Clinical features of idiopathic inflammatory polymyopathy in the Hungarian Vizsla

Anna Tauro*, Diane Addicott, Rob D. Foale, Chloe Bowman, Caroline Hahn, Sam Long, Jonathan Massey, Allison C. Haley, Susan P. Knowler, Michael J. Day, Lorna J. Kennedy, Clare Rusbridge

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Background: A retrospective study of the clinicopathological features of presumed and confirmed cases of idiopathic inflammatory polymyopathy in the Hungarian Vizsla dog and guidelines for breeding.

Results: 369 medical records were reviewed (1992-2013) and 77 Hungarian Vizslas were identified with a case history consistent with idiopathic inflammatory polymyopathy. Inclusion criteria were: group 1 (confirmed diagnosis); histopathology and clinical findings compatible with an inflammatory polymyopathy and group 2 (probable diagnosis); clinical findings compatible with a polymyopathy including dysphagia, sialorrhea, temporal muscle atrophy, elevated serum creatine kinase (CK) activity, and sufficient clinical history to suggest that other neuromuscular disorders could be ruled out. Some group 2 dogs had muscle biopsy, which suggested muscle disease but did not reveal an inflammatory process. The mean age of onset was 2.4 years; male dogs were slightly overrepresented. Common presenting signs were dysphagia, sialorrhea, masticatory muscle atrophy, and regurgitation. Common muscle histopathological findings included degenerative and regenerative changes, with multifocal mononuclear cell infiltration with lymphoplasmacytic myositis of variable severity. A positive response to immunosuppressive treatment supported an immune-mediated aetiology. The mean age at death and survival time were 6.4 and 3.9 years, respectively. Recurrence of clinical signs and aspiration pneumonia were common reasons for euthanasia.

Conclusions: Diagnosis of Vizsla idiopathic inflammatory polymyopathy can be challenging due to lack of specific tests, however the presence of dysphagia, regurgitation and masticatory muscle atrophy in this breed with negative serological tests for masticatory muscle myositis and myasthenia gravis, along with muscle biopsies suggesting an inflammatory process, support the diagnosis. However, there is an urgent need for a more specific diagnostic test. The average of inbreeding coefficient (CoI) of 16.3% suggests an increased expression of a Dog Leukocyte Antigen Class II haplotype, leading to an increased disease risk. The prognosis remains guarded, as treatment can only manage the disease. Recurrence of clinical signs and perceived poor quality of life are the most common reasons for humane euthanasia.

Original languageEnglish
Article number97
Number of pages13
JournalBMC Veterinary Research
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2015

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Regurgitation
  • Dysphagia
  • Canine
  • Dog Leukocyte Antigen
  • Familial polymyositis
  • 3 DOGS


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