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Convergence-Retraction Nystagmus in a Dog With Presumptive Ischemic Encephalopathy Following Acute Cervicothoracic Myelopathy

Liatis, Theophanes; Furtado, Ana Rita; Mantis, Panagiotis; Cherubini, Giunio Bruto


Theophanes Liatis

Ana Rita Furtado

Panagiotis Mantis

Giunio Bruto Cherubini


A 6.5-year-old male neutered Trailhound was admitted for hyperacute, nonprogressive, left-sided hemiparesis. Physical and neurologic examination revealed nonpainful, left-sided poorly ambulatory hemiparesis, decreased left-sided postural reactions and thoracic limbs hyporeflexia. Neuroanatomic localisation was consistent with a left-sided C6-T2 myelopathy. Haematology and biochemistry revealed nonspecific abnormalities. Magnetic resonance imaging of the neck revealed a focal intramedullary lesion at the level of C6-C7 vertebrae compatible with acute hydrated noncompressive nucleus pulposus extrusion or ischemic myelopathy. During the second day of hospitalization, the dog developed convergence-retraction nystagmus, up-gaze palsy and eyelid retraction (Collier's sign) compatible with dorsal midbrain syndrome. Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain revealed a focal lesion compatible with dorsal midbrain ischemic infarct. Further clinicopathologic testing, thoracic and abdominal imaging were unremarkable. Ischemic encephalopathy of unknown etiology was additionally diagnosed. Physiotherapy was performed therapeutically. At 1-year follow-up the dog was normal. This is an unusual report of a dog with myelopathy followed by ischemic encephalopathy with manifestation of convergence-retraction nystagmus in the absence of vestibular signs. This saccadic intrusion is a characteristic clinical manifestation of a dorsal midbrain syndrome localization. The importance of a complete differential diagnoses list formation in a dog with ischemic encephalopathy which leads to a thorough diagnostic investigation plan is highlighted. Moreover, this report contributes to the enrichment of the clinical reasoning veterinary literature on convergence-retraction nystagmus. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the second case report (fourth dog) to describe convergence-retraction nystagmus in dogs as a manifestation of dorsal midbrain syndrome.


Liatis, T., Furtado, A. R., Mantis, P., & Cherubini, G. B. (2020). Convergence-Retraction Nystagmus in a Dog With Presumptive Ischemic Encephalopathy Following Acute Cervicothoracic Myelopathy. Topics in Companion Animal Medicine, 38, 100381.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 26, 2020
Publication Date 2020-03
Deposit Date Feb 9, 2022
Journal Topics in Companion Animal Medicine
Print ISSN 1938-9736
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 38
Pages 100381
Keywords Small Animals
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