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Brain Bioelectric Activity

Dura Mater Tear in a Dog

A 7 yr old Collie became acutely non-ambulatory paraparetic while chasing a ball. No pain reaction was elicited on spinal palpation.

The T13-L1 disc space was mildly narrow and a soft tissue attenuating extradural lesion was detected on the left side of the cord causing obliteration of the epidural fat with no obvious cord compression (purple arrow). A myelogram showed a small leakage of contrast medium on the left side of the cord at the T13-L1 disc space level. The rest of the myelogram was unremarkable. No IV contrast study was performed.

These findings were consistent with a dural tear likely as a result of peracute non-compressive disc extrusion.

Similar cases have been reported in the literature with the pathophysiology of the process of dural tearing still remaining speculative with the exception of one dog whose post-mortem suggested that the tearing of the dura mater was associated with nerve root injury. Other possible causes include intradural or intramedullary disc extrusion. As with the majority of the similar cases reported, this dog recovered the ability to walk with conservative management.

The role of the dura in spinal cord injury is discussed in a mini-review below.

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