Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)TiHo eLib

Schiff-Sherrington syndrome in a 7-year-old zebra mare (Equus quagga)

A 7-year-old plains zebra (Equus quagga) mare was presented to the Clinic for Horses, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Germany as an emergency. The owner reported that the mare was unable to stand after a suspected traumatic episode at the home yard. The mare was transported in lateral recumbency in a trailer. Clinical examination revealed tachycardia (up to 102 beats/min), tachypnoea (28 breaths/min), mild fever (38.7°C) and clinical dehydration with elastic skin and dry and red mucous membranes. Neurological examination showed paraplegia with complete loss of nociception of the mid-thoracic region and caudal to it. In contrast, examination of the thoracic limbs revealed marked extensor rigidity and hyperaesthesia resulting in an enhanced acute response to minimal touch of the neck and shoulder region. Lateral radiographs of the thoracic vertebral column led to the diagnosis of a complete fracture of the vertebral body of the 7th thoracic (T) vertebra with suspected traumatic compression of the spinal cord. Post-mortem examination confirmed the diagnosis. Gross pathology revealed a complete comminuted fracture of T7 with marked compression of the spinal cord. This is the first report describing the clinical, radiological and pathological findings of a fracture of a thoracic vertebra leading to a Schiff-Sherrington syndrome in a zebra (Equus quagga).

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