Chorea in Dogs

Chorea is a disease of the nervous system and may be found in canines. Chorea is the most common nervous system disease, but it is not fully clear why this problem develops. The condition may be treated, but not in all cases; it depends on several factors.

Causes of Chorea in Dogs

The precise causes of chorea in dogs are not known. However, there are a few suspected causes that include:

  • Poisoning and toxicity
  • Canine distemper
  • Brain tumors that cause the weakening of the points that control the muscles
  • Trauma to the head
  • Intestinal parasites; internal worms may cause a lot of attacks on the nervous system
  • Vaccines that are not administered properly

Symptoms of Chorea

The symptoms of chorea are typical and can be easily recognized. The dog may display:

  • Involuntary muscle twitching, which may be present in one area of the body or involve all muscles; the twitching may be observable during the day or even while the dog sleeps
  • Sudden collapse
  • Confusion
  • Failing to perform certain movements
  • Lack of strength
  • Anxiety, as the dog feels helpless
  • Involuntary elimination, due to the fact that the dog cannot control his bowels or bladder

Treatment Options

Chorea that is caused by trauma, injuries to the head or intestinal parasites is typically treatable. If the disease is thought to be caused by distemper or vaccinations, the condition may be fatal.

The vet will focus on improving the general state of the dog and making him feel more comfortable. The dog's bowels should be controlled to prevent elimination in the house. This can be achieved by feeding the dog a proper diet. If the dog has worms and the vet suspects that these parasites cause chorea, the dog will receive a cure of dewormers.

If the dog is constipated, a cure of laxatives may be recommended. The vet may also indicate treatment with natural fibers such as oatmeal or canned pumpkin.

If the dog has suffered an injury to the head, the vet will try to fix the problem. Surgery may be needed or the dog may require stitching, depending on the complexity of the injury. The vet will also choose to perform a few x-rays to determine if the injury has caused any internal damage.

Homeopathic remedies may be recommended for dogs that have chorea, if it's due to vaccination or distemper and there are no other types of treatment. The homeopath may recommend dilutions containing nux vomica, iron, bromide of strontia or strychnine.

Chorea Prognosis

Dogs that have chorea may recover and the symptoms will disappear once the injury or the parasites are removed. However, in some cases, chorea in dogs cannot be treated and the dog may die. The prognosis depends on the dog's age, health condition and the time the disease is detected.