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This is a Neuromuscular condition.

Demyelinating Polyneuropathy

What is Demyelinating Polyneuropathy?

A neurologic disorder characterized by a silent or whispery bark and megaesophagus in Miniature Schnauzers. Affected dogs have dramatic increases in nerve conduction velocities, but do not have generalized weakness.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

Affected dogs often have megaesophagus leading to regurgitation and a quiet or silent bark. Other signs that are inconsistent between affected dogs include delayed reflexes in the limbs, muscle tremors, delayed ocular reflexes, exercise intolerance, and seizures.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Signs first develop between 3-18 months of age.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

Genetic testing, blood work, radiographs, neurological tests, and clinical signs can be used to diagnose this condition.

How is this condition treated?

There is no treatment for this condition, however the disease typically remains stable over the long term. Employing feeding measures commonly used for megaesophagus and treating signs of aspiration pneumonia lead to a better prognosis.

What actions should I take if my dog is affected?

  • Please consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of managment.
  • Special chairs have been developed for feeding dogs with megaesophagus to minimize the risk of aspiration pneumonia.