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Dysautonomia in 53 cats and dogs: A retrospective review of clinical data and outcome

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Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Record
Early online date6 Apr 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 6 Apr 2020


Dysautonomia is a disease characterised by degeneration of autonomic neurons. The aim of this study was to perform a retrospective multicentre review of clinical data relating to cats and dogs diagnosed with dysautonomia and to evaluate their outcome. Cats (n=34) and dogs (n=19) with clinical signs consistent with dysautonomia were considered for this retrospective study. Reported clinical findings included oesophageal and gastrointestinal dysmotility and distension, urinary retention, reduced or absent tear production, third eyelid protrusion and inappropriate mydriasis. Treatment was supportive, and included gastrointestinal prokinetics, feeding tube placement (oesophageal and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy tubes) and medications to treat urinary retention. The survival to discharge was 29% in cats and 47% in dogs. The overall survival in cats was 21% and 32% in dogs. Survival of greater than two years was seen in six cats and three dogs. This paper illustrates that some individuals are able to survive this disease and can have a good long-term prognosis, which is an infrequent finding for this disease.

    Research areas

  • Canine, Autonomic nervous system, Pupillary light response, Mydriasis, Neuronal degeneration

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