Neurological disorders in dogs affect the body nervous system. Like humans, the nerve system carries signals from the brain to the rest of the body.
The slightest alteration can result in significant impairment in function and activity. Your canine friend is susceptible to certain neurological disorders and will show certain signs and symptoms when there is something wrong.
Detecting any neurological issues ASAP is key! Aside talking about some common health problems for dogs, we’d be looking at common neurological disorders in dogs treatment.
Common Symptoms of Neurological Disorders in Dogs
The symptoms or signs of disease effecting the nerves, spinal cord or the brain have easily identified symptoms.
The most common signs involve a change to your dog’s gait or behavior.
Stumbling or Loss of Balance
A quick loss of coordination is common with a lot of canine neurological issues. Dog’s that struggle to stand, tumble suddenly, or experience quick mobility loss should immediately visit their vet.
Repeated Head Shaking
A healthy dog shakes its head to rid itself of water from their ears. But, a dog that shakes their head for no evident reason, without stopping may have an underlying medical condition that needs to be checked out.
Knuckling or Dragging Paws
Any change (no matter how slight it is) in your dog’s natural gait is a cause for alarm. Dogs that drag their feet during walks or begin walking on the top of their feet may suffer from “knuckling”.
Depending on the seriousness of the knuckling and the underlying cause, your dog’s knuckling may be treated through physical therapy or with a No-Knuckling Training tool.
Sudden or quick loss of sight is a cause for concern. This is one of the common health problems for dogs.
Dogs that struggle to see will stumble into furniture or stare blankly at a wall.
Although commonly an inherited condition, quick seizures may be an indicator or neurological problems as well.
Pain can be cause by a lot of varying factors. Along with whimpering, uncontrollable trembling and shaking also show that your dog is experiencing pain.
If your dog is showing any signs of pain, they need to see their vet doctor.
Loss of Appetite
Neurological disorders in dogs can lead to persistent nausea. If your pet suddenly appears unwilling to eat, there may be a serious underlying condition requiring treatment.
There are a lot of various neurological disorders, and as each disorder can present itself differently there is no definitive telltale sign you should watch for. Be your dog’s advocate. You know your dog better than anyone. If you notice a sudden change in behavior and you are concerned, contact your Veterinarian.
- Reluctance to venture out or join in any high energy activity
- Changes in their sleep pattern
- Balance problems such as wobbling and unsteady gait
- Urinary or fecal incontinence that may result in house soiling
- Vision loss or impairment
- Convulsive seizures
- Lethargy Anxiety
- Wandering around during the night
- Spinal pain Limb weakness Lack of coordination
- Unexplained changes to their normal temperament
Causes of Neurological Disorders (Aging) in Dogs
As your dog ages, he may suffer some changes in the way his brain works. Here common causes of common health problems for dogs:
Brain Atrophy: Changes in the size and weight of the brain area and reduced number of brain cells causes a gradual loss of brain function causing notable ‘old age’ symptoms.
Increased Beta Amyloid Plaques: This is a protein that stores in the brain and kills the cells, preventing the normal functioning of the brain.
Several micro sized hemorrhages (bleeding) may happen, or blood flow can be stopped both which complicates oxygen and blood flow needed for a healthy brain.
Changes to the Neurotransmitter Levels: High levels of Monoamine Oxidase B (MAOB) results in a lowering of dopamine levels; dopamine is an essential neurotransmitter in the brain
Diagnosis of ND in Dogs
Neurologists in the field have made loads of efforts to advance knowledge combined with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment area.
Your dog may need a specialist who will work hand-in-hand with your local veterinarian to diagnose and treat your pet.
Any info you can give your specialist with help with diagnosis. Details, like taking note of any unusual behavior and when it began, or even a video of your dog when it begins to act different will be a big help.
Note: It is never normal for an older pet to show signs of neurological dysfunction, the more observant you are, the more relevant information you will be able to help your pet specialist with.
After a discussion with them your specialist will perform a full neurological exam which includes X-rays, MRI, and CT scan as well special blood tests to assist with diagnosis.
Samples of your best friend’s spinal fluid may also be taken. While it can be upsetting to see your old friend’s health deteriorate, the good news is that there is usually something that can be done to alleviate the condition, and the earlier you notice your dog changing, the easier and more effective it is to provide treatment.
Neurological Disorders in Dogs Treatment
Personal attention and nutrition are ways that you can manage your dog’s cognitive decline. A diet rich in fatty acids and antioxidants can help fight the free radicals that are attacking your dog’s brain and it has been proven through various studies that older dogs respond and can improve in a couple of weeks.
Your companion pet specialist will be able to advice of dietary changes needed or whether supplements or dietary changes may help.
The best proactive prevention method is keeping your dog’s brain active. A home that is rich in play, companionship and active learning is the best prevention.
To start exercising your dog’s brain, hide your dog’s treats in special places or in a dog treat puzzle toy.
Neurological disorders in dogs treatment also depends on the extent of your dog’s condition; some things we can control, others can be slowed in their progression, and others can be managed, which will make your companion feel better.
Training exercises will aid in strengthening an older dog’s body and limb to prevent injury. The spinoff is that the extra activity also fires up the brain and will improve your dog’s appetite, sleeping patterns and mood.
Medication may be needed when treating dysfunction affecting the cognitive area to aid prolong the dopamine activity in the brain.
While surgery may be needed for serious conditions such as intervertebral disk disease in the spine or cancerous tumors in the brain, most conditions can be managed with supportive care, a change in diet, medication and preferably early intervention.
Recovery of Neurological Disorders (Aging) in Dogs
Generally, from the very moment you acquire your dog right through to the aging of your pet, prevention via diet, happy environment and exercise will be practiced.
An observant owner can quickly notice the early onset of any health problem, even though dogs are smart and keep their pain to themselves.
While you may want to rush to the veterinary clinic each time your dog sneezes, common sense will tell if its necessary to do so or not.
Early intervention will stop disease from setting in to your dog’s system and taking over.
It is a lot easier to treat a condition before it spreads, it is also cheaper, and it is kinder on your dog.
A combination of good home care or older dog plus enjoyable activity and are management of treatment, medication and a correct diet will see a spring in your pet’s step as he enjoys his later years.
Types of Neurological Disorders in Dogs
- Cerebellar Degeneration
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Vestibular Disease
- Wobbler’s Syndrome
- Inherited Polyneuropathy
Every case is unique, and the care needed will not be same as another. If diagnosed, your veterinarian will work with you to develop the proper course of treatment for your dog.
The diagnosis of a neurological disease will be a big game changer for both you and your dog. Luckily, there are mobility tools that you can use at home to help make your pet (and your) life easier!
Mobility Assistance for Dogs with Neurological Disease
Because of the loss of stability and balance common with most neurological disorders in dogs, boots can be helpful.
Additional traction provided by pet boots, can also help your prevent fall and slip accidents caused by slippery surfaces.
Dog boots can also help to protect your dog’s paws from scraping wounds caused by dragging feet.
Your pet’s symptoms may not be as serious during these early stages of a neurological disease. A lot of odgs require only occasional assistance getting around.
Your help along with the use of a lifting harness can give your pet the boost they need to catch their balance or to get them up onto their feet.
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness – This harness provides great rear support for all size dogs. It’s simple to use, just pull up your dog’s rear legs like a pair of shorts, clip it over their back and you’re ready to go. It also clips right into the Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair when needed for a seat that is comfortable and supports.
Walkin’ Combo Harness – Majorly designed to accommodate larger breed dogs. The rear and front Combo Harnesses can be bought separately or as one unit. Allowing you to customize the lifting support needed for your dog. As a progressive harness system, the Combo Harness adapts to your dog’s ever-changing needs as their strength changes. Both the rear and front harnesses offer optional Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair compatibility.
For Small Dogs 30-49 lbs
For Medium Dogs 50-69 lbs
No-Knuckling Training Sock
Dragging of the rear feet when walking is common side effect of many neurological conditions in dogs. The No-Knuckling Training Sock for front or rear paw knuckling is a corrective tool that along with physical therapy can help retrain your dog to walk properly.
The No-Knuckling Training Sock is used for 2-5 minute walks to help correct your dog’s gait. This is a temporary training tool and should be removed after each session.
This is a perfect addition to your dog’s rehabilitative training and can even be used during hydrotherapy sessions.
Many dogs with a neurological condition will need a wheelchair at some point. Neurological disorders in dogs will affect both their mobility and balance.
Wheelchairs offers support needed and will help your dog to continue to get the exercise they need. Remember, an active dog is a happy dog.
Wheelchairs can be integrated into your pet’s physical therapy session, during longer walks, or on an as-needed basis.
Dogs benefit from early introduction to a wheelchair. An early introduction makes for a smoother transition to the time when your dog needs to completely rely on it.
A lot of these diseases are degenerative. Your pet’s symptoms and their mobility will only worsen over time as their disease progresses.
Their Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair can adapt with them as their needs change. A Walkin’ Wheels Rear Support wheelchair provides support and stability for pets with rear end weakness. As the condition progresses, the Walkin’ Wheels Front Attachment can be purchased to convert any rear Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair into a full support, 4-wheel wheelchair. Providing support to both the front and rear legs.
Discovering that your dog has a neurological condition is painful, but it’s not the end. Dogs can live happily for years after a diagnosis.
Give your dog every opportunity to live a happy, active life and know that there are options available to make the journey a smooth one.
Spinal Neurological Disorders in Dogs
Disorders of the spinal cord and column include congenital defects (discussed above), tumors, nutritional diseases, injury, degenerative diseases, inflammatory and infectious diseases and trauma, toxic disorders, and vascular diseases.
Here are quick discussions on some rare neurological disorders in dogs:
Degenerative lumbosacral stenosis is a disorder of the vertebrae in the lower back that causes compression of the nerve roots.
It is mostly common to affect large breeds of dogs, especially German Shepherds than small ones
The cause is unknown. Signs typically begin at 3 to 7 years of age and may include difficulty using the hind legs, tail weakness, and incontinence.
Your dog may feel pain when the lower back is moved or touched. Other signs to watch ot for include loss of paw position sense, muscle wasting, or weakened reflexes in the hind legs.
X-rays may show signs of degeneration, but diagnosis requires magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT). Dogs in which mild pain is the only sign may improve with 4 to 6 weeks of rest and pain medications.
Particular treatment needs surgery. The outlook for recovery after surgery is good, although urinary incontinence may continue.
Also known as wobbler syndrome/cervical malformation-malarticulation, this is one of the most common neurological disorders in dogs.
Abnormal development of the vertebrae in the neck squeezes the spinal cord in dogs.
There are two types:
- Disc-associated wobbler syndrome (DAWS): affects middle-aged (approximately 7 years old), large-breed dogs, especially Doberman Pinschers. In this condition, one or more disks between the neck vertebrae extend into the spinal canal and squeeze the spinal cord.
- Bony-associated cervical spondylomyelopathy: affects young (usually 4 years or younger), giant-breed dogs, such as Great Danes, Mastiffs, and Rottweilers. In this condition, abnormal bone growth occurs in the vertebrae of the neck and squeezes the spinal cord.
For either, signs happen suddenly or slowly and include incoordination and an abnormal stride when walking on all four limbs.
Paralysis or weakness in all legs as well as neck pain may also be present. X-rays can help rule out other conditions, but diagnosis requires magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT). Dogs with mild signs may improve with rest and medication, but surgery is often necessary. Most dogs (~80%) do well with surgery.
Degeneration of motor neurons
This is an inherited disease seen now and then in German Shepherds, Brittany Spaniels, Pointers, Rottweillers, and Doberman Pinschers.
It is also seen in goats, cats, cattle, and pigs. Also known as spinal muscular atrophy, this disease is characterized by progressive weakness, shaking, muscle loss, and weak reflexes.
It often appears by 2 years of age. Electronic muscle testing and biopsy help document the nerve changes, but definitive diagnosis is based on examination of tissues with a microscope.
Or chronic degenerative radiculomyelopathy is another type of spinal neurological disorders in dogs that happens to German Shepherds, Boxers, Pembroke Welsh Corgis, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and other breeds.
Dogs affected by this type of neurological disorders in canines are generally older than 8 years of age and slowly begin to display non-painful incoordination and weakness of the hind limbs.
Many times, it is confused with orthopaedic disorders (such as arthritis), but dogs with degenerative myelopathy have a hard time sensing and placing their feet normally whereas arthritic dogs do not.
Sadly, there is no specific treatment for the disease, and most affected dogs are euthanized within 1–3 years.
Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH)
This common health problem in dog manifests by bony growths at the sites where a ligament, tendon, or joint capsule inserts into bone.
Also known as Forestier disease in affected humans, this affects around 4% of dogs >1 yr old, and the number affected increases with age.
Like spondylosis deformans, Boxers are at increased risk, with ~40% showing signs of the disease. The chest and lower back are the area’s most commonly affected. It is unclear how often DISH causes clinical signs, and in many cases there are changes seen on x-rays do not lead to clinical problems.
But, spinal pain and stiffness is possible, and in those cases analgesics can be given as needed.
Intervertebral disk disease
This type of neurological disorder in dogs results in compression pof the spinal nerves/cords. It is a common cause of spinal cord disorders in dogs, especially of small breeds, mainly the Pekingese, Beagle, Shih Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Beagle, and the Dachshund.
In these breeds, spinal disks can show degenerating signs in the first few months of life. A slipped disk or herniated disk causing evident signs can happen suddenly, as early as 1 to 2 years of age. In contrast, disk degeneration in large breeds of dogs typically occurs after the age of 5 years, and signs slowly continue to worsen. Herniated disks are most common in the neck and the middle of the back.
A herniated disk in the neck causes muscle spasms, neck pain, and stiffness. There may be weakness in muscles or other signs, ranging from mild partial paralysis in the legs to total paralysis of all legs.
A herniated disk in the middle of the back leads to back pain,, and possibly curvature in the spine and a reluctance to move.
Neurological signs range from a loss of motor control in the hind legs to paralysis and incontinence. In paralyzed animals, it is important to determine whether pain sensation is present by pinching the tail or toe and watching whether the dog makes a behavioral response, such as a bark or turn of the head.
Diagnosis of herniated disks requires x‑rays, myelography, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Dogs with minimal to moderate signs that can still feel pain often recover within a couple of weeks of rest. Anti-Inflammatory or pain medication can be used, but commonly only if the dog can be cage-rested.
If the dog increases its activity, the disk(s) may extrude further and worsen the spinal cord compression. Sadly, signs recur in 30% to 40% of cases.
In dogs with severe neurologic signs, surgery must be performed promptly to relieve the pressure on the spinal cord. Surgery is also needed if drug therapy is unsuccessful and signs return.
The outlook for recovery after surgery is good if the dog can still feel pain. If surgery is delayed for more than 24 hours after pain perception is lost, the chances of recovery decrease.
This neurological disorder in dog that causes seizure occurs by producing bony growths by the underside of the spinal vertebrae.
It develops as dogs age, and 25%–70% of 9-year-old dogs are affected. It is especially common in Boxers. It does not typically cause signs, but dogs may experience back pain in rare cases.
This is the inflammation of bones in the spinal column (the disk between two vertebrae). The vertebrae can also be inflamed without infection of the disk.
Causes include a fungal or bacterial infection in the bloodstream or a weakened immune system that allows infections to develop.
Diskospondylitis occurs more often in larger breeds. The most common signs is spinal pain, with some dogs also having fever, weight loss and depression.
Neurologic signs can develop as a result of pressure on the spinal cord or, rarely, spread of infection to the spinal cord. X-rays are used to diagnose the condition, and urine and blood samples can identify the underlying infection. Signs usually disappear within 5 days of treatment with an appropriate antibiotic, but treatment should be continued for at least 8 weeks.
Dogs that develop an infection of rickettsia or related bacteria at times show signs of spinal cord dysfunction.
These bacteria cause disorders such as ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever, which can lead to swelling in the spinal cord. Blood and cerebrospinal fluid samples can help identify the infection.
Antibiotic treatment is given for 2 to 3 weeks. The outlook for a full recovery is good with early treatment, although the neurologic signs occasionally worsen despite treatment.
Canine distemper encephalomyelitis Is a viral infection that can cause inflammation and degeneration of the cells in the spinal cord and brain.
It remains one of the most common nervous system disorders in dogs across the globe. Neurologic signs may appear suddenly or may worsen slowly progressively, depending on the affected area.
Dogs can have pain,. Fever, discharge from their nose and eyes, depression, skin changes, diarrhea,a nd lack of appetite.
Animals with neurologic sign can show twitching, seizures, chewing of the jaw and they sometimes lose motor control or develop paralysis.
It is right to say this is one of the rare neurologic disorders in dogs that cause seizures. Without necropsy, a definitive diagnosis is hard to do.
There is no particular treatment, and the outlook for recovery is poor for dogs with severe signs. Vaccination is often successful in preventing distemper.
This is caused by a viral infection that spreads to the central nervous system from the peripheral nerves.
Rabies is a common threat throughout the world except in Japan and some other Islands, like Hawaii, Iceland, and New Zealand.
Initial signs are extremely variable, and rabies should be considered a possibility in any unvaccinated animal with severe neurologic dysfunction.
Signs that the infection has reached the spinal cord include a loss of motor control and progressive paralysis, usually with a loss of reflexes. Affected animals typically, but not invariably, die within 2 to 7 days of when signs begin.
There is no treatment. Vaccination is essential for prevention.
Cryptococcus neoformans is the most common fungus to cause a central nervous system infection in dogs.
Other fungal organisms may also attack your dog’s central nervous system. Infections often affect other organs, such as the bones, lungs, eyes, or skin.
Signs of spinal cord infection include partial or total paralysis and spinal pain. Cerebrospinal fluid or blood tests are necessary to diagnose an infection and identify the organism.
Treatment and the outlook for recovery depend on the specific fungus involved. The drug fluconazole is often effective for Cryptococcus and Coccidioides infections.
Infections with Blastomyces or Histoplasma fungi are difficult to treat, and the outlook for recovery in dogs infected with these fungi is uncertain.
This is caused by Neospora caninum, a microorganism that can result in inflammation of the spinal cord and brain.
Infection in young puppies generally causes paralysis with muscle rigidity in one or both hind legs. Other organs, including muscle, lungs, and liver can also be affected.
A tissue or blood test sample can be used to diagnose the infection. Early drug treatment may be effective, but the overall chances of recovery are poor.
This is caused by a protozoan called Toxoplasma gondii, which occasionally causes inflammation of the brain and spinal cord. Adult dogs do not typically show signs of the disease, but puppies can have a diarrhea, trouble breathing, fever, and seizures, and some may die.
A tissue sample or blood test can be used to diagnose the infection. Various drugs are recommended for treatment.
Verminous myelitis is inflammation of the spinal cord caused by a parasite. The most common such parasite in dogs is a roundworm called Baylisascaris procy-onis.
Signs of spinal cord inflammation strike suddenly and severely, often affecting one side of the body more than the other, and may progressively worsen over time.
This condition is almost impossible to diagnose except by examination of tissues after death. Drug treatment can be beneficial, but a full recovery is uncertain.
Inflammatory Diseases of Unknown Cause
Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis is one inflammatory disease of the central nervous system affecting dogs in all countries.
The cause is not known, but it may be a viral infection. There are 2 different forms of the disease that have different effects within the body, but the signs are similar, and often include neck pain and partial paralysis in all 4 legs.
Adult dogs of any breed can be affected, but female small-breed dogs, especially Poodles, are at highest risk.
Signs can occur slowly or suddenly and worsen over several months. Diagnosis includes cerebrospinal fluid analysis, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT), and ruling out other diseases. Dogs often improve temporarily with drug treatment, but the long-term outlook is uncertain.
Tumors are another spinal neurological disorders in dogs that cause seizures. They include cancers of the bone, meninges, connective tissue, and nerve sheath, in addition to metastatic cancers, which are cancers that have spread from other parts of the body.
A particular tumor known as a nephroblastoma can affect young dogs (from 5 to 36 months of age), with German Shepherds affected most commonly.
This tumor is frequently in the lower or middle back, causing progressively worsening partial paralysis in the hind legs.
Imaging (including x-rays, myelography, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging) and surgical biopsy are used to identify and confirm a diagnosis of spinal cancer. Surgery is possible in some cases.
Dogs with a vitamin B1 (thiamine) deficiency can show signs that include a lack of appetite, depression, rear leg weakness, seizures, coma, and death.
Causes of nutritional disorders include improperly formulated dog food, vegetarian diets, food preserved with sulphur dioxide, and raw fish diets.
The condition is diagnosed based on diet, signs, and response to vitamin B1 supplementation.
Trauma and Injury
Spinal cord injuries happen most times as a result of a dislocation or spinal fracture. Common causes in dogs include bite wounds, automobile accidents, and gunshot wounds.
The injury not only causes initial damage to the spinal cord, but also causes secondary damage from bleeding, swelling, destruction of the nerve sheath, and tissue decay.
Signs of spinal trauma generally have a sudden and severe onset, and may progressively worsen. Severe spinal cord injury to the lower or middle back may cause a rigid paralysis, or a limp paralysis that spreads to the entire body over several days and leads to death from respiratory paralysis.
Dislocated or fractured vertebrae can often be seen on x-rays, but computed tomography (CT) may be necessary to see some fractures.
Drug treatment can be helpful, especially if started within the first few hours of injury. Animals with mild neurologic signs from injury often recover after 4 to 6 weeks of pain medications and cage rest.
Surgery is needed for some types of injuries that cause severe neurologic signs. In dogs that have lost the ability to feel pain at locations below the spinal injury, the outlook for recovery is poor.
Toxic Disorders and Poisoning
Delayed organophosphate intoxication
This can be seen if a dog comes eats or comes in contact with pesticides or insecticides that contain organophosphates.
Plus, signs like severe exposure, delayed paralysis can develop 1 to 4 weeks after exposure. Partial paralysis of the hind legs worsens progressively and occasionally all 4 legs become paralyzed.
A veterinarian will need a history of the dog’s possible chemical exposure to make the correct diagnosis. The outlook for recovery is poor for animals with severe signs.
This is borne as a result of toxins produced by Clostridium tetani bacteria that usually enter the body at the site of a wound.
Dogs have a fairly resistant ability to resist tetanus, but cases do sometimes occur. Signs usually develop within 5 to 10 days of infection and include muscle stiffness and rigid leg extension, inability to swallow, protruding eyelids, and locking of the jaw and facial muscles.
In extreme cases, the animal may not be able to stand as a result of muscle spasms. Treatment consists of wound care, antibiotics to kill any remaining organisms, and tetanus antitoxin.
In cases that are not serious, a dog may recover completely with early treatment. In severe cases, death may occur due to respiratory paralysis.
Blood Vessel Diseases
Pieces of cartilage (likely from the disks found between vertebrae) can block blood flow to the spinal cord in a condition called fibrocartilagenous embolism.
It is often seen in adult dogs, especially giant and large breeds, Shetland Sheepdogs and Miniature Schnauzers and Shetland Sheepdogs.
It generally starts after running and jumping and causes a sudden, nonpainful change in the dog’s gait. Magnetic resonance imaging is used to make the diagnosis.
Mildly affected dogs usually improve within 1–2 weeks, but the outlook is poor for severely affected dogs or those that do not show signs of improvement.
Defects in the cerebrum are other neurological disorders in dogs that causes seizures, vision problems, abnormal movements or postures, and changes in behavior or awareness.
Also known as “water on the brain,” this is an excess of cerebrospinal fluid that puts pressure on the brain and may damage the cerebrum.
This condition is not uncommon in puppies, especially in brachycephalic and toy breeds, such a Bulldogs, Pugs, and Bull Mastiffs.
Hydrocephalus usually results in signs similar to those of a cerebral injury, and may worsen over time. However, some animals may not show any obvious signs.
Impaired vision or Blindness can also develop. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or Ultrasonography can confirm the diagnosis.
This condition may be treated with omeprazole or corticosteroids, but surgery may be necessary in severe cases.
This is one of the few neurological disorders in dogs that cause seizures with unknown cause. In certain breeds like Beagles, Keeshonden, Irish Setters, Belgian Tervurens, Siberian Huskies, Springer Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and German Shepherds.
A diagnosis of idiopathic epilepsy depends on eliminating other causes of seizures, particularly structural brain abnormalities (such as hydrocephalus), encephalitis, or metabolic disorders, such as hepatic encephalopathy.
This is often caused by a birth defect that leads to blood vessel abnormalities within the liver, or in rare cases it may be a s a result of enzyme deficiency in the liver.
Breeds often affected the most include Yorkshire Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Miniature Schnauzers, Australian Cattle Dogs, Old English Sheepdogs, and Maltese Terriers.
Nervous system signs are usually evident before the pup is 6 months old. Signs include “staring into space,” inappropriate barking or whining, aggression, and agitation.
In advanced disease, blindness, depression, stupor, coma, sudden jerking, or seizures can be seen. Hepatic encephalopathy is diagnosed by using radiographic imaging techniques, such as computed tomography or ultrasonography. Blood tests may aid in diagnosis.
Puppy hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, is seen in toy breeds in the first 6 months of life. It seems to relate to a relative immaturity of the liver.
This health problem can eb managed by feeding frequent meals of a commercial puppy food. The problem usually disappears as the animal matures.
This is a condition that appears in Beagles shortly after birth. Scarring (fibrosis) and Muscle contracture cause these puppies to look like they are walking on their “tip-toes.”
Affected dogs can have wide-set eyes and thickened ear cartilage. Seizures are also possible. There is no treatment, but the signs are usually not progressive.
We have discussed some of the most common and rare neurological disorders in dogs types and treatment. Kindly share to save a life today!