Vestibular disease in dogs : association between neurological examination, MRI lesion localisation and outcome
OBJECTIVES:To determine whether the neurological examination correctly distinguishes between central and peripheral vestibular lesions in dogs. MATERIALS AND METHODS:Retrospective study on dogs with vestibular disease presenting to two referral clinics in Germany. RESULTS:Ninety-three dogs were included; neurological examination suggested central vestibular disease in 62 and a peripheral lesion in 31. MRI diagnosis was central vestibular disease in 68 dogs and peripheral in 25. Of the 62 dogs with a lesion localisation diagnosed as central vestibular by neurological exam, 61 were correctly identified (98.4%). Twenty-four of the 31 dogs diagnosed with a peripheral lesion by neurological exam had a consistent lesion on MRI (77.4%). CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE:The neurological examination is efficient at identifying lesions in the central vestibular system but less so for peripheral lesions. Therefore it is prudent to recommend imaging in dogs that show signs of peripheral vestibular syndrome but do not rapidly respond to treatment.