Canis ISSN: 2398-2942

Cauda equina neuritis

Synonym(s): Cauda equina polyradiculoneuritis

Contributor(s): Kyle Braund, Laurent Garosi

Introduction

  • Very rare. Diagnosed occasionally.
  • Neurological signs referable to the lumbosacral spine.
  • Signs: pelvic limb paraparesis, decreased muscle tone; (later) atrophy, absent patellar reflexes, proprioceptive deficits, urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, tail paresis/paralysis.
  • Treatment: high quality nursing.
  • Prognosis: guarded to poor.
    Print off the owner factsheet on Cauda equina diseases (back problems) Cauda equina diseases (back problems) to give to your client.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Possibly auto-immune.
  • However, granulomatous lesions associated with reticulosis/granulomatous meningoencephalomyelitis, aspergillosis Aspergillosis: disseminated and toxoplasmosis Toxoplasmosis /neosporosis have been observed occasionally.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Possibly impaired immune function.

Specific

  • Presently unknown.

Pathophysiology

  • The pathogenesis of this condition is still unclear. There is some suggestion it is an immune-mediated disorder, which is supported by the mononuclear cell infiltration in nerve roots without the presence of organisms.
  • Inflammatory lesions involve the lumbosacral nerve roots comprising the cauda equina, which includes seventh lumbar (L7), sacral and caudal nerve roots.
  • Clinical signs of a cauda equina syndrome may vary depending on which nerves are involved and at what location/level. Thus signs will reflect varying degrees of abnormality in pelvic limbs, bladder, anal sphincter, and tail.

Timecourse

  • Typically 2-4 weeks.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Saey V et al (2010) Neuritis of the cauda equina in a dog. JSAP 51 (10), 549-552 PubMed.
  • Braund K G (1996) Endogenous causes of neuropathies in dogs and cats. Vet Med 91 (8), 740-754 VetMedResource.
  • McKee M (1993) Differential diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome. In Pract 15 (5), 243-250 VetMedResource.
  • Dallman M J et al (1992) Disseminated aspergillosis in a dog with diskospondylitis and neurologic deficits. JAVMA 200 (4), 511-513 PubMed.
  • Griffiths I R et al (1983) Polyradiculoneuritis in two dogs presenting as neuritis of the cauda equina. Vet Rec 112 (15), 360-361 PubMed.


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