Polyneuropathies of cats

C L Chrisman
Journal of Small Animal Practice 2000, 41 (9): 384-9
Polyneuropathies of cats have a variety of clinical presentations. Areflexic flaccid quadriparesis, or quadriplegia, progressing over a 24- to 48-hour period, may be associated with polyneuropathies, as can chronic insidiously progressive tremors and muscle weakness that wax and wane or progress slowly over weeks or months, and which can go undiagnosed for years. In addition, these neurological signs may be due to spinal cord, neuromuscular junction or muscle disorders, so the diagnosis of polyneuropathy can be a challenge even for the most astute of clinicians. Polyneuropathies may have congenital, inherited, inflammatory, metabolic and toxic causes. Sometimes the underlying aetiology is not found and a diagnosis of idiopathic polyneuropathy is made. Since the treatment and prognosis of polyneuropathies in cats vary, the purpose of this review is to assist the veterinary practitioner to recognise, appropriately manage and provide an accurate prognosis for these challenging cases.

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