Compartment Syndrome Associated with Antebrachial Tumors in Two Dogs.

Publication date 1st November 2013
Authors Maki LC, Kim SE, Winter MD, Kow KY, Lewis DL


CASE DESCRIPTION: A 10-year-old spayed female Jack Russell Terrier and a 7-year-old neutered male mixed-breed dog were evaluated because of acute, progressive, unilateral forelimb lameness associated with signs of pain and turgid antebrachial swelling.




CLINICAL FINDINGS: For either dog, there were no salient pathological or diagnostic imaging abnormalities. A diagnosis of compartment syndrome was confirmed on the basis of high caudal antebrachial compartmental pressure in the affected forelimb.


TREATMENT AND OUTCOME: Both dogs underwent surgical exploration of the affected forelimb. In each case, an intramuscular tumor (mast cell tumor in the Jack Russell Terrier and suspected sarcoma in the mixed-breed dog) was detected and presumed to be the cause of the high compartmental pressure. At 6 months following tumor excision, the dog with the mast cell tumor did not have any clinical signs of disease. The dog with a suspected sarcoma underwent tumor excision and forelimb amputation at the proximal portion of the humerus followed by chemotherapy; the dog was euthanized approximately 1 year following treatment because of pulmonary metastasis.

Clinical relevance

Compartment syndrome is a serious but rarely reported condition in dogs and is typically ascribed to intracompartmental hemorrhage. These 2 cases illustrate the potential for expansile intramuscular antebrachial tumors to cause compartment syndrome in dog