Dysautonomia in Dogs

Canine dysautonomia is a progressive nervous system disorder. Since it affects the autonomic nervous system of dogs, it results in the dysfunction of the automatic nerve functions and certain reflexes over which the dog has no conscious control. The disorder is mainly encountered in the Midwest, even though it has been known to occur in other parts of the United States and Europe.

The dogs affected by canine dysautonomia may display symptoms such as a noticeable droop or abnormal protrusion of the eyelids, along with loss of pupillary reflexes to light. The vision is not affected in spite of the abnormal position of the eyeball, another typical symptom. Difficulty in urination and pain while relieving the bladder, as well as loss of control of the anal sphincter are common. Significant weight loss and lethargy are secondary symptoms, and pneumonia may develop as an additional complication.

The cause of this nervous system disorder is not known, and no treatment is available. The dogs may eventually succumb to this fatal condition.

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