Pathological features of polyneuropathy in three dogs

J Vet Med Sci. 2013;75(3):327-35. doi: 10.1292/jvms.12-0224. Epub 2012 Nov 1.


Canine polyneuropathy is a neurological disorder characterized by a dysfunction of multiple peripheral nerves. The etiology of the disease is diverse; it may occur in cases of infectious, immune-mediated, or hereditary conditions or in association with endocrinopathy, neoplasm, or chemical intoxication. It is often difficult to determine the etiology through clinical symptoms. The aim of this study is to investigate pathological differences among three canine polyneuropathy cases with each presumably having a different etiology. Cases included a 13-month-old female border collie (Dog No.1), a 21-month-old male chihuahua (Dog No.2) and an 11-year-old male beagle (Dog No.3). Clinical examinations revealed hindlimb ataxia and sensory loss in Dog No.1, forelimb paralysis and vertebral pain in Dog No.2, and paddling-gait and hypothyroidism in Dog No.3. Histopathologically, axonal swelling and pale myelin were observed in Dog No.1. Giant axons mimicking giant axonal neuropathy were obvious in Dog No.2. Dog No.3 showed atrophic axons and severe interstitial edema. Distributions of peripheral nerve lesions coincided with respective clinical symptoms. According to their clinical and pathological features, Dogs No.1 and No.2 were suspected of hereditary polyneuropathy, while Dog No.3 seemed to have hypothyroidism-associated polyneuropathy. As each case demonstrated unique pathological features, different pathogeneses of peripheral nerve dysfunction were suggested.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dog Diseases / pathology*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Male
  • Polyneuropathies / pathology
  • Polyneuropathies / veterinary*
  • Spinal Nerve Roots / pathology