Article Text

Paralysis in hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) associated with demyelination
  1. A. C. Palmer, MA, ScD, FRCVS, DipACVIM1,
  2. W. F. Blakemore, BVSc, MA, ScD, FRCPath, MRCVS1,
  3. R. J. M. Franklin, BSc, BVetMed, PhD, MRCVS1,
  4. L. M. Frost2,
  5. R. E. Gough, CBiol, MIBiol, FIMLS3,
  6. J. C. M. Lewis, MA, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS4,
  7. D. F. Macdougall, BVMS, PhD, MRCVS5,
  8. M. T. O'Leary, BVMS, BSc, PhD, MRCVS1 and
  9. L. R. Stocker, MBE2
  1. 1 Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 OES
  2. 2 Wildlife Hospital Trust, Haddenham, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
  3. 3 Virology Department, Central Veterinary Laboratory, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB
  4. 4 Intemational Zoo Veterinary Group, Keighley Business Centre, South Street, Keighley, West Yorkshire BD21 1AG
  5. 5 Idexx Laboratories Ltd, Grange House, Sandbeck Way, Wetherby, West Yorkshire LS22 4DN


Paraplegia affected 14 hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in a wildlife rescue hospital over a period of six months. Postmortem examination revealed demyelination in the brain and spinal cord and an inflammatory response in the meninges, choroid plexus and CNS. The peripheral nervous system was not affected. In the spleen, lungs and liver there was an accumulation of megakaryocytes and other evidence of extramedullary haemopoiesis, but there was no haematological evidence of anaemia. The pattern of disease incidence and the nature of the changes in the CNS suggest they were of viral origin, but no causal agent was isolated and the possibility of a neurotoxin cause cannot be ruled out.

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