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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology