Spinal cord abscess in a miniature donkey gelding
An 8-year-old miniature donkey gelding was presented for acute hind limb paresis. Neurological examination suggested moderate-to-severe injury of the spinal cord between segments T3 and L3. Myelography showed a focal, extra-dural, right-sided spinal cord compression at T6. A dorsal laminectomy was performed. An abscess was found to be markedly compressing the spinal cord on the right side and was removed, but no bacteria were seen or cultured. The donkey cooperated well for physical rehabilitation. Unique modalities were used, including an underwater treadmill and specially constructed "ball pit" and wheelcart. A fair prognosis was given, although the donkey remained unable to bear weight or demonstrate gross voluntary movement in the hind limbs. Unfortunately, the owners could not handle the intensive physical rehabilitation and opted for euthanasia. This case opens an ethical debate regarding the proper care of large animal patients with severe neurological disease.
Senior seminar paperSeminar SF610.1 2009 P47
Donkeys -- Diseases -- Case studies