OBJECTIVE To characterize outcomes following nonsurgical treatment of congenital thoracic vertebral body malformations causing neurologic deficits in dogs.
DESIGN Retrospective case series.
ANIMALS 13 client-owned dogs treated nonsurgically for congenital thoracic vertebral body malformations at 3 veterinary referral hospitals from June 2009 through May 2016.
PROCEDURES Data were extracted from the medical records regarding dog signalment, duration and type of clinical signs before referral, general physical and neurologic examination findings, radiographic and MRI findings, and treatments provided after diagnosis. Follow-up data were obtained from records of recheck examinations and via a standardized owner questionnaire.
RESULTS All included dogs were screw-tail brachycephalic breeds with a median age of 6 months. All dogs had ambulatory paraparesis and ataxia, and in 1 dog, signs of spinal hyperesthesia could be elicited. Nonsurgical treatments consisted of restricted exercise without (n = 5) or with (3) physiotherapy, physiotherapy without restricted exercise (3), and no exercise modification (2). Seven dogs received additional nonsurgical treatment consisting of prednisolone (n = 5) or gabapentin (2). Four dogs were eventually euthanized because of progressive neurologic deterioration, 2 underwent surgery for the same reason, and the remaining 7 dogs survived for ≥ 170 days after diagnosis, despite progressive neurologic deterioration.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Nonsurgical treatment of congenital thoracic vertebral body malformations was associated with an unfavorable outcome in this group of dogs. Despite this treatment, all dogs had progression of clinical signs.
To evaluate whether concurrent analysis of CSF samples from 2 collection sites (cerebellomedullary cistern [CMC] and lumbar subarachnoid space [LSS]) versus only 1 site could improve the diagnostic sensitivity of CSF analysis for dogs with suspected steroid-responsive meningitis arteritis (SRMA).
111 client-owned dogs with SRMA diagnosed at 3 veterinary referral hospitals between 2011 and 2017.
Only dogs with CSF collected from both sites (CMC and LSS) and with no previous history of corticosteroid administration were included. Medical record data and logistic regression were used to identify factors associated with having a total nucleated cell concentration (TNCC) within the reference interval in a CSF sample from 1 collection site.
The TNCC was within the reference interval (TNCC < 5 cells/μL) in the CSF sample from 1 collection site for 8 of 111 (7%) dogs and was only slightly high (TNCC, 5 to 9 cells/μL) in the sample from 1 or both sites for 10 (11%) other dogs. For each of these 18 dogs, results for samples from 1 site were consistent with SRMA. The proportion of CSF samples that had a TNCC within the reference interval was comparable between sites. As age increased, so did the risk of having an unremarkable TNCC in the CSF sample from 1 site, albeit only slightly (OR, 1.08; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.16).
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
CSF samples from both the CMC and LSS should be analyzed when evaluating dogs with suspected SRMA to improve the chance of detecting a high TNCC.