Objective: To characterize the clinical signs, diagnostic and surgical findings, and outcome of dogs with idiopathic sterile pyogranulomatous inflammation (ISP) of epidural fat causing spinal cord compression.
Study design: Retrospective study.
Animals: Dogs (n=5).
Methods: Dogs with epidural ISP (2002-2006) were identified retrospectively. Inclusion criteria were neurologic examination, myelography, and definitive diagnosis of ISP confirmed by surgery and histopathologic examination of epidural spinal cord compressive tissue.
Results: The most common clinical sign was paraparesis/paraplegia. No abnormalities were detected by laboratory testing or survey spine radiographs. On myelography, extradural spinal cord compressions were focal (dogs 1, 3, and 5) or multifocal (dogs 2 and 4). Surgical decompression of the spinal cord was completed by hemilaminectomy. Epidural fat collected surgically had pyogranulomatous inflammation of unknown cause and was histologically similar to subcutaneous ISP. All dogs had good long-term neurologic outcome (10-45 months follow-up). Some dogs had episodes of ISP at other sites before or after surgical treatment of epidural ISP, suggesting there may be a systemic form of ISP.
Conclusion: Epidural ISP may cause a spinal cord compressive lesion in Miniature Dachshunds, which can be treated by surgical decompression of the spinal cord with or without administration of adjunctive steroids.
Clinical relevance: Epidural ISP should be considered as a possible cause of thoracolumbar myelopathy for Miniature Dachshunds.