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20 September 2012 SPINAL CORD COMPRESSION IN TWO RELATED URSUS ARCTOS HORRIBILIS
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Abstract

Two 15-yr-old grizzly bear littermates were evaluated within 9 mo of each other with the symptom of acute onset of progressive paraparesis and proprioceptive ataxia. The most significant clinical examination finding was pelvic limb paresis in both bears. Magnetic resonance examinations of both bears showed cranial thoracic spinal cord compression. The first bear had left-sided extradural, dorsolateral spinal cord compression at T3–T4. Vertebral canal stenosis was also observed at T2–T3. Images of the second bear showed lateral spinal cord compression from T2–T3 to T4–T5. Intervertebral disk disease and associated spinal cord compression was also observed at T2–T3 and T3–T4. One grizzly bear continued to deteriorate despite reduced exercise, steroid, and antibiotic therapy. The bear was euthanized, and a necropsy was performed. the postmortem showed a spinal ganglion cyst that caused spinal cord compression at the level of T3–T4. Wallerian-like degeneration was observed from C3–T6. The second bear was prescribed treatment that consisted of a combination of reduced exercise and steroid therapy. He continued to deteriorate with these medical therapies and was euthanized 4 mo after diagnosis. A necropsy showed hypertrophy and protrusion of the dorsal longitudinal ligament at T2–T3 and T3–T4, with resulting spinal cord compression in this region. Wallerian-like degeneration was observed from C2–L1. This is one of few case reports that describes paresis in bears. It is the only case report, to the authors' knowledge, that describes spinal magnetic resonance imaging findings in a grizzly bear and also the only report that describes a cranial thoracic myelopathy in two related grizzly bears with neurologic signs.

American Association of Zoo Veterinarians
Stephanie A. Thomovsky, Annie V. Chen, Greg R. Roberts, Carrie E. Schmidt, and Arthur W. Layton "SPINAL CORD COMPRESSION IN TWO RELATED URSUS ARCTOS HORRIBILIS," Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine 43(3), 588-595, (20 September 2012). https://doi.org/10.1638/2011-0142R1.1
Received: 30 June 2011; Published: 20 September 2012
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