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Neurological signs due to hypoadrenocorticism in two dogs
  1. Koen M Santifort1,
  2. Hans S Kooistra2 and
  3. Paul JJ Mandigers3
  1. 1 Veterinair Verwijscentrum de Pietersberg - part of Evidensia Group, Oosterbeek, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Utrecht University, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3 Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Universiteit Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Mr Koen M Santifort; koensantifort{at}


Primary hypoadrenocorticism, also known as Addison’s disease and nicknamed ‘the great pretender’, is a rare disease in dogs and has been sporadically documented in cats. Documented cases of confirmed hypoadrenocorticism as a cause of neurological signs are limited. This report describes two cases of hypoadrenocorticism primarily referred for neurological signs. In case 1, neurological signs consisted of generalised neuromuscular weakness/paresis. The very noticeable tetraparesis (paraparesis most apparent) in case 2 is an example of the generalised paresis that may be a consequence of hypoadrenocorticism. Both cases responded to treatment for hypoadrenocorticism with resolution of neurological signs. In conclusion, hypoadrenocorticism should be considered a differential diagnosis for dogs presented with neurological signs of (generalised neuromuscular) weakness/paresis (manifesting as a ‘wobbly gait’ which is easily confused with ataxia), especially when signs are long-standing or vaguely defined.

  • tetraparesis
  • neuromuscular weakness
  • electrolytes
  • wobbly gait
  • hyperkalaemia
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  • Contributors KS: analysis and interpretation, drafting manuscript, critical revision. HK: analysis and interpretation, critical revision. PM: conception and design, patient care, analysis and interpretation, critical revision.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement No additional data are available.

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