Antemortem diagnosis and successful management of noncompressive segmental myelopathy in a siberian-bengal mixed breed tiger

Jennifer E. Flower, Kate Lynch, Stuart Charles Clark-Price, Kenneth R. Welle, Robert O'Brien, Julia K. Whittington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A 10-yr-old female spayed mixed breed tiger presented for a 9-day history of acute and nonprogressive paralysis of the pelvic limbs. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed a lesion suggestive of fibrocartilaginous embolic myelopathy with regional spinal cord edema, decreased disk signal intensity at L2-L3, and mild intervertebral disk protrusion at L1-L2 and L2-L3. Cerebral spinal fluid analysis showed no overt evidence of infection or neoplasia. Medical therapy was instituted, including corticosteroids and gastroprotectants as well as nursing care and physical therapy. The tiger began showing clinical improvement 2 wk after initiating treatment, progressing to the point where the animal was standing and intermittently walking. Three months after diagnosis, the tiger had regained muscle strength of its hind limbs and walked regularly with improving coordination. This case is the first report of antemortem diagnosis and successful medical management of suspected fibrocartilaginous embolic myelopathy in a large exotic felid.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1115-1119
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

Keywords

  • tiger

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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