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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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To quantify radial and longitudinal left ventricular free wall (LVFW) velocities in dogs during the preclinical phase of Golden Retriever muscular dystrophy (GRMD)-associated cardiomyopathy by use of tissue Doppler imaging (TDI).

Animals—9 dogs with GRMD and 6 healthy control dogs.

Procedure—All dogs (< 3 years old) were examined via conventional echocardiography and 2-dimensional color TDI. Myocardial velocities in the LVFW were recorded from right parasternal ventricular short-axis (radial motion) and left apical 4-chamber (longitudinal motion) views. Cardiac assessments via TDI included maximal systolic and early and late diastolic LVFW velocities in the endocardial and epicardial layers (for radial motion) and in the basal and apical segments (for longitudinal motion).

Results—No notable ventricular dilatation or alteration of inotropism was detected in dogs with GRMD via conventional echocardiography. Compared with healthy dogs, endocardial velocities were significantly decreased in dogs with GRMD, resulting in marked decreases in radial myocardial velocity gradients during systole and early and late diastole. Similarly, basal and apical velocities were significantly decreased in systole and the former also in early diastole, resulting in significant decreases in the 2 corresponding longitudinal myocardial velocity gradients. The radial epicardial and longitudinal late diastolic velocities were comparable in the 2 groups.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that GRMD-associated cardiomyopathy in dogs is associated with early marked dysfunction of both radial and longitudinal LVFW motions. These combined regional myocardial abnormalities might be useful criteria for detection of dilated cardiomyopathy at the preclinical stage of the disease in dogs. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1335–1341)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the electrophysiological changes in dogs with peripheral nerve sheath tumors (PNSTs), evaluate the prevalence of these changes, assess the correlation between spontaneous activity in epaxial muscles and proximal invasion by the tumor, and evaluate whether knowledge of electrophysiological changes could be helpful in the imaging diagnosis via CT or MRI.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—51 dogs with a histologic (n = 18) or a suspected (33) diagnosis of PNST.

Procedures—Clinical, postmortem, and histologic reports and details of electrodiagnostic procedures and CT or MRI reports were studied. Twenty-four CT and 6 MRI reports for dogs with PNSTs were reviewed by a single observer blinded to the diagnosis.

Results—Only 2 of the 51 dogs had no electrophysiological changes. The most commonly affected muscles were those innervated by the radial, ulnar, median, tibial-sciatic, and peroneal nerves. Abnormal spontaneous epaxial muscle activity was significantly more frequent in the group with foraminal or spinal invasion by the tumors. Knowledge of the electrophysiological changes increased diagnostic accuracy of CT.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that electrophysiological studies may be sensitive for the detection of PNST and helpful in the imaging diagnosis. Epaxial electromyographic abnormalities appeared to be predictive for intervertebral or vertebral canal invasion by PNSTs in dogs.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association