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Abstract

Objective—To compare clinical signs of dogs treated medically or surgically for degenerative lumbosacral stenosis (DLSS) and assess outcome after medical treatment.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—Client-owned dogs treated medically (n = 49) or surgically (49) for DLSS.

Procedures—Medical records from 2004 to 2012 were reviewed. Dogs were included if they had clinical signs, clinical examination findings, and MRI abnormalities consistent with DLSS. Several variables were compared between surgically and medically treated dogs: age, sex, duration of clinical signs, presence or absence of neurologic deficits, urinary and fecal incontinence, concurrent medical conditions, and medical treatment before referral. Medical treatment after obtaining a final diagnosis of DLSS consisted of restricted exercise in combination with anti-inflammatory and analgesic drugs. Surgical treatment consisted of dorsal lumbosacral laminectomy. Outcome for medically treated dogs was obtained via a standardized questionnaire.

Results—Neurologic deficits were observed significantly more often in surgically treated dogs. Surgically treated dogs had unsuccessful medical treatment before referral significantly more often than did medically treated dogs. Thirty-one of 49 (63.3%) medically treated dogs were available for follow-up evaluation. Of these 31 dogs, 17 (55%) were managed successfully, 10 (32.3%) were managed unsuccessfully and underwent surgical treatment, 3 (9.7%) were euthanized because of progression of clinical signs, and 1 (3.2%) was alive but had an increase in severity of clinical signs after medical management.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Clinical signs differed in dogs treated medically or surgically for DLSS. Medical treatment for dogs with DLSS was associated with a fair prognosis.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To evaluate signalment, clinical findings, and outcomes of dogs with congenital hydrocephalus treated medically with orally administered prednisolone or surgically by ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement.

DESIGN

Retrospective case series.

ANIMALS

40 client-owned dogs.

PROCEDURES

Medical records from 2005 to 2016 were searched to identify dogs with congenital hydrocephalus confirmed by MRI examination. Patients were categorized by treatment (medical vs surgical). Signalment, clinical signs, neurologic examination findings, results of diagnostic tests, duration of hospitalization, complications potentially related to treatment, and follow-up information were recorded. Outcome was categorized on the basis of clinical (neurologic) signs as improved, stabilized, or deteriorated. Variables of interest were compared between groups by Fisher exact or Mann-Whitney U tests.

RESULTS

28 and 12 dogs had surgical and medical treatment, respectively; 3 medically treated dogs subsequently underwent ventriculoperitoneal shunt placement. No significant differences were noted in clinical or imaging findings between surgically and medically treated dogs. Median follow-up time was 9 months and 15.5 months for medically and surgically treated dogs, respectively. Of 12 medically treated dogs, 6 improved and 6 deteriorated. Of 26 surgically treated dogs with data available, 14 (54%) improved, 1 (4%) stabilized, and 11 (42%) deteriorated; 4 (15%) had known postoperative complications.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Approximately half of the dogs treated with prednisolone in this population had neurologic improvement at last follow-up; results of surgical treatment were comparable to those in previous studies. Further research is needed to assess factors associated with acceptable outcomes for dogs with congenital hydrocephalus.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To investigate whether hemivertebra subtype as determined via CT was associated with breed and Cobb angle (a measure of the degree of spinal curvature) in apparently neurologically normal French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, and Pugs.

ANIMALS Client-owned French Bulldogs (n = 58), English Bulldogs (30), and Pugs (12) with thoracic hemivertebrae that underwent CT for reasons unrelated to spinal disease.

PROCEDURES CT scans of each dog were evaluated, and hemivertebrae were categorized by subtype (ventral aplasia, ventral hypoplasia, lateral aplasia, lateral hypoplasia, ventrolateral aplasia, ventrolateral hypoplasia, ventral and median aplasia, ventral and median hypoplasia, and symmetric hypoplasia). The Cobb angle was measured, and kyphosis was defined as a Cobb angle > 10°. Results were compared among breeds.

RESULTS 243 hemivertebrae were identified in the French Bulldog group, 100 in the English Bulldog group, and 19 in the Pug group. Breed was significantly associated with hemivertebra subtype. Pugs were more likely than French and English Bulldogs to have ventral hypoplasia and less likely to have ventral and median hypoplasia. English Bulldogs were more likely than French Bulldogs to have ventral and median hypoplasia. Compared with other hemivertebra subtypes, ventral hypoplasia was associated with a greater Cobb angle and a higher likelihood of kyphosis. Pugs were more likely than the other 2 breeds to have kyphosis.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Pugs had a different spectrum of hemivertebra subtypes than French and English Bulldogs in this study. Additional research is necessary to evaluate the clinical relevance of this finding.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To compare clinical signs and outcomes between dogs with presumptive ischemic myelopathy and dogs with presumptive acute noncompressive nucleus pulposus extrusion (ANNPE).

DESIGN Retrospective study.

ANIMALS 51 dogs with ischemic myelopathy and 42 dogs with ANNPE examined at 1 referral hospital.

PROCEDURES Medical records and MRI sequences were reviewed for dogs with a presumptive antemortem diagnosis of ischemic myelopathy or ANNPE. Information regarding signalment, clinical signs at initial examination, and short-term outcome was retrospectively retrieved from patient records. Long-term outcome information was obtained by telephone communication with referring or primary-care veterinarians and owners.

RESULTS Compared with the hospital population, English Staffordshire Bull Terriers and Border Collies were overrepresented in the ischemic myelopathy and ANNPE groups, respectively. Dogs with ANNPE were significantly older at disease onset and were more likely to have a history of vocalization at onset of clinical signs, have spinal hyperesthesia during initial examination, have a lesion at C1-C5 spinal cord segments, and be ambulatory at hospital discharge, compared with dogs with ischemic myelopathy. Dogs with ischemic myelopathy were more likely to have a lesion at L4-S3 spinal cord segments and have long-term fecal incontinence, compared with dogs with ANNPE. However, long-term quality of life and outcome did not differ between dogs with ischemic myelopathy and dogs with ANNPE.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results revealed differences in clinical signs at initial examination between dogs with ischemic myelopathy and dogs with ANNPE that may aid clinicians in differentiating the 2 conditions.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess the anatomic distribution of thoracolumbar and lumbar intervertebral disk extrusions (IVDEs) in English Cocker Spaniels as compared with findings in Dachshunds and to characterize clinical findings in English Cocker Spaniels with thoracolumbar or lumbar IVDEs affecting various regions of the vertebral column.

DESIGN Retrospective observational study.

ANIMALS 81 English Cocker Spaniels and 81 Dachshunds with IVDEs.

PROCEDURES Signalment, clinical signs, neurologic examination findings, and affected intervertebral disk spaces (IVDSs) were recorded for both breeds. Management methods and outcomes were recorded for English Cocker Spaniels. Lesions were categorized as thoracolumbar (IVDSs T9–10 through L1–2), midlumbar (L2–3 through L4–5), or caudal lumbar (L5–6 through L7–S1).

RESULTS Midlumbar and caudal lumbar IVDEs were significantly more common in English Cocker Spaniels than in Dachshunds. English Cocker Spaniels with caudal lumbar IVDEs had a longer median duration of clinical signs before evaluation and more commonly had unilateral pelvic limb lameness or spinal hyperesthesia as the predominant clinical sign than did those with IVDEs at other sites. Those with caudal lumbar IVDEs less commonly had neurologic deficits and had a higher median neurologic grade (indicating lesser severity), shorter mean postoperative hospitalization time, and faster mean time to ambulation after surgery than those with other sites affected. These variables did not differ between English Cocker Spaniels with thoracolumbar and midlumbar IVDEs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Caudal and midlumbar IVDEs were more common in English Cocker Spaniels than in Dachshunds. English Cocker Spaniels with caudal lumbar IVDE had clinical signs and posttreatment responses that differed from those in dogs with midlumbar or thoracolumbar IVDE.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine radiographic vertebral ratio values representing vertebral canal stenosis in Doberman Pinschers with and without clinical signs of caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy (CCSM).

Animals—Doberman Pinschers with (n = 81) and without (39) signs of CCSM.

Procedures—All dogs underwent lateral survey radiography of the cervical vertebral column. Five specific measurements were made at C3 through C7, and from those data, 3 ratios were calculated and analyzed for use in diagnosis of CSSM: canal height-to-vertebral body height ratio (CBHR), canal height-to-vertebral body length ratio (CBLR), and caudal vertebral canal height-to-cranial vertebral canal height ratio (CCHR). The CBHR and CBLR were considered indicators of vertebral canal stenosis, and CCHR described vertebral canal shape.

Results—Compared with Doberman Pinschers without CCSM, mean CBHR and CBLR values were significantly smaller for Doberman Pinschers with CCSM; for CBHR, this difference was evident at each assessed vertebra. The CCHR value for C7 was significantly larger in dogs with CCSM. Receiver operating characteristic statistics did not identify a threshold point that had combined high sensitivity and specificity sufficient to differentiate between Doberman Pinschers with and without CCSM.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Doberman Pinschers with CCSM had vertebral canal stenosis combined with a funnel-shaped vertebral canal at C7 significantly more often than did Doberman Pinschers without CCSM. Despite these significant differences, no reliable threshold ratio values were identified to differentiate groups of dogs.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

CASE DESCRIPTION A 16-month-old neutered male Continental Giant rabbit (Lepus curpaeums) was referred for evaluation of a 7-day history of acute-onset, progressive, symmetric paraparesis.

CLINICAL FINDINGS On initial examination, the rabbit was nonambulatory, and results of neurologic examination were consistent with a lesion affecting the T3-L3 spinal cord segments. Thoracic radiography showed irregular widening of the left T11–12 articular process joint. Marked dorsolateral and lateral extradural spinal cord compression with contrast enhancement of the adjacent epaxial muscles was evident on MRI images of the spine.

TREATMENT AND OUTCOME A left-sided T11–T12 hemilaminectomy was performed, which revealed an abnormal and hypertrophic T11–12 articular process joint and an osteolytic lesion communicating with the vertebral canal. Copious purulent material causing marked spinal cord compression was evident, and the surgical site was lavaged extensively with sterile (0.9% NaCl) saline solution. Results of aerobic, anaerobic, and enriched bacteriologic cultures of swab specimens obtained from the surgical site were negative. Histologic analysis of biopsy samples revealed chronic purulent osteomyelitis, myositis, and fasciitis with necrosis, fibrosis, and dystrophic mineralization. The rabbit was discharged 48 hours after surgery. Ten weeks after surgery, the rabbit was ambulatory with mild paraparesis. On telephone follow-up 21 months after surgery, the owners indicated that the rabbit was healthy and expressed satisfaction with the treatment and outcome.

CLINICAL RELEVANCE Paraspinal abscess with vertebral canal involvement should be considered as a differential diagnosis for rabbits with clinical signs of progressive T3-L3 myelopathy. Outcome for the patient of the present report suggested that surgical treatment including decompression and debridement can result in a favorable long-term outcome.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 4-year-old sexually intact male mixed-breed dog was evaluated because of clinical signs of acute-onset pelvic limb ataxia, rapidly progressing to paraplegia with severe spinal hyperesthesia.

Clinical Findings—General physical examination revealed pyrexia, tachycardia, and tachypnea. Neurologic examination demonstrated severe spinal hyperesthesia and paraplegia with decreased nociception. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed extradural spinal cord compression at T13-L1 and hyperintense lesions on T1- and T2-weighted images in the epaxial musculature and epidural space.

Treatment and Outcome—Decompressive surgery, consisting of a continuous dorsal laminectomy, with copious lavage of the vertebral canal was performed. Cultures of blood, urine, and surgical site samples were negative. Histologic examination results for samples obtained during surgery demonstrated suppurative myositis and steatitis. These findings confirmed a diagnosis of sterile idiopathic inflammation of the epidural fat and epaxial muscles with spinal cord compression. The dog's neurologic status started to improve 1 week after surgery. After surgery, the dog received supportive care including antimicrobials and NSAIDs. The dog was ambulatory 1 month after surgery and was fully ambulatory despite signs of mild bilateral pelvic limb ataxia 3 years after surgery.

Clinical Relevance—Although idiopathic sterile inflammation of adipose tissue, referred to as panniculitis, more commonly affects subcutaneous tissue, its presence in the vertebral canal is rare. Specific MRI findings described in this report may help in reaching a presumptive diagnosis of this neurologic disorder. A definitive diagnosis and successful long-term outcome in affected patients can be achieved by decompressive surgery and histologic examination of surgical biopsy samples.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

OBJECTIVE

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).

ANIMALS

111 client-owned dogs with SRMA diagnosed at 3 veterinary referral hospitals between 2011 and 2017.

PROCEDURES

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.

RESULTS

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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association