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



A 3-year-old 639-kg (1,406-lb) American bucking bull was examined because of a 4-day history of right forelimb lameness that began after the bull sustained an injury to the right shoulder region while exiting the chute during a rodeo.


A 10 × 10-cm soft tissue swelling was present over the right shoulder region. Ultrasonographically, the contour of the scapular spine, bicipital bursa, bicipital tendon, and greater tubercle of the humerus appeared unremarkable; the swelling appeared to be a hematoma overlying the distal aspect of the scapula. No external wounds, palpable joint effusion, or swellings were noted on examination of the distal portions of the limbs. The bull developed atrophy of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles with lateral abduction of the shoulder joint when walking. Electromyography revealed decreased innervation to the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles consistent with suprascapular neuropathy.


The suprascapular nerve was surgically decompressed by removing the entrapping hematoma and periosteum and performing a notch resection of the scapula; dexamethasone (40 mg) was administered prior to closure. The bull was discharged 5 days after surgery; no lameness was evident at the time of discharge. The owner was instructed to restrict the bull to a stall or small pen for 6 weeks. Four months after surgery, the muscle atrophy had substantially improved, and the bull returned to bucking.


Findings suggested that suprascapular neuropathy can develop in bulls secondary to injury and that suprascapular nerve decompression may improve nerve function, muscle atrophy, and gait.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To report thoracolumbar caudal articular process malformations with secondary constrictive fibrosis of the spinal cord in Pugs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—11 Pugs with neurologic dysfunction resulting from constriction of fibrous tissue secondary to thoracolumbar caudal articular process malformation and 5 Pugs with no neurologic dysfunction.

Procedures—Medical records of dogs with myelopathy presumably caused by constriction of fibrous tissue secondary to thoracolumbar caudal articular process malformation at 2 referral institutions between 1993 and 2009 were reviewed. Dogs were included in the study if hypoplastic or aplastic thoracolumbar caudal articular processes were present on radiographs, CT images, or MRI images.

Results—The most common neurologic examination findings were paraparesis with ataxia or paraplegia but no evidence of hyperpathia along the vertebral column. All dogs' neurologic lesion localization was to the T3-L3 spinal cord segments. Median age at examination was 7. 7 years (range, 2 to 11 years). Five of 11 dogs had a history of unrelated trauma. Four of 11 dogs had urinary or fecal incontinence. Eight of 11 dogs underwent surgical exploration. Despite surgical intervention, all dogs that survived surgery continued to have neurologic deficits.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In the present study, presence of aplastic or hypoplastic articular processes in the thoracolumbar region did not always produce neurologic signs. However, fibrous constrictive myelopathy should be considered in Pugs with pelvic limb gait and postural reaction deficits and lack of hyperpathia upon palpation of the vertebral column. Additional studies are warranted to further characterize the disease process and determine the most effective means of treatment.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Clinical, morphologic, and morphometric findings are reported in 14 young Dalmatians with laryngeal paralysis. Neurologic signs, including megaesophagus, were observed in 13 of 14 dogs. Electromyographic abnormalities included fibrillation potentials and positive sharp waves in laryngeal, esophageal, facial, and distal appendicular muscles. Neurogenic atrophy was detected in intrinsic laryngeal and appendicular skeletal muscles. A diffuse, generalized polyneuropathy, dominated by axonal degeneration, was observed in recurrent laryngeal and appendicular peripheral nerves. Results of quantitative studies, using single teased fiber and cross-sectional nerve preparations, indicated that changes were more severe in distal parts of peripheral nerves, with preferential loss of medium sized (5.5 to 8 μm) and large-caliber (8.5 to 12 μm) myelinated nerve fibers. Ultrastructural alterations were observed in myelinated and unmyelinated nerve fibers. The term laryngeal paralysis-polyneuropathy complex is proposed for this apparent dying-back disorder, which is clinically, electrophysiologically, and pathologically different from laryngeal paralysis in young Bouvier des Flandres and Siberian Huskies. Prognosis for Dalmatians with laryngeal paralysis-polyneuropathy complex is guarded to poor. The condition is believed to be inherited.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research