Epidural spinal empyema and vertebral osteomyelitis in a cat

Kira Rapoport*, M. H. Shamir, U. Bibring, I. Barnoon, A. Shipov, O. Chai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A young adult neutered male domestic shorthair cat of unknown age was examined for a complaint of progressive hind limb paralysis. Neurologic examination revealed paraplegia with no deep pain sensation in both hind limbs and suggested a lesion localized between spinal cord segments T3 and L3. Survey radiography revealed at L2 multiple sites of lysis within the vertebra and a dense extradural soft tissue mass severely compressing the spinal cord. Computed tomography-guided needle aspiration was performed and a diagnosis of vertebral osteomyelitis and suspected spinal empyema was made. Emergency surgical decompression by pediculectomy exposed a firm, capsulated extradural tissue compressing the spinal cord. The abnormal tissue was removed and submitted to bacterial culture and sensitivity testing, resulting in isolation of Staphylococcus aureus. The cat was discharged ambulatory and eventually resumed normal gait. This is the first report of spinal epidural empyema and osteomyelitis and the third report of the former in cats. Computed tomographyguided fine needle aspiration from the vertebral lesion was helpful for diagnosing the cause of lesion and a rapid surgical decompression was beneficial.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)41-44
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Journal of Veterinary Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Israel Veterinary Medical Association. All rights reserved.


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