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Meningitis / Myelitis

Magnetic resonance imaging highlights the meningeal involvement in steroid responsive meningitis-arteritis and suggests the inflammation of the surrounding tissues (70 cases)

This study looked at the MRI characteristics of  of the cervical spine in dogs diagnosed with SRMA. 70 dogs were selected with MRI abnormalities found in 69 of them. Enhancement of the meninges, nerve roots, synovium of the articular facets and paravertebral muscles was present in 61 (87.1%), 10 (14.3%), 34 (48.6%), and 34 (48.6%) cases suggesting that MRI can be a useful complementary tool to CSF analysis

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Acquired cervical scoliosis in two dogs with inflammatory central nervous system disease

Scoliosis can be congenital, usually related to vertebral malformation or acquired. The latter has been reported in dogs as a sign secondary to syringomyelia. A different pathophysiology of scoliosis in those acquired cases has been suggested. The first one revolves around the damage to the LMN in the ventral horn of the spinal cord grey matter. As a result, there is asymmetrical paraspinal muscle denervation and atrophy secondary to ventral horn damage with a secondary imbalance in muscle tone with flexion of the neck away from the side of muscle atrophy. The second one results from interference with the proprioceptive innervation by interruption of the dorsally located general proprioceptve tracts receiving input from the neuromuscular spindles involved with stretch reflexes necessary to maintain muscle tone. In this scenario, unilateral denervation results in unopposed contraction of the contralateral paraspinal muscles and deviation of the neck to the contralateral side of the lesion. In this cases series, the authors describe two dogs with inflammatory CNS disease affecting the cranial cervical spinal cord gray matter with acute onset cervical scoliosis which resolved upon treatment with immuno-suppressive medications.

The image below is taken from this article and shows the curvature of the neck from above.

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Steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis: What have we learned since 2010? a narrative review

This article reviews a common neurologic disease and maybe the most frequent cause of neck pain with pyrexia in dogs. Although Boxers, Beagles, and Bernese mountain dogs are classically predisposed breeds, any breed could be affected and predispositions have also been described for multiple other breeds which include Border collies, Jack Russell terriers, Golden retrievers, German Shorthaired pointers, English Springer spaniels and Whippets. The most common clinical sign is neck pain - neurological signs can indicate progression of the disease and associated vascular compromises. The prognosis with early diagnosis and aggressive immunotherapy can be excellent but there are high recurrence rates noted in some studies. This review discusses the most recent studies which especially highlight new diagnostic and therapeutic considerations.

Image by ANIRUDH
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