Sacrocaudal dysgenesis of Manx cats

Caudal dysgenesis

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  • Cause : inherited abnormality in Manx cats.
  • Signs : paraplegia, incontinence, abnormal gait.
  • Diagnosis : signs, radiography.
  • Treatment : symptomatic.
  • Prognosis : poor.


Clinical signs

  • Abnormal gait.
  • Paraparesis.
  • Paraplegia.
  • Hyporeflexia of the pelvic limbs.
  • Anal reflex absent.
  • Perineal analgesia.
  • Vertebral abnormalities palpable as dorsal vertebral defect caudally over the sacral area or an apparent subcutaneous mass (lipoma or meningocele).
  • Fistulation of a cyst or meningocele can occur leading to a caudal pinpoint midline patency that consistently leaks CSF wetting the fur. This condition can be a cause of ascending meninigitis¬†and provoke rapid decline in function.



  • Poor if significant neurological deficits are present.
  • In many cases the signs are progressive.
  • Some cats have sacral deformities with no clinical signs.

Expected response to treatment

  • Neurological deficits are unlikely to improve if present.

Reasons for treatment failure

  • Condition may remain static in some cases.
  • Complications such as megacolon and reduced urinary bladder function provide a worse prognosis.
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