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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Case Description—A 9-year-old male Miniature Poodle was evaluated because of progressive severe right hemiparesis, right forelimb lameness, and signs of cervical pain.

Clinical Findings—A low body condition score (2/9) and popliteal lymphadenopathy were detected. Results of a CBC, serum biochemical analyses, urinalysis, cytologic examination of bone marrow and popliteal lymph node aspirates, and serum ELISA were consistent with systemic leishmaniasis. Magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical spinal cord revealed an intramedullary mass extending from the caudal aspect of the C5 vertebral body to the C5–6 intervertebral disk space with a contrast medium–enhanced pattern that had 3 zones (central contrast medium–enhanced core, intermediate isointense zone, and peripheral contrast medium–enhanced ring). Surgical biopsy of the mass was performed by means of a right C5–6 dorsal hemilaminectomy. Results of PCR assays for detection of Leishmania DNA in CSF and tissue biopsy samples were positive.

Treatment and Outcome—Treatment for systemic leishmaniasis was initiated. Two months later, body condition, neurologic signs, and gait of the dog had substantially improved; the dog had mild right forelimb paresis at that time. Results of follow-up MRI indicated resolution of the cervical spinal cord lesion. Four months after diagnosis, the dog's neurologic condition was stable.

Clinical Relevance—To the authors’ knowledge, this report is the first in which clinical findings, clinicopathologic data, and MRI characteristics of an intramedullary inflammatory spinal cord lesion presumptively attributable to leishmaniasis in a dog have been reported, and the first report of CNS leishmaniasis in a dog with MRI resolution and a successful clinical response to treatment.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To reassess reference values for the components of the electrically induced blink reflex, document reference values for facial motor nerve conduction velocity, and demonstrate usefulness of the blink reflex as a diagnostic tool in peripheral facial and trigeminal nerve dysfunction in horses.


10 healthy adult horses (8 males, 2 females) without neurologic abnormalities.


Blink reflex tests were performed by electrical stimulation of the supraorbital nerve and facial (auriculopalpebral) nerve. Reflex and direct muscle-evoked potentials of the orbicularis oculi muscles were recorded from concentric needle electrodes inserted bilaterally in these muscles. Supraorbital and auriculopalpebral nerve blocks were performed by lidocaine hydrochloride injections.


Supraorbital nerve stimulation elicited 2 or 3 ipsilateral and 1 contralateral reflex muscle potential in the orbicularis oculi muscles. Auriculopalpebral nerve stimulation elicited a direct and a reflex potential in the ipsilateral orbicularis oculi muscle. After left supraorbital nerve block, no responses could be elicited ipsilaterally or contralaterally upon stimulation of the blocked nerve, but bilateral responses were obtained upon stimulation of the right supraorbital nerve. After right auriculopalpebral nerve block, no responses were recorded from the right orbicularis oculi muscle upon stimulation of left or right supraorbital nerves.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Reference values for the components of the blink reflex and facial motor nerve conduction velocity will allow application of these tests to assist in the diagnosis of equine neurologic disorders involving the trigeminal and facial nerves, the brainstem, and the cranial end of the cervical segment of the spinal cord. This study reveals the usefulness of the blink reflex test in the diagnosis of peripheral trigeminal and facial nerve dysfunction in horses. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1287–1291)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association