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Abstract

Case Description—A 3-year-old French Bulldog was evaluated because of acute signs of back pain and spastic paraparesis.

Clinical Findings—Neuroanatomic localization indicated a lesion in the T3-L3 spinal cord segment. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed extradural spinal cord compression at the ventral right aspect of the intervertebral disk space L3–4. On the basis of these findings, a diagnosis of sequestrated Hansen type 1 disk extrusion without extradural hemorrhage was made.

Treatment and Outcome—The dog was treated conservatively with cage rest, restricted exercise on a leash, and NSAIDs. Results of follow-up examination 5 weeks later indicated complete resolution of clinical signs, and results of repeated MRI indicated a 69% reduction in the volume of the herniated disk material.

Clinical Relevance—Findings for the dog of this report indicated spinal cord compression attributable to extruded intervertebral disk material resolved. Functional improvements in dogs with such problems may be partly attributable to spontaneous regression of intervertebral disk extrusions.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To adapt and standardize neural tissue mobilization exercises, quantify nerve root movement, and assess the anatomic effects of lumbar spinal nerve and dural mobilization in dogs.

Animals—15 canine cadavers.

Procedures—5 cadavers were used in the preliminary part of the study to adapt 3 neural tissue mobilization physical therapy exercises to canine anatomy. In the other 10 cadavers, the L4 to L7 nerve roots and the dura at the level of T13 and L1 were isolated and marked. Movements during the physical therapy exercises were standardized by means of goniometric control. Movement of the nerve roots in response to each exercise was digitally measured. The effects of body weight and crownrump length on the distance of nerve root movement achieved during each exercise were also assessed. Each exercise was divided into 4 steps, and the overall distance of neural movement achieved was compared with distances achieved between steps.

Results—Neural tissue mobilization exercises elicited visible and measurable movement of nerve roots L4 to L7 and of the dura at T13 and L1 in all cadavers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The physical therapy exercises evaluated had measurable effects on nerve roots L4 to L7 and the dura mater in the T13 and L1 segments. These exercises should be evaluated in clinical trials to validate their efficacy as primary treatments or ancillary postsurgical therapy in dogs with disorders of the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral segments of the vertebral column.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

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.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify radiographic abnormalities associated with degenerative lumbosacral stenosis (DLSS) in German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) and determine whether specific radiographic abnormalities could be used to identify dogs at risk of developing DLSS.

Design}Cohort study.

Animals—33 GSDs working as police dogs.

Procedures—Results of physical, neurologic, and orthopedic examinations were used to identify dogs with DLSS. Survey radiography of the lumbosacral junction was performed, and radiographs were compared with radiographs obtained 3 years earlier.

Results—DLSS was diagnosed in 15 of the 33 (45%) dogs. Thirteen of the 15 dogs with DLSS and 14 of the 18 dogs without DLSS had radiographic abnormalities of the lumbosacral junction. Twenty-two (67%) dogs were able to perform unrestricted duties, including 3 dogs with suspected DLSS. Six (18%) dogs had been excluded from active duty during the period of surveillance because of DLSS. Significant progression in specific clinical and radiographic signs was detected, but multiple logistic regression analysis did not identify any radiographic signs that could be used to predict the development of DLSS.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that survey radiography cannot be used to predict development of DLSS in working GSDs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate agreement in results obtained with an MRI-based grading scheme and a macroscopic observation-based grading scheme when used to assess intervertebral disk (IVD) degeneration in cats.

SAMPLE

241 MRI and 143 macroscopic images of singular IVDs in 44 client-owned cats (40 cadaveric and 4 live).

PROCEDURES

Singular images of IVDs were obtained of live cats admitted for treatment of suspected neurologic disease (MRI images of IVDs) and of cadavers of cats euthanized for reasons unrelated to spinal disease (MRI and macroscopic images of IVDs) at the Small Animal Hospital, Vetsuisse Faculty, Zurich, Switzerland, between January 12, 2015, and October 19, 2015. The IVD images were randomized and evaluated twice by 4 observers for each grading scheme. Inter- and intraobserver reliability for the grading schemes was assessed with Cohen weighted κ analysis. Agreement and correlation between results obtained with the 2 grading schemes were determined with Cohen weighted κ and Spearman correlation coefficient (ρ) analyses, respectively.

RESULTS

Inter- and intraobserver agreement between results was substantial to almost perfect (mean weighted κ, 0.66 to 0.83 and 0.71 to 0.86, respectively) for the MRI-based grading scheme and moderate to substantial (mean weighted κ, 0.42 to 0.80 and 0.65 to 0.79, respectively) for the macroscopic observation-based grading scheme. Between the 2 grading schemes, agreement in results was moderate (mean ± SE weighted κ, 0.56 ± 0.05), and the correlation was strong (ρ = 0.73).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Results indicated that the MRI-based and macroscopic observation-based grading schemes used in the present study could be used reliably for classifying IVD degeneration in cats.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Adult umbrella cockatoos, Moluccan cockatoos, African grey parrots, and a yellow-headed Amazon parrot were inoculated im or sc with β-propiolactone-treated psittacine beak and feather disease (pbfd) virus. Thirty- to 45-day-old African grey parrot, umbrella cockatoo, and sulphur-crested cockatoo chicks also were vaccinated with the same inoculum. The hemagglutination inhibition (hi) and agar-gel diffusion tests were used to assay for post-vaccination development of anti-pbfd virus antibodies. All adult vaccinates seroconverted and had increases in hi and precipitating antibodies. The vaccinated chicks had increased concentrations of hi antibodies, but precipitating antibodies could not be detected. To demonstrate that chicks from vaccinated hens are protected from pbfd virus challenge, 3 African grey parrot chicks and 2 umbrella cockatoo chicks from vaccinated hens and 1 African grey parrot chick and 1 umbrella cockatoo chick from nonvaccinated hens were exposed to purified pbfd virus. Chicks from the vaccinated hens remained clinically normal during the 50-day test period. Chicks from the nonvaccinated hens developed clinical and histologic lesions of pbfd. Infected tissues from these birds were confirmed to contain viral antigen, using immunohistochemical staining techniques. The pbfd virus was recovered from the affected birds. These findings indicate that adult and 30- to 45-day-old psittacine birds will seroconvert following vaccination with β-propiolactone-treated pbfd virus. Also, hens inoculated with β-propiolactone-treated pbfd virus produce chicks that are, at least temporarily, resistant to virus challenge.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Psittacine beak and feather disease (pbfd) virus was recovered from the feces and crop washings from various species of psittacine birds diagnosed with pbfd. High concentrations of the virus also could be demonstrated in feather dust collection from a room where 22 birds with active cases of pbfd were being housed. The virions recovered from the feces, crop, and feather dust were confirmed to be pbfd virus by ultrastructural, physical, or antigenic characteristics. Virus recovered from the feather dust and feces hemagglutinated cockatoo erythrocytes. The specificity of the agglutination was confirmed by hemagglutination inhibition, using rabbit antibodies against pbfd virus. During the test period, 26% (8 of 31) of the birds screened were found to be excreting pbfd virus in their feces, and 21% (3 of 14) of crop washings were positive for pbfd virus. Some birds in the sample group had active cases of diarrhea, whereas others had normal-appearing feces. Diarrhea was found to be the only significant indicator of whether a bird was likely to be excreting virus from the digestive tract. These findings suggest that exposure of susceptible birds to pbfd virus may occur from contact with contaminated feather dust, feces, or crop secretions. Viral particles that were morphologically similar to parvovirus (20- to 24 nm-icosahedral nonenveloped virions) also were recovered from feces of some of the birds.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

SUMMARY

Conditions for psittacine beak and feather disease (pbfd) virus hemagglutination and hemagglutination-inhibition (hi) test reactions are defined. The pbfd virus was found to hemagglutinate cockatoo and some guinea pig erythrocytes. The hi test was used to assay serum antibody titer in birds with active pbfd virus infections and in others that had been exposed to diseased birds. On the basis of hi antibody titers in psittacine birds that had been exposed to pbfd virus, but remained clinically normal, we suggest that some birds exposed to the virus are able to mount an effective immune response. Birds with active pbfd virus infections had lower antibody values than did birds that had been exposed to the virus, but remained clinically normal. On the basis of these findings, the ability to develop a suitable hi antibody response may be crucial in determining the disease status of susceptible birds exposed to the pbfd virus. If hi antibodies are found to have neutralizing activity, then the fact that a high hi titer was induced in birds inoculated with purified pbfd virus might suggest that an immunization program would be effective in preventing pbfd virus infections.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research