Polyneuropathy in dogs

Polyneuropathy in dogs

Polyneuropathy is a term used for a wide range of different peripheral nerve disorders. In dogs, a lot of these disorders are breed-related. The name polyneuropathy refers to the fact that multiple nerves are affected by the problem, which distinguishes Polyneuropathy from Mononeuropathy. Polyneuropathy in dogs often lead to motor nerve dysfunction. Below, you will find more information about some of the many Polyneuropathy types that can affect dogs.

Dancing Doberman Disease

As the name suggests, this type of Polyneuropathy primarily affects Dobermans. Dancing Doberman Disease caused problems with the gastrocnemius muscle and the most common symptom is one rear leg that will flex while the dog is standing. This type of polyneuropathy normally starts showing symptoms when the dog is around 6-7 months old. During the following months the problem will start affecting the other rear leg, and the dog can end up alternatively flexing and extending each rear leg. This is why the disease is referred to as Dancing Doberman Disease. There is not cure for this Polyneuropathy, but it is painless and most dogs can still walk. The disease will however progress and lead to weak legs and muscle atrophy.

Rottweiler distal sensorimotor polyneuropathy

Rottweiler distal sensorimotor polyneuropathy causes muscle denervation in young adult Rottweilers. The reason behind this disease is yet unknown. A dog suffering from this type of Polyneuropathy can display symptoms such as decreased reflexes and weakness in all four legs. Rottweiler distal sensorimotor polyneuropathy is a progressive disease, but some dogs will respond well to corticosteroid treatment. The long-term prognosis is however poor.

Sensory neuropathies

Boxers, longhaired Dachshunds and English pointers are more at risk for sensory neuropathies compared to other dog breeds. Sensory neuropathies are conditions that will cause loss of proprioception, and it can also affect the ability to feel pain. Dogs that can not feel pain are naturally prone to injury, including self mutilation. There is no known treatment for hereditary sensory neuropathies in dogs and the prognosis is poor for severe cases of this polyneuropathy. Affected Boxers will normally display the first symptoms at a very young age, typically when the dog is around 2 months old. Dachshunds are normally 2-3 months of age at the onset of the first noticeable symptoms, while English Pointers tend to be 3-8 months of age. In longhaired Dachshunds, incontinence and penis mutilation are two common symptoms of this polyneuropathy. In the English Pointer, the most common symptom is instead excessive licking and biting of the paws.

Tick paralysis

Tick paralysis is an acute motor paralysis than can affect dogs that have been bitten by ticks. The cause of this polyneuropathy is a type of neurotoxin present in the saliva of certain species of ticks. In North America, tick paralysis in a dog is usually the result of a bite from a Dermacentor tick, while Ixodes ticks are more commonly occurring in Australia. In the United States, affected dogs will normally recover in 1-3 days if your remove the tick/ticks, but the situation is much worse for dogs on the Australian continent. Dogs that develop this type of polyneuropathy in Australia will often suffer cranial nerve effects, and death within 48 hours is not uncommon.

Nervous system diseases: (click for more info)
Cauda Equina Syndrome in dogs
Cerebellar abiotrophy in dogs
Cerebellar hypoplasia in dogs
Coonhound paralysis (polyradiculoneuritis) in dogs
Dancing Doberman Disease
Epilepsy in dogs
Facial nerve paralysis in dogs
Granulomatous meningoencephalitis in dogs
Laryngeal paralysis in dogs
Polyneuropathy in dogs
Scotty Cramp in dogs
Syringomyelia in dogs
Tick paralysis in dogs
White dog shaker syndrome
Wobbler disease in dogs