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Adult Onset Neuropathy (An)


A progressive weakness due to a neuropathy has been recognized as an autosomal recessive, hereditary disorder in English Cocker Spaniels by the research team at the University of Missouri Animal Molecular Genetic Lab. Clinical signs typically begin between 7.5 and 9 years of age and consist first of an uncoordinated gait or wobbling in the hind limbs. The stance in the hind limbs is wide-base and the hocks will drop lower to the ground. The weakness eventually progresses to also involve the front limbs. When dogs become non-ambulatory in all limbs, difficulty in swallowing also becomes apparent. The neurologic signs seem to progress gradually over 3 to 4 years and more slowly than those of degenerative myelopathy. All English Cocker Spaniels clinically affected with this form of neuropathy have tested clear for the mutation that underlies DM. So far the disease has only been clinically diagnosed in English Cocker Spaniels. However, the mutation has also been detected in Field Spaniels where it is very rare.


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