway for nervous impulses to and from the brain and the extremities (legs, tail).

So, if these nerves are damaged (for whatever reason) then the impulses going to and from the limbs are compromised, and the animal would exhibit an inability to move around comfortably. The damage to the nerves going to the legs could be due to congenital (birth) defects, degenerative and/ or infectious diseases, inflammatory processes, growths (neoplasias) in the nerves or the growth pressing on the nerves, nutritional problems, traumas (hits), toxic (poison) conditions, and vascular (blood vessel) damage.

These are conditions which result in weakness of the legs (usually the hind legs) causing even total immobility, yet the dog can respond to a pin prick, say. If you pinch the dog’s foot, it withdraws the leg. That tells us that the cause of the problem is attacking the motor nerves (the ones that deal with the actual action), yet leaving the sensory nerves intact. Such paralyses take some time (days) to develop fully; and even when the dog is completely immobile, it remains quite alert mentally.

I had mentioned above that there are birth defects that result in the animal being paralysed. Sometimes these birth defects do not reveal themselves until much later in life. There is an ailment called the ‘Wobbler‘ Syndrome that I used to encounter a lot during my practising days in Europe among Great Danes and Dobermans (and other large breeds like the Saint Bernard). The wise scientists associated this malady with a malformation of the neck bones (cervical vertebrae), which causes a compression of the spinal cord. Affected dogs keep their necks stretched out downwards, and the dogs walk with a wobbly gait.
Of course, any compression of the spinal cord, by any of the bones of the spinal column would result in a paralysis, the degree of which would depend on how much of the nerves are being affected/damaged.

I should here mention also the ‘Swimmer‘ Syndrome or ‘Flat Puppy‘ Syndrome. This is not really a paralysis, but it does affect the puppy’s mobility from day one. The legs (all four usually, but sometimes, seldomly, only the hind legs or the front legs) project outwards from the dog instead of below him. The puppy then moves around like a turtle; the chest is flat (because the puppy lies only on its stomach). Trying to correct this disorder seems to make no sense to me, since we should not allow such a pup to grow into adulthood and reproduce this genetic defect in its offspring. In any case corrective therapy is seldom successful.

Next week, I’ll deal with the more degenerative aspect of paralysis and spinal cord problems.

Please implement disease preventative measures (vaccinations, routine dewormings, monthly anti-heartworm medication, etc) and adopt-a-pet from the GSPCA’s Animal Clinic and Shelter at Robb Street and Orange Walk, if you have the wherewithal to care well for the animals.  Do not stray your unwanted pets, take them to the GSPCA’s Clinic and Shelter instead. If you do not wish your pet to have puppies or kittens, you may exploit the GSPCA’s free spay and neutering programme. If you see anyone being cruel to an animal, or if you need any technical information, please get in touch with the Clinic and Shelter by calling 226-4237.

Latest in Features, Sunday

LUCAS STOCK INDEXThe Lucas Stock Index (LSI) rose 0.54 per cent during the third period of trading in June 2016. The stocks of six companies were traded with 79,573 shares changing hands. There were three Climbers and one Tumbler. The stocks of Banks DIH (DIH) rose 1.98 per cent on the sale of 18,757 while the stocks of Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) rose 5.26 per cent on the sale of 41,667 shares. In addition, the stocks of Demerara Tobacco Company (DTC) rose 1.51 per cent on the sale of 13,603 shares. In contrast, the stocks of Demerara Bank Limited (DBL) fell 5.26 per cent on the sale of 4,324 shares.  In the meanwhile, the stocks of Guyana Bank for Trade and Industry (BTI) and Republic Bank Limited (RBL) remained unchanged on the sale of 222 and 1,000 shares respectively.

Massy and Guyana (Part 1)

Steadfast Last year, this writer looked at the Massy Group of Companies formerly Neal and Massy to gain an understanding of the operations of this company which has been doing business in Guyana for the past 48 years. 


Value-added performance of the forest sub-sector: Erratic, weak, declining

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The UK bids Europe farewell

On June 23 by a small majority, the British people voted to remove themselves from the European Union (EU). The decision has consequences for the Caribbean.

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What would life be without sport?

I wonder what it would be like to exclude sport completely from one’s life for, say, one year? No playing sport, no watching it, no reading it no discussing it no thinking about it even.

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Brexit: Lessons for Caricom

The results of the referendum held in Britain to determine whether or not it should remain in or leave the European Union (EU), has been won by voters who supported the leave option.

Director of Sport Christopher Jones and President of the Guyana Chess Federation Irshad Mohammed (centre) stand with some members of the 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team. The team travels to Baku, Azerbaijan, for participation at the Olympiad in September. A signature qualifying tournament was not held to determine the members of Guyana’s Olympiad chess team.

Federation picks chess Olympiad team without holding qualifier

The Guyana Chess Federation (GCF) has decided upon a 2016 Guyana Olympiad chess team without hosting a qualification competition to determine the competence of its participants.

Quamina Farrier

Heavy on historic significance, Journey to Freedom failed as a musical

Several Guyanese plays of historic significance were recently staged at the Theatre Guild and National Cultural Centre as part of a Jubilee festival.

Pawpaw Fruit Soup with Passion Fruit Photo by Cynthia Nelson

Fruit soup

If you’re looking for an easy dessert that uses mostly fruit, then you’ve hit the jackpot when you make a fruit soup.


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