Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Distal denervating disease

Contributor(s): Kyle Braund, Laurent Garosi

Introduction

  • Relatively common.
  • Signs: severe, progressive lower motor neuron (LMN) dysfunction.
  • Diagnosis: electromyography, muscle and nerve biopsy.
  • Treatment: intensive nursing, no specific drugs.
  • Prognosis: slow protracted recovery but excellent prognosis.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • So far, etiology is undetermined.
  • The disorder is clinically very similar to idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis (Coonhound paralysis Polyradiculoneuropathies ) which is considered to be an immune-mediated neuropathy.

Predisposing factors

General
  • Presently unknown.

Specific

  • Presently unknown.

Pathophysiology

  • Electrophysiology is consistent with a motor nerve disorder affecting the distal segments.
  • Biopsy of nerve trunk is normal.
  • The pathological lesion is a denervation of the terminal intramuscular motor nerve fibers.
  • Denervation of the terminal intramuscular motor nerve fibers → interruption of nerve impulses to skeletal muscle → decreased/absent reflexes, muscle tone, voluntary movement → progressive muscle atrophy.

Timecourse

  • Clinical signs develop over several days to weeks.
  • Recovery may take several months.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Jeffery N (1999) Peripheral neuropathies in small animals. In Practice 21 (1), 10-18 VetMedResource.
  • Braund K G (1996) Idiopathic and exogenous causes of neuropathies in dogs and cats. Vet Med 91 (8), 755-769 VetMedResource.
  • Griffiths I R et al (1979) Distal denervating disease - a degenerative neuropathy of the distal motor axon in dogs. JSAP 20 (10), 579-592 PubMed.


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