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Companion Animal Practice
Peripheral neuropathies in small animals
  1. Nick Jeffery

    Nick Jeffery qualified from Bristol in 1981. He initially worked for the PDSA and in private small animal practice, after which he spent seven years in orthopaedic, neurosurgical and neurology referral practice in London and the Animal Health Trust, gaining diplomas in neurology and surgery. He recently completed a PhD at Cambridge veterinary school and is currently a research fellow in the department of anatomy at University College London, investigating the means by which recovery occurs after injury to the spinal cord.


THE usual perception of peripheral neuropathies in small animals is that they are uncommon, difficult to diagnose or treat and have a poor prognosis. However, although it is relatively rare to see cases of peripheral neuropathy that have dramatic signs, such as tetraplegia, a large number of animals are presented at small animal practices with a variety of other clinical signs caused by disease of the peripheral nervous system. In common with other neurological disorders, a systematic approach is required to categorise each case of peripheral neuropathy so that appropriate tests or treatment can be carried out. A complete aetiological diagnosis is not always possible because the cause of some of the most common peripheral neuropathies is not known. Furthermore, treatment options are limited. Nevertheless, for many animals affected by this group of diseases the prognosis is good.

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