A look through the latest literature on neurology - Veterinary Practice
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A look through the latest literature on neurology

A summary of the latest academic publications providing further insight into this month’s spotlight topic of neurology

Diagnostic utility of canine cerebrospinal fluid preserved with buffered formalin

Ivan Montanes Sancho and others, Paragon Veterinary Referrals, Wakefield

Examination of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples can provide valuable information in patients with neurological signs. It is recommended that CSF analysis is performed within an hour of collection due to the likelihood of samples deteriorating, which affects cell numbers and morphology. The authors examined the impact of adding 10 percent buffered formalin on the quality of samples. A comparison of samples with and without formalin showed that this agent did help to preserve the diagnostic utility of CSF samples by preserving cellular morphology when the analysis is delayed for between 6 and 20 hours.

Journal of Small Animal Practice, 63, 22-26

Postattenuation neurological signs after surgery for congenital portosystemic shunts

Ronan Mullins and others, University College Dublin, Ireland

Postattenuation neurological signs (PANS) are a poorly understood and potentially devastating complication after surgical treatment of congenital portosystemic shunts. The clinical signs of PANS include seizures, depression, behavioural changes and tremors. The authors reviewed the findings from 50 publications reporting incidents of PANS. The aetiology of PANS remains elusive, but a number of risk factors have been identified including increasing age and the presence of hepatic encephalopathy immediately post-operatively. Treatment is mainly supportive therapy, centred around the administration of antiepileptic drugs.

Veterinary Surgery, 51, 23-33

Primary orthostatic tremor and orthostatic tremor-plus in dogs

Theofanis Liatis and others, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Orthostatic tremor is a movement disorder characterised by pathognomonic high-frequency involuntary movements which may affect the whole body. Orthostatic tremor-plus (OT-plus) describes these signs when accompanied by evidence of other neurological disease. The authors report the clinical details of 53 cases of primary disease and seven cases of OT-plus. Their findings show that these conditions are progressive diseases of young giant- and large-breed dogs but that they may also appear later in life in retrievers. Patients with primary disease may respond to medications including phenobarbital, primidone, gabapentin, pregabalin or clonazepam.

Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 36, 179-189

MRI examination of canine haemangiosarcoma affecting the central nervous system

Claudia Mallol and others, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

Haemangiosarcoma is the most common metastatic tumour affecting the brain in dogs. The authors describe the MRI characteristics of these lesions after reviewing findings from studies at seven referral institutions. In 20 patients, the consistent imaging features included heterogenous and frequently mixed signal intensity lesions with the presence of susceptibility artifact on T2*w, associated moderate to severe perilesional oedema and moderate to strong heterogenous or ring-like contrast enhancement. Detection of these features will aid the early identification of haemangiosarcoma and guide subsequent treatment.

Veterinary Radiology and Ultrasound, 63, 185-196

Multiple cranial nerve motor deficits in a cat with hyperthyroidism

Christopher Holland and Jonathon Nott, Merewether Veterinary Hospital, Newcastle, New South Wales

An elderly neutered female domestic shorthair presented with a six-day history of difficulty eating, dropped jaw, tongue protrusion and sialosis. There was also evidence of pelvic limb weakness and vocal changes. Blood samples showed increased total thyroid hormone levels indicating hyperthyroidism, while neurological examination demonstrated multiple cranial nerve motor deficits resembling polyneuritis cranialis. There was complete resolution of clinical signs following treatment with carbimazole and a modified extracapsular bilateral thyroidectomy.

Australian Veterinary Journal, 100, 146-149

Computed tomography findings in cats with traumatic brain injuries

Ohad Mann and others, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Computed tomography (CT) scans are considered the most useful imaging modality for investigating traumatic brain injuries in human medicine. The authors compared the findings on CT imaging with clinical outcomes in 14 cats with brain injuries. They also assessed the prognostic value of the Koret CT scoring system (KCTS). They found a significant negative association between both short- and long-term survival and the presence of intracranial haemorrhage. The KCTS appears to be a useful prognostic tool, with a cut-off value of two predicting survival with high sensitivity and specificity.

Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, 24, 91-97

Cryptococcosis in a dog causing epidural haematoma and acute cerebral compression

Sarah Purcell and others, University of Queensland, Gatton

An 18-month-old neutered male Neapolitan Mastiff was found comatose with no preceding clinical signs apart from mild forelimb lameness. A CT scan of the head revealed a lesion within the right caudal nasal cavity that traversed the cribriform plate, and a right epidural lesion resulting in compression of the right cerebrum. Clinical examination indicated brain death and a large epidural haemorrhage was found on post-mortem examination. Cryptococcus gattii was cultured from a nasal biopsy. 

Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, 32, 254-259

Meningoencephalomyelitis in domestic cats due to Pasteurella multocida infection

Bianca de Cecco and others, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Neurological diseases are common in cats, and in 30 to 45 percent of cases they are infectious in origin. Yet there are relatively few published reports of bacterial conditions causing neurological signs in this species. The authors describe three cases of bacterial meningitis and meningoencephalomyelitis associated with Pasteurella multocida. Post-mortem examination showed gross and histological findings indicating a bacterial infection, and P. multocida was cultured in each case. The authors suggest that the upper respiratory system was the portal of entry for the bacteria in these patients.

Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 33, 1,156- 1,162

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