Electromyography of the pelvic diaphragm and anal sphincter in dogs with perineal hernia

Bart E. Sjollema From the Departments of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals (Sjollema, Venker-van Haagen, van Sluijs), Veterinary Anatomy (Hartman), and Veterinary Pathology (Goedegebuure), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, State University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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Anjop J. Venker-van Haagen From the Departments of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals (Sjollema, Venker-van Haagen, van Sluijs), Veterinary Anatomy (Hartman), and Veterinary Pathology (Goedegebuure), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, State University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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Frederik J. van Sluijs From the Departments of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals (Sjollema, Venker-van Haagen, van Sluijs), Veterinary Anatomy (Hartman), and Veterinary Pathology (Goedegebuure), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, State University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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Frits Hartman From the Departments of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals (Sjollema, Venker-van Haagen, van Sluijs), Veterinary Anatomy (Hartman), and Veterinary Pathology (Goedegebuure), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, State University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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Sinus A. Goedegebuure From the Departments of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals (Sjollema, Venker-van Haagen, van Sluijs), Veterinary Anatomy (Hartman), and Veterinary Pathology (Goedegebuure), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, State University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

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SUMMARY

The innervation of the levator ani and coccygeal muscles and the external anal sphincter was studied by anatomic dissection in 6 clinically normal male dogs and by electrical stimulation in 5 clinically normal male dogs. Variations in innervation occasionally were found that were comparable to those reported in previous studies.

Electromyographic recordings were made from the levator ani and coccygeal muscles and from the anal sphincter in 40 dogs during perineal hernia repair. Spontaneous potentials of 4 types were found in 35 dogs: fibrillation potentials, positive sharp waves, complex repetitive discharges, and fasciculations.

Biopsy specimens of the cranial part of the levator ani muscle were taken in 12 dogs during perineal hernia repair. Histologic examination revealed atrophy in 7 specimens. Spontaneous potentials were recorded from all muscles with histologic evidence of atrophy. All examinations of the levator ani muscle concerned the cranial part of this muscle, because the caudal part was absent in all 40 dogs.

From combined results of electromyography and histologic examination, it was concluded that atrophy of the muscles of the pelvic diaphragm, which develops in some dogs with perineal hernia, is likely to be of neurogenic origin. Nerve damage is localized in the sacral plexus proximal to the muscular branches of the pudendal nerve or in the muscular branches separately.

SUMMARY

The innervation of the levator ani and coccygeal muscles and the external anal sphincter was studied by anatomic dissection in 6 clinically normal male dogs and by electrical stimulation in 5 clinically normal male dogs. Variations in innervation occasionally were found that were comparable to those reported in previous studies.

Electromyographic recordings were made from the levator ani and coccygeal muscles and from the anal sphincter in 40 dogs during perineal hernia repair. Spontaneous potentials of 4 types were found in 35 dogs: fibrillation potentials, positive sharp waves, complex repetitive discharges, and fasciculations.

Biopsy specimens of the cranial part of the levator ani muscle were taken in 12 dogs during perineal hernia repair. Histologic examination revealed atrophy in 7 specimens. Spontaneous potentials were recorded from all muscles with histologic evidence of atrophy. All examinations of the levator ani muscle concerned the cranial part of this muscle, because the caudal part was absent in all 40 dogs.

From combined results of electromyography and histologic examination, it was concluded that atrophy of the muscles of the pelvic diaphragm, which develops in some dogs with perineal hernia, is likely to be of neurogenic origin. Nerve damage is localized in the sacral plexus proximal to the muscular branches of the pudendal nerve or in the muscular branches separately.

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