Clinical characterisation of a novel paroxysmal dyskinesia in Welsh terrier dogs
Breed specific paroxysmal dyskinesias are increasingly recognised in veterinary medicine. We aimed to characterise the phenomenology, clinical course and prevalence of a previously unreported paroxysmal dyskinesia in the Welsh terrier breed. Clinical records of five Welsh terriers with paroxysmal episodes were reviewed. Additionally, owners of Welsh terriers were invited to complete a questionnaire with the aim of characterising paroxysmal episodes in the wider breed population. Clinical examinations (n = 5) and diagnostic investigations (n = 3) of affected Welsh terriers were within normal limits, apart from mild-moderate ventriculomegaly on cranial magnetic resonance imaging (n = 3). The survey of Welsh terrier owners revealed episodes consistent with a paroxysmal dyskinesia in 41 (22.8%) of 177 respondents. Median age of onset was 59 months. Episodes were predominantly characterised by sustained hypertonicity with periods of limb flexion, abnormal head and body posture, with preserved consciousness. Episode duration ranged from 30 s to 30 min (median, 3 min 30 s), with frequency varying widely between dogs. Affected dogs demonstrated a stable to improving clinical course in most cases. This study investigated a previously unreported paroxysmal dyskinesia in Welsh terriers. Similar clinical signs within the breed were potentially consistent with an inherited cause, worthy of further investigation.