Thoracolumbar myelopathy with diffuse vertebral involvement in a dog secondary to aleukaemic lymphocytic leukaemia

15 Jul 2019

Doran, C. E., Platt, S., Lau, V., Camus, M.

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Incidence rate of lymphocytic leukaemia is unknown in canine patients; neurological manifestations and imaging findings are rarely reported. In human medicine, acute lymphocytic leukaemia is known to have a high rate of meningeal metastasis prompting the use of intrathecal chemotherapy for newly diagnosed cases regardless of neurological signs. This report documents the clinical presentation and diagnostic findings in a dog presenting with paraparesis and pain, ultimately diagnosed with aleukaemic lymphocytic leukaemia. MRI findings with diffuse vertebral involvement secondary to lymphocytic leukaemia have not been documented in the veterinary literature. This report adds to the clinical presentations of leukaemia in canines and highlights a neurological sequela of the disease. Further investigation into neurological involvement of leukaemia is needed in veterinary medicine and necropsy, with meningeal histopathology, is recommended for all cases of acute lymphocytic leukaemia in canines to assess the metastatic rate and direct further research.