- Paraparesis: Degenerative diseases
- Paraparesis: Anomalous diseases
- Metabolic diseases
- Paraparesis: Neoplastic diseases
- Nutritional diseases
- Paraparesis: Inflammatory diseases
- Paraparesis: Idiopathic diseases
- Paraparesis: Traumatic diseases
- Toxic diseases
- Paraparesis: Vascular diseases
The causes of paraparesis are summarized in Causes of thoracolumbar spinal cord and peripheral nerve disease.
Causes of thoracolumbar spinal cord and peripheral nerve disease
|Mechanism of disease||Specific diseases|
|Degenerative||Calcinosis circumscripta Degenerative myelopathy 
Dural ossification 
Intervertebral disc disease (Hansen types I and II) 
Spinal synovial cyst 
Spondylosis deformans 
|Anomalous||Dermoid sinus Osteochondromatosis 
Vertebral and spinal cord anomalies 
|Metabolic||Diabetes mellitus (neuropathy) |
|Neoplastic||Extradural: metastasis: vertebral tumours (sarcomas, plasma cell tumours): lymphoma Intradural-extramedullary: meningiomas; nerve sheath tumours; spinal neuroepithelioma (nephroblastoma); metastasis 
Intramedullary: ependymomas; gliomas; metastasis; round cell tumours 
Insulinoma (paraneoplastic neuropathy) 
|Nutritional||Hypervitaminosis A |
|Inflammatory||Discospondylitis/osteomyelitis/physitis Granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis 
Infectious meningoencephalomyelitis 
Spinal empyema 
Steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis 
Vertebral physitis 
|Idiopathic||Arachnoid cysts Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis |
|Traumatic||Fracture/luxation Spinal cord contusion 
Traumatic disc herniation 
|Toxic||Antiepileptic drugs |
|Vascular||Fibrocartilaginous embolism Spinal cord/epidural haemorrhage 
Thromboembolic disease 
Diabetes mellitus can be associated with a peripheral neuropathy (predominantly in cats). This disease is described fully in site, but it is important to note that the sciatic nerves tend to be affected first and most obviously causing pelvic limb weakness and a plantigrade stance. Appearance of signs in the pelvic limbs first is also a feature of hypothyroid and insulinoma paraneoplastic neuropathy in dogs ().
This is a rare cause of paraparesis in cats and is discussed in site.
Most toxicities that cause paraparesis do so by having an effect on peripheral nerve function and will often quickly progress to tetraparesis ().
High blood levels of antiepileptic drugs, i.e. phenobarbital and potassium bromide either used in isolation or combined, can produce hindlimb ataxia that can progress to tetraparesis. It is therefore recommended that blood levels of these drugs are evaluated in epileptic patients that are receiving treatment and have become paretic or ataxic.