Clinical signs, MRI findings and outcome in dogs with peripheral vestibular disease: a retrospective study

5 de abril de 2021

Sinais clínicos, achados de ressonância magnética e resultados em cães com doença vestibular periférica: um estudo retrospectivo


Rocio OrlandiRodrigo Gutierrez-QuintanaBeatrice CarlettiCamilla CooperJosep BrocalSara SilvaRita Gonçalves


Background: Vestibular dysfunction is relatively common in dogs, with a prevalence of 0.08% reported in primary veterinary care in the UK. There are several studies investigating how to differentiate between peripheral and central vestibular disease but only limited information regarding the possible underlying causes for peripheral vestibular dysfunction in dogs. This study therefore aimed to describe the clinical signs, magnetic resonance imaging findings (MRI), underlying causes and outcome in a large population of dogs diagnosed with peripheral vestibular disease.
Results: One hundred eighty-eight patients were included in the study with a median age of 6.9 years (range 3 months to 14.6 years). Neurological abnormalities included head tilt (n = 185), ataxia (n = 123), facial paralysis (n = 103), nystagmus (n = 97), positional strabismus (n = 93) and Horner syndrome (n = 7). The most prevalent diagnosis was idiopathic vestibular disease (n = 128), followed by otitis media and/or interna (n = 49), hypothyroidism (n = 7), suspected congenital vestibular disease (n = 2), neoplasia (n = 1) and cholesteatoma (n = 1). Long-term follow-up revealed persistence of head tilt (n = 50), facial paresis (n = 41) and ataxia (n = 6) in some cases. Recurrence of clinical signs was observed in 26 dogs. Increasing age was associated with a mild increased chance of diagnosis of idiopathic vestibular syndrome rather than otitis media and/or interna (P = 0.022, OR = 0.866; CI 0.765–0.980). History of previous vestibular episodes (P = 0.017, OR = 3.533; CI 1.251–9.981) was associated with an increased likelihood of resolution of the clinical signs whilst contrast enhancement of cranial nerves VII and/or VIII on MRI (P = 0.018, OR = 0.432; CI 0.251–0.868) was associated with a decreased chance of resolution of the clinical signs.
Conclusions: Idiopathic vestibular disease is the most common cause of peripheral vestibular dysfunction in dogs and it is associated with advanced age. Incomplete recovery from peripheral vestibular disease is common, especially in dogs presenting with cranial nerve enhancement on MRI but less so if there is previous history of vestibular episodes.


Peripheral vestibular disease, Idiopathic vestibular disease, Otitis media/interna, MRI, Outcome


Doença vestibular periférica, Doença vestibular idiopática, Otite média / interna, RM, Resultado

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