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CASE DESCRIPTION An 11-year-old English Cocker Spaniel was evaluated because of chronic progressive ataxia of the hind limbs.
CLINICAL FINDINGS The dog had no history of previous illness, and findings of physical examination and laboratory tests were unremarkable. Neurologic examination revealed that the dog was ambulatory with severe ataxia of the hind limbs. Proprioception was decreased in the right and left hind limbs (right affected more than left), and spinal reflexes were bilaterally unremarkable. Moderate signs of pain were detected during palpation of the lumbar portion of the vertebral column. Findings suggested a lesion within the thoracolumbar or lumbar segments of the spinal cord. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed extradural spinal cord compression attributable to an extradural space-occupying lesion originating from or infiltrating the L4 lamina on the right side.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME Hemilaminectomy was performed to remove the extradural lesion. Histologic findings for tissue samples collected during the procedure were consistent with a neurenteric cyst. The late onset and progression of clinical signs of this rare congenital malformation were suspected to have been the result of enlargement of the neurenteric cyst through continuous production of mucus by goblet cells. The dog responded favorably to surgical decompression and was clinically normal 1 year after surgery. It was euthanized 2 years after surgery for an unrelated reason (end-stage heart disease), and no neurologic deficits were evident before that point.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE Congenital neurenteric cysts should be considered as a differential diagnosis for neoplastic disease in dogs in which results of diagnostic imaging indicate the presence of an extradural mass affecting vertebral structures.
Objective—To determine the incidence of adverse events within 24 hours after contrast-enhanced ultrasonography (CEUS) in dogs and cats and compare the risk of death within 24 hours after imaging for animals that underwent ultrasonography with and without injection of a contrast agent.
Design—Retrospective case-control study.
Animals—750 animals (411 case dogs, 238 control dogs, 77 case cats, and 24 control cats).
Procedures—At 11 institutions, medical records were reviewed of dogs and cats that had CEUS performed (cases) as were medical records of dogs and cats with clinical signs similar to those of case animals that had ultrasonography performed without injection of a contrast agent (controls). Information regarding signalment; preexisting disease; type, dose, and administration route of contrast agent used; immediate (within 1 hour after CEUS) and delayed (> 1 and ≤ 24 hours after CEUS) adverse events; and occurrence and cause of death (when available) was extracted from each medical record. Risk of death within 24 hours after ultrasonography was compared between case and control animals.
Results—Of the 411 case dogs, 3 had immediate adverse events (vomiting or syncope) and 1 had a delayed adverse event (vomiting). No adverse events were recorded for case cats. Twenty-three of 357 (6.4%) clinically ill case animals and 14 of 262 (5.3%) clinically ill control animals died within 24 hours after ultrasonography; risk of death did not differ between cases and controls.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that CEUS was safe in dogs and cats.