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Journal of Veterinary Medicine
Volume 2018, Article ID 1018230, 11 pages
Review Article

Diagnosis and Treatment of Lower Motor Neuron Disease in Australian Dogs and Cats

1University of Queensland School of Veterinary Science, Gatton, QLD 4350, Australia
2Veterinary Specialist Service, Underwood, QLD 4127, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to A. M. Herndon; ua.ude.qu@nodnreh.a

Received 11 April 2018; Accepted 24 July 2018; Published 6 August 2018

Academic Editor: William Alberto Cañón-Franco

Copyright © 2018 A. M. Herndon et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Diseases presenting with lower motor neuron (LMN) signs are frequently seen in small animal veterinary practice in Australia. In addition to the most common causes of LMN disease seen world-wide, such as idiopathic polyradiculoneuritis and myasthenia gravis, there are several conditions presenting with LMN signs that are peculiar to the continent of Australia. These include snake envenomation by tiger (Notechis spp.), brown (Pseudonaja spp.), and black snakes (Pseudechis spp.), tick paralysis associated with Ixodes holocyclus and Ixodes coronatus, and tetrodotoxins from marine animals such as puffer fish (Tetraodontidae spp.) and blue-ring octopus (Hapalochlaena spp.). The wide range of differential diagnoses along with the number of etiological-specific treatments (e.g., antivenin, acetylcholinesterase inhibitors) and highly variable prognoses underscores the importance of a complete physical exam and comprehensive history to aid in rapid and accurate diagnosis of LMN disease in Australian dogs and cats. The purpose of this review is to discuss diagnosis and treatment of LMN diseases seen in dogs and cats in Australia.