Compressive myelopathy due to intervertebral disk extrusion in a llama (Lama glama).

TitleCompressive myelopathy due to intervertebral disk extrusion in a llama (Lama glama).
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsValentine BA, Saulez MN, Cebra CK, Fischer KA
JournalJournal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc
Date Published2006 Jan
KeywordsAnimals, Camelids, New World, Cervical Vertebrae, Fatal Outcome, Female, Intervertebral Disk, Intervertebral Disk Displacement, Lung, Quadriplegia, Respiratory Insufficiency, Spinal Cord, Spinal Cord Compression

A 12-year-old intact female llama was euthanized following acute onset of spastic tetraparesis and recumbency with inability to rise. Postmortem examination revealed caudal cervical spinal cord compression due to a mass within the ventral spinal canal arising from the C6-C7 intervertebral disk space and attached to an irregularly thickened annulus fibrosis. On histopathologic examination, the mass was composed of amorphous acellular basophilic to amphophilic material admixed with irregularly arranged collagen bundles. The amorphous material was metachromatic and contained multiple small foci of markedly vacuolated round cells, characteristic of origin from the nucleus pulposus. Severe necrosis of all white matter tracts with astrocytic reaction was present in the overlying spinal cord segment. Ascending and descending Wallerian degeneration and dissecting interstitial astrogliosis were present within white matter tracts above and below the lesion, respectively. The diagnosis was compressive myelopathy due to chronic extrusion of the nucleus pulposus of the C6-C7 intervertebral disk. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report of intervertebral disk disease in a camelid.

Alternate JournalJ. Vet. Diagn. Invest.