Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Brachial plexus: avulsion

Synonym(s): Brachial plexopathy

Contributor(s): Kyle Braund, Prof Mark Rochat

Introduction

  • Uncommon injury in cats.
  • Clinical signs more severe than partial avulsions.
  • Cause: result of trauma, usually road traffic accidents (RTA).
  • Signs: neurological deficits apparent immediately following injury.
  • Neurogenic muscle atrophy takes 7-10 days to develop.
  • Prognosis: for recovery poor.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Traumatic traction of spinal nerve roots at their origin inside the dura mater.

Predisposing factors

General

  • Intact cat.
  • Queen in heat.

Environmental

  • Cat lives on busy road or in city.

Pathophysiology

  • Traumatic.
  • Limb forcibly abducted or rotated at its attachment to the body   →   traumatic traction on the spinal nerve roots at their origin inside the dura mater   →   disruption of the neural elements   →   interruption of spinal reflexes. Ventral roots are especially susceptible.
  • Skin desensitization   →   decrease in muscle tone   →   onset of neurogenic muscle atrophy.
  • Some shrinkage of the areas of skin desensitization as nerves grow in from neighboring innervated areas.

Timecourse

  • Neurological deficits apparent immediately after injury.
  • Neurogenic muscle atrophy from 7-10 days after injury.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Forterre F, Gutmannsbauer B, Schmahl W et al (1998) CT myelography for diagnosis of brachial plexus avulsion in small animals‚Äč. Tierarzt Praxis 26 (5), 322-329 PubMed.
  • Steinberg H S (1988) Brachial plexus injuries and dysfunctions. Vet Clin North Am 18 (3), 565-580 PubMed.


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