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Research Note: Demyelinating Polyneuropathy in Miniature Schnauzers


January/February 2021

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In humans, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease consists of several hereditary motor and sensory peripheral neuropathies. An analogous condition was recently identified in 12 miniature schnauzers (age of onset, 3-18 months). Clinical signs at presentation were megaesophagus (11 dogs) and aphonic bark (11 dogs), with and without obvious neuromuscular weakness. Electrodiagnostic testing identified marked decreases in motor and sensory nerve conduction velocities, including in dogs without neuromuscular weakness. Treatment was aimed at clinical signs and included head elevation during and after feeding, as well as administration of antacids, gastroprotectants, prokinetics, and antiemetics. Clinical signs progressed to significant pelvic limb weakness, muscle atrophy, decreased flexor reflexes, and delayed postural reactions in one dog. Death directly attributed to the disease occurred in only 1 other dog due to aspiration pneumonia.


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