Dynamics and diagnosis of severe pneumocephalus of unknown etiology in dog

Keywords: dog, brain, trauma, pneumocephalus, magnetic resonance imaging, myelitis, hematomyelia


Modern veterinary medicine and its subdivision – veterinary neurology, are constantly evolving. New diagnostic methods are emerging every day, and the list of new, previously unexplored animal diseases is expanding. Much information about the pathogenesis and etiology of diseases is borrowed from human medicine, which is a big problem, because human physiology is different from animals and, as a consequence, the dynamics of the disease are also different. That is why the continuous improvement of veterinary therapy and diagnosis of diseases is relevant and necessary. One of the rare and severe pathologies is pneumocephalus. It is reported that this is a condition in which there is a gradual accumulation of air in the cranial cavity or ventricles of the brain, creating a life-threatening condition. It is considered that pneumocephalus can occur spontaneously but, in most cases, is diagnosed after trauma or surgery with impaired integrity of the skull bones and meninges. This article describes a case of pneumocephalus of unknown etiology in a young dog who suffered a head injury while playing with the owner. During the neurological examination of the animal conducted immediately after the incident was diagnosed with severe central nervous system lesions (sopor, opisthotonus, tetraparesis); magnetic resonance imaging revealed significant brain damage with pronounced ventricular dilatation and the formation of a cavity filled with air. Re-diagnosis after 14 days showed progression of pneumocephalus with gas accumulation in the brain cavities. The contents of the ventricles have a division into liquid (cerebrospinal fluid), and air, progressive inflammatory processes in the brain's parenchyma were not observed; a fistula or canal connecting the cranial cavity and the external environment was not detected. Symptomatic and supportive therapy, carried out during the entire period of the dog's stay in the veterinary clinic, did not have positive results. The animal was euthanized according to medical indications and the owner's wishes.


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How to Cite
Studenok, A. A., & Trokoz , V. A. (2022). Dynamics and diagnosis of severe pneumocephalus of unknown etiology in dog. Ukrainian Journal of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, 5(1), 24-30. https://doi.org/10.32718/ujvas5-1.04