|This study was performed to merge clinical information from partly overlapping medical record databases of the Small Animal Teaching Hospital of the Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne. To describe the frequencies and localisations of neurological diseases in dogs, as well as their age, gender, breed and geographical distributions.
Methods: In this retrospective study, a new database, with specific variables and a diagnosis key list `VITAMIN D`, was created and defined. A total of 4497 dogs (average of 375 per year) with a well-documented neurological disease were included in the study.
A key list for the diagnoses was developed and applied to either the presumptive or the clinical and neurohistopathological diagnosis, with a serial number, a code for localisation and a code for differential diagnoses.
Results: Approximately 1159 dogs (26 per cent) had a neurohistopathological diagnosis confirmed, 1431 (32 per cent) had a clinical diagnosis confirmed and 1491 (33 per cent) had a presumptive diagnosis.
The most frequent breeds were mixed-breed dogs (577 of 4497, 13 per cent), followed by German shepherd dogs (466 of 4497, 10 per cent).
The most common localisations were the forebrain (908 of 4497, 20 per cent) and the spinal cord at the thoracolumbar area (840 of 4497, 19 per cent).
Most dogs were diagnosed with degenerative diseases (38 per cent), followed by inflammatory/infectious diseases (14 per cent). The highest number of submissions originated from geographic regions around the referral hospital and from regions with higher human population densities.
Clinical Significance: By defining closed-list fields and allocating all data to the corresponding fields, a standardised database that can be used for further studies was generated.
The analysis of this study gives examples of the possible uses of a standardised database.
Source: Fluehmann, G., Doherr, M. G. & Jaggy, A. (2006): Canine neurological diseases in a referral hospital population between 1989 and 2000 in Switzerland. In: Journal of Small Animal Practice 47 (10), 582-587.
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