• Open Access

Signs of Sympathetic Denervation Associated With a Thoracic Melanoma in a Horse



Sympathetic denervation in a 20-year-old, gray, Thorough-bred-Percheron gelding was manifested by cutaneous hyperthermia and sweating over the right side of the body, demarcated by a line from the withers to the elbow and extending cranially. There was cutaneous hyperthermia over the right side of the head, but other signs of Horner's syndrome (sweating, ptosis, miosis, enophthalmos) were not present. The pattern of cutaneous hyperthermia and sweating was consistent with sympathetic denervation localized to the cervicothoracic ganglion, and thoracic radiographs revealed increased density in the craniodorsal thorax. Cytologic evaluation of a sample of pleural effusion revealed mesothelial cells containing melanin and cells suggestive of melanocytes or melanoblasts. Treatment with oral cimetidine and intrapleural cisplatin was not successful. A necropsy was not performed, but the clinical findings supported a diagnosis of thoracic melanoma involving the cervicothoracic ganglion.