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Clinical and electrophysiological characterization of myokymia and neuromyotonia in Jack Russell Terriers.

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Vanhaesebrouck, AE 
Van Soens, I 
Poncelet, L 
Duchateau, L 
Bhatti, S 


BACKGROUND: Generalized myokymia and neuromyotonia (M/NM) in Jack Russell Terriers (JRTs) is related to peripheral nerve hyperexcitability syndrome in humans, a symptom complex resulting from diverse etiologies. OBJECTIVE: Clinical and electrodiagnostic evaluation is used to narrow the list of possible etiological diagnoses in JRTs with M/NM. ANIMALS: Nine healthy JRTs and 8 affected JRTs. METHODS: A prospective study was conducted comparing clinical and electrophysiological characteristics in 8 JRTs affected by M/NM with 9 healthy JRT controls. RESULTS: All affected dogs except 1 had clinical signs typical of hereditary ataxia (HA). In 6 dogs, neuromyotonic discharges were recorded during electromyogram. Motor nerve conduction studies showed an axonal neuropathy in only 1 affected dog. Compared with controls, brainstem auditory-evoked potentials (BAEP) showed prolonged latencies (P<.05) accompanied by the disappearance of wave components in 3 dogs. Onset latencies of tibial sensory-evoked potentials (SEP) recorded at the lumbar intervertebral level were delayed in the affected group (P<.001). The BAEP and SEP results of the only neuromyotonic dog without ataxia were normal. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: The BAEP and spinal SEP abnormalities observed in JRTs with M/NM were associated with the presence of HA. Therefore, these electrophysiological findings presumably arise from the neurodegenerative changes characterizing HA and do not directly elucidate the pathogenesis of M/NM. An underlying neuronal ion channel dysfunction is thought to be the cause of M/NM in JRTs.



Animals, Dog Diseases, Dogs, Electrophysiological Phenomena, Female, Isaacs Syndrome, Male, Myokymia, Neural Conduction

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Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine

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