Focal spinal cord disease is an uncommon presentation of inflammatory CNS disease. Any segment is at risk but inflammation of the cervical cord is most often reported. Dogs less than 3 years old and hound and toy breeds are most at risk of developing meningomyelitis. The onset of signs is highly variable, lasting days to over 1 week. Improvement without treatment is unusual.
The dog had been painful for 2 days, pacing, vocalizing and crying when moved or when the neck was touched, before becoming recumbent and depressed. Temperature was 39.5°C (normal: 37.5–39°C). Two weeks prior to becoming unwell, the dog had been bitten on the left ear. The wound had healed with time, cleaning and antibiotics.
The dog was quiet and lay in sternal recumbency. When held up, the dog neither cried nor attempted to move. Hopping and proprioceptive testing were negative in all limbs. When placed in lateral recumbency the dog could right itself slowly. Spinal reflexes were normal in all limbs. CNN were normal. The neck muscles were tense and resisted flexion.