Birgit Parzefall, Colin J Driver, Emma Davies, Livia Benigni
Neosporosis is a polysystemic disease that can affect dogs of any age and can cause inflammation of the central nervous system. Antemortem diagnosis can be challenging, as clinical and conventional laboratory test findings are often nonspecific. A previous report described cerebellar lesions in brain MRI studies of seven dogs and proposed that these may be characteristic for central nervous system Neosporosis. The purpose of this retrospective study was to describe MRI characteristics in another group of dogs with confirmed central nervous system neosporosis and compare them with the previous report. The hospital's database was searched for dogs with confirmed central nervous system neosporosis and four observers recorded findings from each dog's MRI studies. A total of four dogs met inclusion criteria. Neurologic examination was indicative of a forebrain and cerebellar lesion in dog 2 and multifocal central nervous system disease in dogs 1, 3, and 4. Magnetic resonance imaging showed mild bilateral and symmetrical cerebellar atrophy in three of four dogs (dogs 2, 3, 4), intramedullary spinal cord changes in two dogs (dogs 3, 4) and a mesencephalic and metencephalic lesion in one dog (dog 2). Multifocal brain lesions were recognized in two dogs (dogs 1, 4) and were present in the thalamus, lentiform nucleus, centrum semiovale, internal capsule, brainstem and cortical gray matter of the frontal, parietal or temporal lobe. Findings indicated that central nervous system neosporosis may be characterized by multifocal MRI lesions as well as cerebellar involvement in dogs.