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  • Author or Editor: John E. Oliver Jr. x
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The bulbospongiosus reflex, genitoanal reflex, and nerve conduction velocity of the dorsal nerve of the penis were evaluated in cats. Seven adult sexually intact or castrated male mixed-breed cats underwent surgical isolation of the bulbospongiosus (analagous to bulbocavernosus) branch, anal branch, and distal trunk of the pudendal nerve. The bulbospongiosus and genitoanal reflexes were recorded from the bulbospongiosus and anal branches, respectively, by electrical stimulation, in turn, of the distal pudendal trunk and the penis itself. Nerve conduction velocity of the dorsal nerve of the penis was calculated by measuring response latency differences in the anal branch after stimulation of 2 sites on the extruded penis.

The bulbospongiosus reflex had response latencies of 8.1 to 10.3 ms (distal trunk stimulation) and 11.0 to 13.0 ms (penile stimulation). The genitoanal reflex had latencies of 8.1 to 10.5 ms (distal trunk stimulation) and 11.2 to 13.2 ms (penile stimulation). Response amplitudes diminished at stimulus rates of 5 to 10 Hz; responses were abolished at rates of 12 to 15 Hz, suggesting that the reflexes are polysynaptic. There was no significant difference between latency values for the bulbospongiosus and genitoanal reflexes.

Mean ± sd nerve conduction velocity in the dorsal nerve of the penis was calculated to be 3.8 ± 0.34 m/s, which was considerably slower than that found in human beings. This may represent technical difficulties in performing the test in cats, but could also indicate a difference between cats and human beings in the predominant population of cutaneous sensory fiber types of the penis.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Noninvasive determination of anal and genitoanal reflexes was evaluated in clinically normal cats. Thirty adult mixed-breed cats (15 sexually intact or castrated males, 15 sexually intact or spayed females) were sedated by iv administration of ketamine, acetylpromazine, and atropine. Anal reflexes were recorded from the anal sphincter muscle after ipsilateral and contralateral electrical stimulation of the perineal skin. Genitoanal reflexes were recorded from the anal sphincter muscle after electrical stimulation of the penis or clitoris. An anal sphincter response to tibial nerve stimulation was attempted.

Anal reflexes from ipsilateral and contralateral stimulations and a genitoanal reflex were detected in all cats. Anal sphincter responses to tibial nerve stimulation were inconsistent (4/30) and were not included in any analyses. Anal reflexes had response latencies of 7.5 to 12.0 ms (ipsilateral stimulation) and 6.5 to 13 ms (contralateral stimulation). Genitoanal reflexes had latencies of 9.0 to 13.0 ms (males) and 6.5 to 9.0 ms (females). Anal reflex latencies were significantly (P < 0.05) longer for contralateral, opposed to ipsilateral, stimulation and were significantly (P < 0.05) longer in males than in females. Genitoanal reflex latencies were also significantly (P < 0.05) longer in males than in females, reflecting the more peripheral stimulation site in males.

Anal reflex responses could be recorded in 2 feline clinic patients with such severe perineal trauma that pudendal nerve function could not be manually evaluated. A potentially favorable prognosis was given in each instance on the basis of detection of the response. One cat eventually recovered. The other was euthanatized because of other problems, and the sacral part of the spinal cord, sacral nerve roots, and pudendal nerves were found to be intact at necropsy.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Evaluation of pudendal reflexes and effects of pudendal branch conditioning on those reflexes was carried out in 2 studies. In the first study of pudendal reflexes, 20 adult male and female mixed-breed cats underwent surgical isolation of the anal branch, urethral branch, and distal trunk (consisting primarily of the dorsal nerve of the penis/clitoris) of the pudendal nerve. Reflexes were tested in all possible ipsilateral and contralateral test-response combinations. Latency values and effects of increasing stimulus rate on response amplitude were recorded. Reflexes were detected in all combinations, with response latencies between 6.3 and 13.0 ms. Response amplitudes were diminished at stimulus rates of 3 to 5 Hz, and responses were apparently abolished at 4 to 16 Hz, suggesting that pudendal reflexes are polysynaptic.

In the second study of conditioning effects, 9 adult male and female mixed-breed cats underwent preparation similar to that for study 1. A train of conditioning stimuli was applied to branches of the pudendal nerve prior to attempting to induce reflex responses, as performed in study 1. Conditioning completely abolished reflex responses for a period of 70 to 130 ms. Reflex responses were diminished in amplitude, compared with those observed during preconditioning trials, for 180 to 300 ms after conditioning.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


To determine whether dogs had prostatic disease, urinary incontinence, or urinary tract infection 1 year after partial prostatectomy to treat prostatic abscesses and cysts.


Prospective study.


20 male dogs with prostatic abscesses or cysts. Fifteen dogs had evidence of urinary tract infection. Only 8 dogs urinated normally; the remainder dribbled, had obstructions, or required medical treatment.


Partial prostatectomy was performed on each dog. Sexually Intact dogs (n = 12) also were castrated.


None of the dogs had return of prostatic cystic enlargement or clinical signs of prostatic disease during the first year after surgery. Two dogs were euthanatized within 1 year after surgery, with 1 dog having prostatic enlargement and adenocarcinoma and 1 dog having unrelated lymphosarcoma. Fifteen dogs were continent. The remaining 5 dogs urinated normally but had intermittent and minor incontinence. Eleven dogs had no signs of infection 1 year after surgery, 5 had pyuria or positive urine bacteriologic culture results, 2 did not have urinalysis performed, and 2 were euthanatized.

Clinical Implications

Dogs with severe prostatic abscesses or cysts and infections can be successfully treated by partial prostatectomy with an ultrasonic surgical aspirator and castration, resulting in long-term disease resolution. Although most dogs with severe prostatic disease do not urinate normally before surgery, nearly all dogs resume normal micturition after partial prostatectomy. Postoperative results of partial prostatectomy appear to be better than those of previous drainage techniques for treatment of prostatic cavitary disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1997;211:868–871)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association