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  • Author or Editor: Thomas R. Harcourt-Brown x
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To determine the effectiveness of manual bladder expression in paraplegic dogs by comparing urine volumes measured by use of intermittent catheterization and ultrasonography.


36 paraplegic dogs.


93 measurements of bladder volume were collected for the 36 dogs. Residual urine volume was determined by use of intermittent urethral catheterization and estimated by use of ultrasonography.


Manual bladder expression voided a mean of 49% of urine from the bladder in this population of dogs. There was no correlation (R 2, 0.06) between the effectiveness of manual bladder expression and body weight. Ultrasonographic estimation of bladder volume had good correlation (R 2, 0.62) with bladder volume determined by use of intermittent bladder catheterization, but clinically unacceptable variation for predicting actual bladder volume (mean difference, 22 mL; 95% confidence interval, −96 to 139 mL).


Manual bladder expression was ineffective at completely emptying urine from the bladder of paraplegic dogs, but the effectiveness of the procedure was not affected by body weight. Manual bladder expression would likely be a useful procedure to prevent increases in pressure within the bladder. Ultrasonographic estimation of bladder volume could be a useful predictor of actual bladder volume, but it was susceptible to wide variations among dogs, and results should therefore be interpreted with caution.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—A 2-year-old spayed female domestic shorthair cat was examined because of bilateral thoracic limb weakness of acute onset.

Clinical Findings—Clinical signs included muscle atrophy, paresis, depressed spinal reflexes, hyperesthesia of the thoracic limbs, and reduced jaw muscle tone. Pelvic limb reflexes were normal. Results of a neurologic examination were suggestive of multifocal lesions involving both brachial plexuses and the trigeminal nerves. Abnormal nerve conduction across the brachial plexus and delayed late potentials were found on electrodiagnostic testing, and diffuse subclinical involvement of other regions of the peripheral nervous system was confirmed on the basis of abnormal electromyographic findings for the masticatory muscles and conduction block of the peroneal nerve.

Treatment and Outcome—No specific treatments were given, and neurologic signs resolved within a month. A relapse occurred 2 months after the first episode, with clinical signs affecting both the pelvic and the thoracic limbs on this occasion. Again, the condition resolved without specific treatment, and 13 months after the initial episode, the cat reportedly was normal.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings suggested that brachial plexus neuropathy can be a multifocal disease in cats, even if clinically apparent neurologic deficits are initially subtle or absent, and that electrodiagnostic techniques can be used to identify subclinical involvement of the peripheral nerves.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the effects of syringomyelia on electromyography (EMG) findings, somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs), and transcranial magnetic motor-evoked potentials (TMMEPs) in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCSs).

Animals—27 client-owned CKCSs that underwent prebreeding magnetic resonance imaging screening or investigation of clinical signs consistent with syringomyelia.

Procedures—In dogs with (n = 11) and without (16) magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed syringomyelia, the median nerve in each thoracic limb was stimulated and SEPs were recorded over the C1 vertebra; onset latency and latency and amplitude of the largest negative (N1) and positive (P1) peaks were measured. The TMMEPs were recorded bilaterally from the extensor carpi radialis and tibialis cranialis muscles; onset latencies in all 4 limbs were measured. Bilateral systematic needle EMG examination was performed on the cervical epaxial musculature, and the number of sites with spontaneous activity was recorded.

Results—In dogs with syringomyelia, amplitudes of N1 and P1 and the amplitude difference between P1 and N1 were significantly smaller than those recorded for dogs without syringomyelia (approx 2-fold difference). No difference in SEP latencies, TMMEP latencies, or the proportion of dogs with > 2 sites of spontaneous activity detected during EMG examination was detected between groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that SEP amplitude at the C1 vertebra was a more sensitive measure of spinal cord function in CKCSs with syringomyelia, compared with results of EMG or TMMEP assessment. Measurement of SEP amplitude may have use as an objective assessment of the evolution and treatment of this disease.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research