Magnetic resonance imaging of spongy degeneration of the central nervous system in a Labrador Retriever

Mariani CL, Clemmons RM, Graham JP, et al.

Vet Radiol Ultrasound 2001;42:285-290.

A 7-month-old, neutered female Labrador Retriever was evaluated for tetraparesis and subtle cerebellar dysfunction. Clinical signs progressed over a period of 6 weeks to severe ataxia, hypermetria, intention tremors, and finally non-ambulatory tetraparesis. On magnetic resonance imaging of the brain there were large, bilaterally symmetrical, ovoid lesions in the region of the deep cerebellar nuclei that were hyperintense on T2-weighted and proton density images and hypointense on T1-weighted images. There were similar but smaller bilaterally symmetrical lesions present within the thalamus. Euthanasia was performed and lesions consistent with the previously described spongy degeneration of Labrador Retrievers were identified. This disease and its relation to similar human heritable leukodystrophies are discussed.