Dogs are susceptible to a variety of inherited neurological disorders. Like Sophie, some of them can lead to paralysis. Here is a list of the 5 top dog brain disorders and the breeds predisposed. If you think your dog might be suffering from a neurological condition, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for a diagnosis.
Deafness: This condition is seen most often in dog breeds with white coats and blue eyes like Dalmatians, Border collies and Shetland sheepdogs.
Hydrocephalus: This top dog brain disorder causes excessive fluid to build up in the brain. Normally the cerebrospinal fluid protects, supports and cleans the brain, but infections, injury or tumors can keep the fluid from draining. Toy breeds such as Chihuahuas, Maltese, Pomeranians and Poodles are more prone.
Laryngeal Paralysis: The illness is caused when nerves in the brain that control the larynx (voice box) become paralyzed or stop working properly. It can cause airway obstruction, breathing problems and possible choking on food. Owners might first notice a change in their dog’s voice. The condition is seen most often in Dalmatians, Siberian huskies and bull terriers.
Myasthenia Gravis: This is a neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness and fatigue. It prevents muscles from working normally. It can affect the entire body or just certain muscle areas. The breeds most susceptible are Jack Russell terriers, Springer spaniels and Fox terriers.
Vertebral Stenosis: The condition involves narrowing of the spinal cord so that it compresses and pushes on nerve roots. It causes damage to the spine and paralysis. The disorder is seen most often in German shepherds, Boxers, Rottweilers and Dobermans.
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Photo: Alicia Graef