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  • Author or Editor: Roberto José-López x
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Case Description—A 9-year-old male Miniature Poodle was evaluated because of progressive severe right hemiparesis, right forelimb lameness, and signs of cervical pain.

Clinical Findings—A low body condition score (2/9) and popliteal lymphadenopathy were detected. Results of a CBC, serum biochemical analyses, urinalysis, cytologic examination of bone marrow and popliteal lymph node aspirates, and serum ELISA were consistent with systemic leishmaniasis. Magnetic resonance imaging of the cervical spinal cord revealed an intramedullary mass extending from the caudal aspect of the C5 vertebral body to the C5–6 intervertebral disk space with a contrast medium–enhanced pattern that had 3 zones (central contrast medium–enhanced core, intermediate isointense zone, and peripheral contrast medium–enhanced ring). Surgical biopsy of the mass was performed by means of a right C5–6 dorsal hemilaminectomy. Results of PCR assays for detection of Leishmania DNA in CSF and tissue biopsy samples were positive.

Treatment and Outcome—Treatment for systemic leishmaniasis was initiated. Two months later, body condition, neurologic signs, and gait of the dog had substantially improved; the dog had mild right forelimb paresis at that time. Results of follow-up MRI indicated resolution of the cervical spinal cord lesion. Four months after diagnosis, the dog's neurologic condition was stable.

Clinical Relevance—To the authors’ knowledge, this report is the first in which clinical findings, clinicopathologic data, and MRI characteristics of an intramedullary inflammatory spinal cord lesion presumptively attributable to leishmaniasis in a dog have been reported, and the first report of CNS leishmaniasis in a dog with MRI resolution and a successful clinical response to treatment.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association



To describe the clinical and neurologic signs, diagnostic investigations, definitive or presumptive diagnosis, treatment, and outcome of dogs presented with acute onset central cord syndrome (CCS).


74 client-owned dogs evaluated for CCS at 5 referral hospitals between January 2016 and March 2021.


Data were collected from the medical records of each dog, including patient signalment, physical and neurologic examination results, presence of signs of respiratory failure, diagnostic imaging findings, definitive or presumptive diagnosis, treatment and follow-up information. Descriptive statistics were calculated and bivariable analysis was performed to identify associations between selected variables.


2 neuroanatomic locations for the CCS were identified: C1-C5 spinal cord segments in 65 of 74 (88%) dogs and C6-T2 in 9 (12%) dogs. Neurolocalization did not correlate with the imaging findings in 43 (58%) dogs. Different diseases were associated with CCS. The most common condition was Hansen type I disk herniation in 27 (36%) dogs and hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion in 16 (22%) dogs. Main lesion locations within the vertebral column associated with CCS were C3-C4 and C4-C5 intervertebral disk spaces in 21 (28%) and 18 (24%) dogs, respectively. Outcome was favorable in 69 (93%) dogs. Patients presenting with hypoventilation were 14.7 times more likely to have a poor outcome.


CCS in dogs may be seen with lesions in the C1-C5 and C6-T2 spinal cord segments. Etiologies are variable. Total or partial improvement was achieved in most dogs with the appropriate treatment. Hypoventilation was associated with death.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association