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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Meier, W
item Kortz, G
item Higgins, R
item Bailey, C
item French, R
item Mckiernan, B
item Miller, Janice
item Race, R
item Zachary, J

Submitted to: American College of Veterinary Pathologists Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/4/1994
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: We documented a disease of the nervous system in young Rottweiler dogs. An 8 month-old intact female Rottweiler with a history of progressive hindlimb weakness and ataxia, and two 3.5 month-old rottweiler littermates with similar clinical signs were submitted for necropsy. At one month of age, one puppy developed mild dyspnea and rales which were noted to be exacerbated during and shortly after feeding. The puppy became exercise intolerant, had episodes of dyspnea and cyanosis, was clumsy with hindlimb ataxia, knuckling and toe dragging. Based on EMG analysis, the clinical diagnoses were congenital laryngeal paralysis and polyneuropathy. In all dogs the primary histologic lesion consisted of wide spread neuronal vacuolar degeneration with one or more, sharply demarcated, intra-cytoplasmic vacuoles of varying diameters (5-35um) in perikarya throughout the midbrain, brainstem, and spinal cord. In one case, similar intracytoplasmic vacuoles were observed within perikarya of autonomic ganglia. Ultrastructurally, the neuronal vacuoles, in one case, were membrane bound and appeared to arise from the rough endoplasmic reticulum/golgi. In other cases, the neuronal vacuoles were not membrane bound and their ultrastructural origin could not be determined. A fluorescent antibody test for canine distemper virus performed on sections of brain was negative. Lectin staining was inconclusive. Prion protein was not detected immunohistochemically or with western blot analysis. Although at the present time the etiology of this disease has not been determined, this entity appears to be different from other neurological diseases reported in the Rottweiler breed.

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