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Overview of Diseases of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals

By

William B. Thomas

, DVM, MS, DACVIM (Neurology), University of Tennessee

Last full review/revision May 2021 | Content last modified May 2021

Diseases of the peripheral nerves and neuromuscular junction include degenerative diseases Degenerative Disorders of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals Laryngeal paralysis is common in middle-aged and older dogs. Large breeds, such as Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Saint Bernards, are predisposed, but small-breed dogs and cats... read more , inflammatory diseases Inflammatory Disorders of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals Acquired myasthenia gravis is characterized by failure of neuromuscular conduction due to reduction in the number of acetylcholine receptors at the neuromuscular junction. It is caused by the... read more , metabolic disorders Metabolic Disorders of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals Diabetic neuropathy, an uncommon complication of diabetes mellitus is seen in cats and rarely dogs. Signs include weakness, ataxia, and muscle atrophy. Affected cats often have unilateral or... read more , neoplasia Neoplasia of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals Note atrophy of the right temporalis and masseter muscles and loss of sensation on the right side of the face with pinching of the skin via blunt forceps. Nerve sheath tumors include schwannomas... read more Neoplasia of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals , nutritional disorders Nutritional Disorders of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals Pantothenic acid deficiency may develop in animals (particularly pigs) on rations of corn. Clinical signs include pelvic limb ataxia and a “goose-stepping” gait in which the stifle joints remain... read more , toxic disorders Toxic Disorders of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals Botulism is intoxication with a neurotoxin produced by Clostridium botulinum. It affects horses, cattle, sheep, and birds worldwide. It is uncommon in dogs and pigs. (For a complete discussion... read more , trauma Trauma of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals The immediate effect of injury of a peripheral nerve is a variable degree of dysfunction, depending on the severity of the injury. The mildest form of injury is neuropraxia, which temporarily... read more Trauma of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals , and vascular diseases Vascular Diseases of the Peripheral Nerves and Neuromuscular Junction in Animals Ischemic neuromyopathy is most common in cats with arterial thromboembolism secondary to myocardial disease. It also is seen in dogs with a variety of underlying disorders, including hyperadrenocorticism... read more , some of which are congenital disorders Congenital and Inherited Anomalies of the Nervous System read more .

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