Canine dysautonomia: two clinical cases


P. M. Jamieson's current address is The Peptide Biology Laboratories, Salk Institute, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA


Two clinical cases of canine dysautonomia are described. Two young female neutered dogs were presented with clinical signs including vomiting, diarrhoea, faecal tenesmus, dysphagia and urinary retention. Decreased tear production, dry mucous membranes, bilateral Horner's syndrome, decreased anal sphincter tone and gastrointestinal hypomotility were also observed. Presumptive diagnoses of dysautonomia were made based on the clinical presentation and investigations. Postmortem histopathological examination in one of the cases demonstrated marked depletion of neuronal cell bodies in the intestinal myenteric plexuses and parasympathetic ganglia, confirming the diagnosis in this case. Criteria for aiding the antemortem diagnosis of this rare condition based on clinical observations and diagnostic testing are proposed.