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Spinal cord empyema in a dog
Fever and progressing myelopathy - there are many differentials to consider with these less specific signs. But would your list also include spinal epidural empyema? It should, as this case report demonstrates!

Epidural spinal cord compression was visualized myelographically in a dog presented for rapid development of paraparesis.

A large, fluid-filled pocket in the epaxial musculature was found at surgery and appeared to communicate with the first lumbar vertebra. Unfortunately, cytopathological evaluation of the fluid was not performed.
No etiological agents were isolated on aerobic culture.

The dog responded well to decompressive surgery and medical therapy consisting of antibiotics, pain medication, and nursing care.

In the veterinary literature, only two studies of spinal epidural empyema in the dog have been reported. Of these dogs, one had successful decompressive surgery performed. The other dogs in these two reports were euthanized.

The dog presented in this report fully recovered. Spinal epidural empyema should be considered as a differential diagnosis in dogs presenting with a fever and a rapidly progressing myelopathy.



Source: Karen L. Cherrone, Christopher S. Eich, Jennifer J. Bonzynski (2002): Suspected Paraspinal Abscess and Spinal Epidural Empyema in a Dog. In: Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 38:149-151 (2002)



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