Necrotising encephalitis in the Yorkshire terrier: a case report and literature review

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Abstract

A four-year-old, spayed female Yorkshire terrier was presented with a two-month history of lameness in the left forelimb, circling and falling. A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination 11 days after presentation revealed dilation of the right lateral ventricle. Following euthanasia, which was performed about 10 months after the onset of clinical signs, there was gross evidence of degeneration and cavitation of the cerebrum and dilation of the lateral ventricle on the right side. Microscopically, cavitation and necrosis were observed in the white and grey matter of the right cerebrum and there was abundant gemistocytic and fibrillary astrocytosis. Haemorrhage and marked perivascular cuffing with mononuclear cells were found in the mesencephalon. Inflammatory lesions consisting of lymphocytic infiltration and glial proliferation were also present in the dorsal funiculus of the cervical spinal cord. This case was diagnosed as necrotising encephalitis in the Yorkshire terrier (NEYT) with involvement of the spinal cord. NEYT is a chronic progressive neurological disorder, resulting from widespread, destructive non-suppurative inflammation of the central nervous system of unknown cause. In the past decade, 12 cases have been documented in adult to aged Yorkshire terriers. Computed tomography and MRI can detect the characteristic multifocal cavitations and ventriculomegaly, facilitating premortem diagnosis.

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