Degenerative Encephalopathy in Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers Presenting with a Rapid Eye Movement Sleep Behavior Disorder
Barker, E.N., Dawson, L.J., Rose, J.H., Van Meervenne, S., Frykman, O., Rohdin, C., Leijon, A., Soerensen, K.E., Järnegren, J., Johnson, G.C., O'Brien, D.P. and Granger, N. (2016)
Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, 30: 1681–1689
A large number of neurodegenerative conditions occur in humans and animals. This study char-acterised a new degenerative neurological disease affecting Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriev-ers (NSDTRs). 9 young adult NSDTRs were included in this case series. Onset of disease oc-curred between the ages of 2 months and 5 years, and were progressive. Clinical signs included marked movements during sleep (Rapid Eye Movement sleep behaviour disorder), anxiety, noise phobia and gait abnormalities. MRI showed symmetrical, progressive increases in intensity in T2 weighted images, with the caudate nucleus most affected. Routine blood tests, infectious dis-ease screening, urine metabolite screening and CSF analysis did not detect abnormalities. Post mortem examination showed malacia of the caudate nuclei and axonal dystrophy in the brain-stem and spinal cord. An autosomal recessive mode of inheritance was suspected after review-ing the genealogy.
Bottom line: Young adult NSDTRs can suffer from a hereditary, progressive degenerative encephalopathy.