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- Author or Editor: Jean-François Quinton x
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A 4.5-year-old neutered male domestic ferret (Mustela putorius furo) was examined because of clinical signs compatible with neuromuscular disease.
Results of electrophysiologic assessment, including measurement of compound muscle action potentials following repetitive nerve stimulation, and measurement of the anti–acetylcholine receptor antibody titer were consistent with a diagnosis of acquired myasthenia gravis.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
Medical treatment with pyridostigmine and prednisolone was instituted. The first signs of clinical improvement were observed 2 months later, followed by a slow but steady improvement over the next months. Anti–acetylcholine receptor antibody titer was measured 10 months after initiation of treatment and was markedly decreased, compared with the initial titer. Pyridostigmine and prednisolone dosages were tapered over the following 4 months without any evidence of recurrence of clinical signs. Thirty months after initial examination, the ferret was clinically normal and not receiving any treatment. A follow-up anti–acetylcholine receptor antibody titer was similar to previously published values for healthy ferrets.
Findings indicated that clinical and serologic remission can be achieved in ferrets with myasthenia gravis. However, owner willingness to provide extensive supportive care was vital to the outcome for this patient, as was the owner's decision to not euthanize the ferret despite an initial lack of response to treatment.
A 2-year-old intact male Mini Lop rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) exhibited acute paraplegia and was suspected of having a traumatic spinal injury after leaping from the owner’s arms.
In the physical examination, the patient was conscious and responsive and presented a loss of hind-limb motor function. The results of the neurologic examination indicated a T3-L3 spinal cord lesion. Vertebral column radiography and CT showed a fracture of the dorsal arch in the right caudal part of vertebra L1 and a fracture of the caudal end plate of vertebra L1 without displacement.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME
The vertebral fracture was stabilized by a monolateral external fixator placed percutaneously with fluoroscopy guidance. The rabbit was discharged 48 hours after surgery. Three days later, the rabbit was able to walk with mild paraparesis, and 2 weeks after surgery, the rabbit showed full recovery of neurologic function. The follow-up performed 6 weeks after surgery showed normal gait, good alignment and complete consolidation of the fracture. The external fixator was then removed. The follow-up examination and radiographic findings showed complete recovery at 2 and 6 months after surgery.
The most common cause of traumatic posterior paralysis in rabbits is vertebral fracture. This article describes the possibility and successful outcome of stabilizing a vertebral fracture in a rabbit with an external fixator using a minimally invasive fluoroscopic technique. This technique, described to the authors’ knowledge for the first time in a rabbit, allows a fracture to be stabilized accurately without any incisions while minimizing complications and postoperative pain.
To characterize epidemiological, clinical, radiographic, and echocardiographic features of cardiac diseases in guinea pigs examined at a referral exotics center.
80 guinea pigs.
Medical records of guinea pigs that had echocardiography performed between June 2010 and January 2021 were reviewed.
The percentage of guinea pig patients with cardiovascular disease was 2.8%. Clinical signs included dyspnea (46/80), lethargy (18/80), and anorexia (10/80). The most common physical examination finding was heart murmur (10/80). Radiographic abnormalities included subjective cardiomegaly (37/67), pleural effusion (21/67), and increased lung opacity (40/67). Median (range) vertebral heart score on right lateral (48/67) and ventrodorsal (39/67) projections was 9.0 vertebrae (6.6 to 13.2 vertebrae) and 10.8 vertebrae (7.9 to 13.2 vertebrae), respectively. The most common echocardiographic diagnosis was cardiomyopathy (30/80), categorized as restrictive (11/30), hypertrophic (10/30), or dilated (9/10). Other cardiac diseases included cor pulmonale (21/80), pericardial effusion (18/80), congenital heart disease (6/80), acquired valvular disease (3/80), and cardiovascular mass (2/80). Congestive heart failure was present in 36 of 80. Median survival time from diagnosis was 2.5 months (95% CI, 1.1 to 6.2 months). Animals that died from heart disease had a significantly shorter survival time than those that died from a noncardiac disease (P = .02).
On radiographs, cardiomegaly, pleural effusion, and alveolar or interstitial lung pattern should be considered as indications for echocardiography in guinea pigs. Cardiomyopathy (restrictive, hypertrophic, or dilated), cor pulmonale, and pericardial effusion were the most common echocardiographic diagnoses. Further studies on diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases in guinea pigs are needed.