Canine neuropathy: the fundamentals behind this fear nervous disorder
Posted on May 10 2018
Some ailments can fill dog owners with a sense of helplessness, such as canine neuropathy. Despite their ability to bring fear to us - not to mention the suffering and frustration of our puppies - you may not know much about the condition. However, there are some things you should know.
Canine neuropathy At a glance
Canine neuropathy, also known as canine degenerative neuropathy, is a disease that causes dysfunction in the peripheral nervous system of a dog. These are the network of nerves that connect to the central nervous system and shoot over the rest of a dog's body. They mainly navigate your dog's coordination, digestion, and physical responses.
These nerves do not contain the type of bony protection driven by the central nervous system having through the skull of the dog and vertebrae. Instead, the nerves are protected by a fatty insulation material called myelin sheath. Canine neuropathy sets in when this material deteriorates, essentially short circuiting messaging capabilities of the nerves and affecting the dog's motor skills.
What are the symptoms of canine neuropathy?
The symptoms that your dog may experience if you suffer from canine neuropathy vary on a case-by-case basis. This is because the condition can occur in different nerve functions, and therefore cause different types of degeneration. The types of symptoms that a dog can experience are also quite broad.
For example, a dog affected by motor nerve disorders may have muscle tremors, atrophy of experience, weak reflexes and paralysis on all four legs. A dog that suffers from sensory nervous system disorders may lose the ability to judge spatial awareness or have a loss of consciousness. If a dog has a dysfunction of their autonomic nervous system - that is, bodily activities that are not under their conscious control - they may suffer from a lack of anal reflex or a slower heart rate.
What can my dog do to develop canine neuropathy?
Just as there are several different ways that canine neuropathy can affect the health of a dog, there are several ways in which the condition can be contracted. Some of the forms are driven by the DNA of a dog, since it can be inherited from their family line. It could also develop as a metabolic or an immune disease.
Canine neuropathy may be due to a series of outside influences, too. A dog may be able to pick up the condition through parasites or ingesting toxins such as thallium (a key ingredient in rodent venom) and carbon tetrachloride (a key ingredient in insecticides). The condition can also be taken as a side effect of cancer medications.
If there are so many variables, how can my dog get a correct diagnosis?
Obtaining a clearly established diagnosis requires your veterinarian to carry out a complete physical examination of your dog. He or she also gather as much information as possible about the intangibles surrounding the condition, a symptom of the history of interactions that may have triggered the condition. X-rays, a urinalysis, blood profile, and an electrolyte panel are other metrics your veterinarian measure to make a definitive conclusion.
The most important metric your veterinarian will measure, however, is the electrophysiology of your dog. In other words, he or she will measure the electrical flow to the tissues and cells in your dog's body. This will allow your veterinarian to choose exactly which peripheral nerves are degenerating.
Is there a treatment for this condition?
Although there are treatments available that can help reduce your dog's discomfort, the unfortunate truth about canine neuropathy is that there is no cure. As the myelin sheath around the peripheral nerves continues to break, your dog's condition will get worse over time. It is advisable to speak with your veterinarian to see what may be available for your puppy type of therapies or treatments, depending on your condition.
Although canine neuropathy is a terrible disease, its effects are not sudden. Therefore, as soon as you recognize that you have the ailment, at least you can take advantage of the time to make things as comfortable for your dog for as long as you can. Although this level of comfort may include any recommendation may come from your veterinarian, a huge part of that peace will stem from the love you have for your dog.
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