Cerebrospinal fluid from a dog with neurologic collapse. Academic Article uri icon


  • A 3-year-old Staffordshire Terrier was presented to the Texas Veterinary Medical Center with a short progressive history of anorexia, weight loss, and weakness that had progressed to ataxia and collapse with empirical treatment. The dog was tetraparetic and obtunded. Results of a complete neurologic evaluation were consistent with severe, multifocal to diffuse disease involving the forebrain, spinal cord, and brainstem. Cerebrospinal fluid, obtained via cerebellomedullary cisternal puncture, was highly cellular and contained large atypical round cells with small numbers of nondegenerate neutrophils and large mononuclear cells. Rare eosinophils and small lymphocytes were noted. The atypical round cells were approximately 15-25 micro m in diameter with a single nucleus set in a small amount of cytoplasm. The nuclei were typically round to slightly ovoid; however, occasional notched, lobulated, and reniform nuclei were observed. These cells were interpreted as malignant lymphocytes. Owing to a grave prognosis, the animal was euthanized and a necropsy was performed. No gross lesions were found in the central nervous system. Multiple sections of cerebellum, medulla, and spinal cord contained a diffuse neoplastic infiltrate that was predominantly meningeal with rare superficial neuropil invasion. The neoplastic cells were arranged in sheets, cords, and rosettes. Immunohistochemical staining for vimentin, pancytokeratin, CD3, CD79a, synaptophysin, S-100, and neuron-specific enolase was negative; glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) staining was equivocal. Based on histologic findings, a diagnosis of medulloblastoma was made. This case documents the rare occurrence of a canine medulloblastoma and illustrates the difficulty in distinguishing between some embryonal brain tumors and lymphoma.

published proceedings

  • Vet Clin Pathol

author list (cited authors)

  • Thompson, C. A., Russell, K. E., Levine, J. M., & Weeks, B. R.

citation count

  • 11

complete list of authors

  • Thompson, Craig A||Russell, Karen E||Levine, Jonathan M||Weeks, Brad R

publication date

  • September 2003