Objective—To compare radiographic morphology of the atlantoaxial region between Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCSs) and dogs of other breeds and determine whether there was an association between radiographic morphology of the atlantoaxial region and syringomyelia in CKCSs.
Animals—65 CKCSs and 72 dogs of other breeds.
Procedures—The amount that the spinous process of the axis overlapped the dorsal arch of the atlas, the relative size of the spinous process of the axis, and the amount of widening of the atlantoaxial joint that occurred when the neck was moved from a neutral to a flexed position were measured on lateral radiographic projections of the atlantoaxial region. Magnetic resonance images were reviewed to identify CKCSs with syringomyelia.
Results—The amount of overlap of the atlas and axis and the relative size of the spinous process of the axis were significantly smaller in CKCSs than in dogs of other breeds. However, the amount of widening of the atlantoaxial joint that occurred when the neck was moved from a neutral to a flexed position was not significantly different between groups, and no association was detected between syringomyelia and excessive atlantoaxial joint space widening or between syringomyelia and an excessively small axial spinous process.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that radiographic morphology of the atlantoaxial region in CKCSs differs from morphology of that region in dogs of other breeds, but that these differences do not account for why some CKCSs develop syringomyelia and others do not.
To determine the effectiveness of manual bladder expression in paraplegic dogs by comparing urine volumes measured by use of intermittent catheterization and ultrasonography.
36 paraplegic dogs.
93 measurements of bladder volume were collected for the 36 dogs. Residual urine volume was determined by use of intermittent urethral catheterization and estimated by use of ultrasonography.
Manual bladder expression voided a mean of 49% of urine from the bladder in this population of dogs. There was no correlation (R2, 0.06) between the effectiveness of manual bladder expression and body weight. Ultrasonographic estimation of bladder volume had good correlation (R2, 0.62) with bladder volume determined by use of intermittent bladder catheterization, but clinically unacceptable variation for predicting actual bladder volume (mean difference, 22 mL; 95% confidence interval, −96 to 139 mL).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Manual bladder expression was ineffective at completely emptying urine from the bladder of paraplegic dogs, but the effectiveness of the procedure was not affected by body weight. Manual bladder expression would likely be a useful procedure to prevent increases in pressure within the bladder. Ultrasonographic estimation of bladder volume could be a useful predictor of actual bladder volume, but it was susceptible to wide variations among dogs, and results should therefore be interpreted with caution.
Case Description—A 2-year-old spayed female domestic shorthair cat was examined because of bilateral thoracic limb weakness of acute onset.
Clinical Findings—Clinical signs included muscle atrophy, paresis, depressed spinal reflexes, hyperesthesia of the thoracic limbs, and reduced jaw muscle tone. Pelvic limb reflexes were normal. Results of a neurologic examination were suggestive of multifocal lesions involving both brachial plexuses and the trigeminal nerves. Abnormal nerve conduction across the brachial plexus and delayed late potentials were found on electrodiagnostic testing, and diffuse subclinical involvement of other regions of the peripheral nervous system was confirmed on the basis of abnormal electromyographic findings for the masticatory muscles and conduction block of the peroneal nerve.
Treatment and Outcome—No specific treatments were given, and neurologic signs resolved within a month. A relapse occurred 2 months after the first episode, with clinical signs affecting both the pelvic and the thoracic limbs on this occasion. Again, the condition resolved without specific treatment, and 13 months after the initial episode, the cat reportedly was normal.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings suggested that brachial plexus neuropathy can be a multifocal disease in cats, even if clinically apparent neurologic deficits are initially subtle or absent, and that electrodiagnostic techniques can be used to identify subclinical involvement of the peripheral nerves.
Case Description—A 2-year-old Griffon Vendéen was examined because of a 1-month history of right hind limb lameness after a traumatic injury.
Clinical Findings—Neurologic examination revealed monoplegia and anesthesia of the right hind limb distal to the stifle (femorotibial) joint except for the area supplied by the cutaneous saphenous nerve. Results of electromyographic testing were consistent with a severe lesion of the tibial and peroneal nerves at the level of the stifle joint.
Treatment and Outcome—Exploratory surgery revealed an 80-mm-long gap in both the peroneal and tibial branches of the right sciatic nerve. A section of the left cutaneous saphenous nerve was interposed to graft the nerve defects. The dog received joint mechanotherapy and electrophysiologic therapy during the reinnervation process. Ten months after surgery, the dog had recovered almost completely. Neurologic examination revealed diminished flexion of the tarsal and digital joints. Repeat electromyographic testing revealed no abnormal spontaneous electrical activity in the right hind limb musculature, and small compound muscle action potentials were recorded in the right interosseous and cranial tibial muscles.
Clinical Relevance—Without surgical treatment, neurotmesis injury results in poor recovery of motor and sensory functions and may result in amputation. If a nerve defect exists, nerve grafting should be considered, even if the procedure is delayed until well after the injury. The sensory portion of the cutaneous saphenous nerve is a potential source of peripheral nerve for grafting in dogs. Reinnervation is a long-term process and physiologic support and owner involvement are necessary, but nearly complete functional recovery is possible.
Case Description—A 1-month-old female alpaca was examined because of progressive clinical signs consistent with an intracranial lesion.
Clinical Findings—Clinical signs included signs of depression, lethargy, tetraparesis, and neck weakness. Two large isointense intracranial masses could be seen on T1-weighted magnetic resonance images. On T2-weighted images, the masses contained concentric rings of hypointense and hyperintense material.
Treatment and Outcome—2 abscesses were removed via a craniotomy that incorporated removal of the sagittal crest and surrounding skull and transection of the sagittal sinus. The bony deficit was replaced with polypropylene mesh. The alpaca recovered within 2 weeks and was fully integrated into the herd within 1 month after surgery.
Clinical Relevance—Findings indicated that surgical removal is a feasible means of successfully treating intracranial abscesses in juvenile alpacas.
CASE DESCRIPTION 5 dogs were examined because of clinical signs of myelopathy, including signs of pain associated with the spinal region and rapidly progressive neurologic deficits.
CLINICAL FINDINGS In all dogs, results of MRI were consistent with spinal epidural empyema. Concurrent infectious processes were identified at adjacent or distant sites in all dogs, including diskospondylitis, prostatitis, dermatitis, paraspinal infection following a penetrating injury, urinary tract infection, and pyothorax. Bacteria were isolated from 3 dogs; Escherichia coli was isolated from blood, urine, and prostatic wash samples from 1 dog; a Pasteurella sp was isolated from a percutaneous aspirate from an adjacent infected wound in a second dog; and a Corynebacterium sp was isolated from a thoracic fluid sample from a third dog. For the remaining 2 dogs, results of bacterial culture were negative.
TREATMENT AND OUTCOME All dogs showed clinical improvement within 2 weeks after initiation of antimicrobial treatment, and all had an excellent long-term outcome.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE In dogs, spinal epidural empyema has previously been regarded as a surgical emergency. Findings for dogs in the present report suggested that, as is the case for humans, selected dogs with spinal epidural empyema may be successfully managed with medical treatment alone.
Objective—To determine the effects of syringomyelia on electromyography (EMG) findings, somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs), and transcranial magnetic motor-evoked potentials (TMMEPs) in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (CKCSs).
Animals—27 client-owned CKCSs that underwent prebreeding magnetic resonance imaging screening or investigation of clinical signs consistent with syringomyelia.
Procedures—In dogs with (n = 11) and without (16) magnetic resonance imaging-confirmed syringomyelia, the median nerve in each thoracic limb was stimulated and SEPs were recorded over the C1 vertebra; onset latency and latency and amplitude of the largest negative (N1) and positive (P1) peaks were measured. The TMMEPs were recorded bilaterally from the extensor carpi radialis and tibialis cranialis muscles; onset latencies in all 4 limbs were measured. Bilateral systematic needle EMG examination was performed on the cervical epaxial musculature, and the number of sites with spontaneous activity was recorded.
Results—In dogs with syringomyelia, amplitudes of N1 and P1 and the amplitude difference between P1 and N1 were significantly smaller than those recorded for dogs without syringomyelia (approx 2-fold difference). No difference in SEP latencies, TMMEP latencies, or the proportion of dogs with > 2 sites of spontaneous activity detected during EMG examination was detected between groups.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that SEP amplitude at the C1 vertebra was a more sensitive measure of spinal cord function in CKCSs with syringomyelia, compared with results of EMG or TMMEP assessment. Measurement of SEP amplitude may have use as an objective assessment of the evolution and treatment of this disease.