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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.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the dietary patterns and intake of nutrients of concern in dogs with cardiac disease.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—82 dogs with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) or chronic valvular disease.

Procedure—Owners of dogs were contacted and given a standardized telephone questionnaire regarding diet and a 24-hour food recall to determine daily intake of calories, protein, fat, sodium, potassium, and magnesium.

Results—Among the 82 dogs, 71% had no congestive heart failure (CHF), and 29% had CHF or a history of CHF. Sixty-one percent of dogs had concurrent diseases. Anorexia was or had been evident in 34% of dogs and was significantly more common in the CHF group and in dogs with DCM. Most dogs (92%) received some treats and table food, with a median percentage of daily calories from treats of 19% (range, 0% to 100%). Most owners (57%) that administered pills used human or pet foods for pill administration. Most dogs ate more than the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) minimum values for fat and protein. Daily sodium intake varied from 14 to 384 mg/100 kcal, compared with the AAFCO minimum of 17 mg/100 kcal. A median of 25% of total daily sodium came from treats and table food (range, 0% to 100%). Dogs with CHF ate significantly more sodium, compared with dogs with no CHF.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Dietary intake for dogs with cardiac disease is highly variable and often not optimal. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223: 1301–1305)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


To describe the historical, clinical, and echocardiographic findings in Dalmatians with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM).


Retrospective case series.

Sample Population

9 Dalmatians with a diagnosis of DCM and congestive heart failure (CHF), 9 Doberman Pinschers with DCM and CHF, and 9 dogs of other breeds with DCM and CHF.


Disease history; signalment; physical, radiographic, and echocardiographic examination findings; treatment; and outcome from medical records were analyzed.


All Dalmatians were male, with a mean age of 6.8 years. Eight dogs had been fed a commercially available low-protein diet formulated for the prevention of urate uroliths. All dogs had clinical signs consistent with left-sided CHF and had marked left ventricular systolic dysfunction and severe left ventricular dilatation, although arrhythmias were not an important finding in this series of dogs. Median duration of survival was 10 months.

Clinical Implications

The DCM syndrome in Dalmatians has some qualities that are distinct from DCM in other breeds of dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1996;209:1592–1596)

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To develop 3D models of larynges to compare arytenoid abduction measurements between specimens and models, and to investigate the anatomic feasibility of placing an implant across the cricoarytenoid joint (CAJ) with or without arthrotomy.


Cadaveric equine larynges (n = 9).


Equine larynges underwent sequential CT scans in a neutral position and with 2 arytenoid treatments: bilateral arytenoid abduction (ABD) and bilateral arytenoid abduction after left cricoarytenoid joint arthrotomy (ARTH). Soft tissue, cartilage, and luminal volume 3-dimensional models were generated. Rima glottidis cross-sectional area (CSA) and left-to-right quotient (LRQ) angles were measured on laryngeal specimens and models. Arytenoid translation, articular contact area, and length of modeled implants placed across the CAJ were measured on models. Data were analyzed using paired t test or ANOVA and Tukey’s post hoc test or non-parametric equivalents (P < .05).


ARTH CSA was larger for laryngeal specimens than models (P = .0096). There was no difference in all other measures of CSA and LRQ angle between treatment groups or between specimens and models. There was no difference between ABD and ARTH groups for arytenoid cartilage translation, contact area, and implant length. The articular contact area was sufficient for modeled implant placement across the CAJ with a narrow range of implant lengths (17.59 mm to 23.87 mm) across larynges with or without arthrotomy.


These results support further investigation of a CT-guided, minimally invasive surgical procedure. Future studies will evaluate the outcomes of the new procedure for technical precision, biomechanical stability, and post-operative success rates for horses with recurrent laryngeal neuropathy (RLN).

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


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.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association