The nervous system consists of the brain, spinal cord, and different kinds of nerves that originate from the spinal cord and conduct signals throughout the body.  The nervous system is responsible for communication in a dog’s body. Based on the structure, the nervous system is further classified into two systems.

  • Central nervous system
  • Peripheral nervous system


The central nervous system includes the brain and spinal cord while the peripheral nervous system consists of all the nerves which arise from the spinal cord and extend throughout the body. Based on the nerves, the nervous system is divided into

  • Somatic nervous system
  • Autonomic nervous system


The somatic nervous system consists of all the nerves that run to and from the spinal cord and send signals to and from the skeletal muscles. It controls body movements and helps in navigation.  In contrast to the somatic nervous system, the autonomic nervous system is not consciously controlled by the animal and works automatically. It is involved in controlling reflexes, neurologic functions, and the body’s internal organs like the heart, lungs, and GI tract.

Following symptoms in dogs might indicate any neurological disorders.

  • Seizures
  • Weakness
  • Inability to move
  • Pain
  • Behavioral changes



Common neurological disorders include;

  • Epilepsy- an inherited disorder of the central nervous system.
  • Intervertebral disc disease- a degenerative disease of the spinal cord in which the center of the disc bulges out and puts pressure on the spinal cord.
  • Congenital defects
  • Infectious diseases like the distemper virus in which the neurons become demyelinated and bruised.