Case Description—A 7-year-old castrated male Great Dane was evaluated because of a 2-month history of fecal incontinence.
Clinical Findings—On the basis of the presence of paraparesis and apparently normal spinal reflexes, the neurologic signs were localized in the region of the third thoracic to the third lumbar spinal cord segments. On the basis of the findings of magnetic resonance imaging, a presumptive diagnosis of a compressive intervertebral disk extrusion with secondary hemorrhage and epidural hematoma formation was made.
Treatment and Outcome—A right-sided hemil-aminectomy was performed (centered at the T13-L1 intervertebral space) to further characterize the lesion and decompress the spinal cord. The histopathologic diagnosis was extruded intervertebral disk material with chronic hemorrhage and inflammation. Three weeks after surgery, there was complete resolution of the dog's fecal incontinence and moderate improvements in its hind limb function.
Clinical Relevance—Thoracolumbar spinal cord injuries can result in upper motor neuron fecal incontinence in ambulatory dogs. Epidural spinal hematomas may develop secondary to intervertebral disk herniations and cause spinal cord compression resulting in neurologic deficits.
Case Description—A 4-year-old 26-kg (57.2-lb) spayed female Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix was evaluated because of a 24-hour history of cluster seizures.
Clinical Findings—Neurologic examination revealed altered mentation and multifocal intracranial signs; MRI was performed. The MRI findings included multifocal, asymmetric forebrain lesions affecting both the gray and white matter, an area suggestive of focal necrosis, and loss of corticomedullary distinction. A midline shift and caudal transtentorial herniation were noted, suggestive of greater than normal intracranial pressure.
Treatment and Outcome—Because the dog's clinical signs worsened despite medical treatment and additional evidence of increased intracranial pressure, bilateral craniectomy and durectomy were performed. Histologic evaluation of a brain biopsy specimen revealed bilateral and asymmetric areas of necrosis in the subcortical white matter and adjacent gray matter. At the periphery of the necrotic areas, there was increased expression of glial fibrillary acidic protein and Virchow-Robin spaces were expanded by CD3+ lymphocytes. Results of immunohistochemical analysis of brain tissue were negative for canine distemper virus, Neospora canis, and Toxoplasma gondii. These clinical, imaging, and histopathologic findings were compatible with necrotizing meningoencephalitis. The dog's neurologic status continued to worsen following surgery. Repeated MRI revealed ongoing signs of increased intracranial pressure, despite the bilateral craniectomy. The owners elected euthanasia.
Clinical Relevance—To the author's knowledge, this is the first report of necrotizing meningoencephalitis in a large mixed-breed dog. Necrotizing meningoencephalitis should be considered as a differential diagnosis in dogs other than small or toy breeds that have signs suggestive of inflammatory disease.
Objective—To evaluate clinical features and outcome of dogs with a confirmed spinal cord nephroblastoma and to describe the use of Wilms tumor-1 (WT-1) immunohistochemical staining to confirm a diagnosis of nephroblastoma in dogs.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—11 dogs with a spinal cord nephroblastoma.
Procedures—Medical records of dogs with a spinal cord nephroblastoma were reviewed. Information extracted included signalment, history, clinical signs, results of diagnostic testing, tumor location, treatment, and outcome. The diagnosis was confirmed through histologic review and WT-1 immunohistochemical staining of a tumor sample. In dogs with negative results for staining with WT-1, staining for cytokeratin, vimentin, and glial fibrillar acidic protein was performed.
Results—11 dogs had a spinal cord tumor with a histologic appearance and immunohistochemical staining consistent with a nephroblastoma. Positive results for staining with WT-1 were detected in 9 of 11 dogs. Age at admission ranged from 5 to 48 months (median, 14 months). Nine dogs were female. All had progressive paraparesis, paraplegia, or ataxia. Duration of clinical signs ranged from 2 to 60 days (median, 14 days). Median survival time was 30 days from the time of diagnosis. Median survival time in dogs treated via surgical resection was 70.5 days.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The prognosis for dogs with a spinal cord nephroblastoma appeared to be poor, although combined surgical resection and radiation therapy may provide a good functional outcome. Results for staining with WT-1 can be used to support a diagnosis of nephroblastoma.
Objective—To assess tolerability and short-term efficacy of oral administration of pregabalin as an adjunct to phenobarbital, potassium bromide, or a combination of phenobarbital and potassium bromide for treatment of dogs with poorly controlled suspected idiopathic epilepsy.
Design—Open-label, noncomparative clinical trial.
Animals—11 client-owned dogs suspected of having idiopathic epilepsy that was inadequately controlled with phenobarbital, potassium bromide, or a combination of these 2 drugs.
Procedures—Dogs were treated with pregabalin (3 to 4 mg/kg [1.4 to 1.8 mg/lb], PO, q 8 h) for 3 months. Number of generalized seizures in the 3 months before and after initiation of pregabalin treatment was recorded. Number of responders (≥ 50% reduction in seizure frequency) was recorded, and seizure frequency before and after initiation of pregabalin treatment was compared by use of a nonparametric Wilcoxon signed rank test.
Results—Seizures were significantly reduced (mean, 57%; median, 50%) after pregabalin administration in the 9 dogs that completed the study; 7 were considered responders with mean and median seizure reductions of 64% and 58%, respectively. Adverse effects for pregabalin were reported in 10 dogs. Mean and median plasma pregabalin concentrations for all dogs were 6.4 and 7.3 μg/mL, respectively.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Pregabalin may hold promise as a safe and effective adjunct anticonvulsant drug for epileptic dogs poorly controlled with the standard drugs phenobarbital or potassium bromide. Adverse effects of pregabalin appeared to be mild. Additional studies with larger numbers of dogs and longer follow-up intervals are warranted.
Objective—To compare clinical outcome in dogs with serologically diagnosed acquired myasthenia gravis (MG) treated with pyridostigmine bromide (PYR) with that of dogs treated with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and PYR (MMF + PYR).
Design—Retrospective case series.
Procedures—Medical records from August 1999 through February 2008 were reviewed to identify dogs with serologically diagnosed acquired MG treated with PYR or MMF + PYR. Data collected for each dog included signalment, whether the dog had megaesophagus or pneumonia (or both), thyroid hormone concentration, remission, time to remission, and survival time. Rates for detection of clinical signs and survival time were compared. Survival time was estimated via the Kaplan-Meier method. Influence of drug treatment protocol on likelihood of remission, time to remission, and survival time was examined. Effects of MMF treatment, megaesophagus, pneumonia, and low serum thyroid hormone concentration on time to remission and survival time were also analyzed.
Results—12 dogs were treated with PYR, and 15 were treated with MMF + PYR. Mortality rates were 33% (PYR) and 40% (MMF + PYR). There was pharmacological remission in 5 and 6 dogs in the PYR and MMF + PYR groups, respectively. No significant differences were detected between treatment groups for remission rate, time to remission, or survival time. Megaesophagus, pneumonia, and low serum thyroid hormone concentration had no significant effect on time to remission or survival time for either treatment group.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The results did not support routine use of MMF for the treatment of dogs with acquired MG.