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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2009 Jan;21(1):149-52.

Cerebral injury from intracarotid injection in an alpaca (Vicugna pacos).

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Department of Biomedical Sciences, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


A mixture of ketamine, xylazine, and butorphanol was inadvertently injected into the right carotid artery of a 1-year-old alpaca. Injection was followed by a brief period of recumbency and seizure activity. The alpaca recovered, but was euthanatized 72 hr later because of development of progressive neurologic deficits. Pathologic findings were confined to the right cerebrum, meninges, thalamus, and hippocampus. Cerebrocortical edema with astrocytic reaction, perivascular hemorrhage and neutrophilic infiltration, and fibrinoid necrosis of vasculature within the meninges and thalamus were the most prominent lesions. Neuronal necrosis was mild. Astrocytic reaction within the right cerebral cortex was confirmed with immunohistochemistry for glial fibrillary acidic protein.

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