I have taken to calling Tonka by his new name- Tonka Tonus Clonus.
If you follow the blog you know that he has an outstanding issue left over from whatever happened to him 8 months ago. The lack of a diagnosis or prognosis has left me with trying to understand his symptoms and controlling those. This is essentially what his therapists Chris and Diana work on every week. I have added acupuncture back in the mix with Dr. Philips and everyone is on the same page.
I wrote an article for Dogster about Tonka and someone (who does not know Tonka, does not know me, and I am assuming is not a Veterinary Neurologist) commented to the fact that if I loved Tonka I would have euthanized him so he did not go through all this misery. In order to be very clear to everyone I am going to try and explain what is going on with Tonka symptom wise so that you can understand that he is not in any pain, nor is he miserable.
First a picture of Tonka at the park NOT BEING MISERABLE
Tonka has something going on called Clonus which refers to repetitive, rhythmic contractions of a muscle when attempting to hold it in a stretched state. If you have ever had your eye twitch you will understand the feeling, not painful just annoying. It is a common sign in neurological conditions and is usually a sign of damage to the nerve tracts above the place where it is initiated. Tonka suffers from clonus and what is known as hypertonicity in his hind leg.
Every muscle has tone which refers to the amount of neurological input the muscle receives. Hypertonicity refers to the neurological system sending too many signals or a signal that is too strong to the muscle which makes it rigid. The inverse of that would be hypotonic or not enough signal and a “loose or floppy” muscle. In Tonka’s case we have a muscle with too much tone creating a joint that does not bend or straighten smoothly. This also means he does not lift enough to always clear his toes off the ground and so he scuffs.
We created a little video to show you what I mean. Notice he is not in any pain even when he goes to sit and lie down; he just has to maneuver a bit.
The other leg had these exact same symptoms and disorders and they were resolved with therapy. I have faith that this leg will do the same.