Cauda equina syndrome in dogs - a review

Igor Šulla, Vladimír Balik, Slavomír Horňák, Valent Ledecký

Cauda equina syndrome in dogs - a review

Číslo: 4/2018
Periodikum: Acta Veterinaria Brno
DOI: 10.2754/avb201887040321

Klíčová slova: Dog, cauda equina syndrome, diagnostics, therapy, prognosis

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Anotace: A lesion of sacrococcygeal spinal nerve roots forming a structure that resembles a horse's tail results in the development of clinical entity identified as the cauda equina syndrome (CES). The disease can evolve slowly and symptomatology can be incomplete, but the fully developed CES is characterized by pain and altered sensation in the pelvic extremities, tail, perianogenital region, paresis or plegia of hind limbs, incontinence and impotence. Major causes of CES in dogs are degenerative changes of the lumbosacral vertebral column, haematoma, inflammation, neoplasm or trauma. The diagnosis is based on history, clinical presentation, neurological symptomatology, spinal röntgenography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. In animals experiencing initial episodes of CES, conservative therapy can be attempted. But the only rational treatment of patients with severe neurological deficit is surgical decompression of the neural structures. The outcome depends on the underlying aetiology and the degree of sensory, motor and autonomic dysfunction. Canine and porcine experimental models mimicking the CES showed the involvement of intrinsic spinal cord structures. This points out the need for an early diagnosis followed by aggressive management before irreversible neuronal lesions develop. The search strategy involved the PubMed, Medline, Embase and ISI Web of Science from January 2000 to August 2017 using the terms 'cauda equina syndrome' and 'lumbosacral stenosis' in the English language literature; also references from selected papers were scanned and relevant articles included.