• Open Access

Clinical Characterization of a Familial Degenerative Myelopathy in Pembroke Welsh Corgi Dogs

Authors

  • Joan R. Coates,

    Corresponding author
    1. Departments of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
    2. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX
      DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology), Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, 379 E. Campus Drive, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211; e-mail: coatesj@missouri.edu.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Philip A. March,

    1. Departments of Veterinary Clinical Science, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
    2. Departments of Clinical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Michael Oglesbee,

    1. Departments of Veterinary Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Craig G. Ruaux,

    1. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Natasha J. Olby,

    1. Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Roy D. Berghaus,

    1. Department of Population Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Dennis P. O'Brien,

    1. Departments of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
    Search for more papers by this author
  • John H. Keating,

    1. Departments of Biomedical Sciences, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Gary S. Johnson,

    1. Departments of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO
    Search for more papers by this author
  • David A. Williams

    1. Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A & M University, College Station, TX
    Search for more papers by this author

DVM, MS, Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology), Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, 379 E. Campus Drive, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO 65211; e-mail: coatesj@missouri.edu.

Abstract

Background: Adult dogs with degenerative myelopathy (DM) have progressive ataxia and paresis of the pelvic limbs, leading to paraplegia and euthanasia. Although most commonly reported in German Shepherd dogs, high disease prevalence exists in other breeds.

Objective: Our aim was the clinical and histopathologic characterization of familial degenerative myelopathy (FDM) in Pembroke Welsh Corgi (PWC) dogs.

Animals: Twenty-one PWCs were prospectively studied from initial diagnosis until euthanasia.

Methods: Neurologic examination, blood tests, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis, electrodiagnostic testing, and spinal imaging were performed. Concentrations of 8-iso-prostaglandin F2α (8-isoprostane) were measured in CSF. Routine histochemistry was used for neuropathology. Deoxyribonucleic acid and pedigrees were collected from 110 dogs.

Results: Median duration of clinical signs before euthanasia was 19 months. Median age at euthanasia was 13 years. All dogs were nonambulatory paraparetic or paraplegic, and 15 dogs had thoracic limb weakness at euthanasia. Electrodiagnostic testing and spinal imaging were consistent with noncompressive myelopathy. No significant difference was detected in 8-isoprostane concentrations between normal and FDM-affected dogs. Axonal and myelin degeneration of the spinal cord was most severe in the dorsal portion of the lateral funiculus. Pedigree analysis suggested a familial disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Importance: Clinical progression of FDM in PWC dogs was similar to that observed in other breeds but characterized by a longer duration. Spinal cord pathology predominates as noninflammatory axonal degeneration. Oxidative stress injury associated with 8-isoprostane production is not involved in the pathogenesis of FDM-affected PWC dogs. A familial disease is suspected.

Ancillary