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J Vet Intern Med. 2011 Mar-Apr;25(2):380-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0661.x. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

Neurological causes of diaphragmatic paralysis in 11 alpacas (Vicugna pacos).

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, USA. stacey.byers@colostate.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Diaphragmatic paralysis is a relatively uncommon medical condition in animals not reported in alpacas.

OBJECTIVES:

Describe the signalment, physical examination, diagnostic testing, clinical, and histopathologic findings related to diaphragmatic paralysis in alpacas.

ANIMALS:

Eleven alpacas with spontaneous diaphragmatic paralysis.

METHODS:

A retrospective study examined medical records from a 10-year period and identified 11 alpacas with confirmed diaphragmatic paralysis admitted to Washington State University and Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospitals between September 2003 and October 2009.

RESULTS:

The 11 alpacas ranged in age from 2 to 12 months. Fluoroscopic imaging confirmed the presence of bilateral diaphragmatic paralysis in the 7 alpacas that were imaged. Arterial blood gas analyses showed hypercapnea, hypoxemia, and low oxygen saturation. Seven alpacas died or were euthanized between 2 and 60 days after onset of respiratory signs. Histopathologic examination of tissues found phrenic nerve degeneration in the 6 alpacas that were necropsied and additional long nerves examined demonstrated degeneration in 2 of these animals. Two animals had spinal cord lesions and 2 had diaphragm muscle abnormalities. No etiologic agent was identified in the alpacas.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE:

The etiology for diaphragmatic paralysis in these alpacas is unknown. A variety of medical treatments did not appear to alter the outcome.

PMID:
21281346
DOI:
10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0661.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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