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‘Continuous muscle fibre activity’ in six dogs with episodic myokymia, stiffness and collapse
  1. L. Van Ham, DVM, PhD, DipECVN,
  2. S. Bhatti, DVM,
  3. I. Polis, DVM, PhD1,
  4. H. Thoonen, DVM2,
  5. R. Fatzer, DVM3 and
  6. K. Braund, BVSc, MVSc, PhD, FRCVS, DACVIM(Neurology)4
  1. 1 Small Animal Department
  2. 2 Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium
  3. 3 Institute of Animal Neurology, Bremgartenstrasse 109a, CH-3012 Berne, Switzerland
  4. 4 Veterinary Neurological Consulting Services, 1476 Lakeview Ridge, Dadeville, AL 36853, USA


Continuous muscle fibre activity was observed in a crossbred dog, a Yorkshire terrier, a border collie and three Jack Russell terriers. The clinical signs consisted of episodes of generalised myokymia which developed into muscle stiffness and delayed muscle relaxation and generally led to the dogs collapsing into lateral recumbency. These episodes were preceded by intense facial rubbing in three of the dogs, and were associated with severe hyperthermia in five of them. All three Jack Russell terriers showed continuous ataxia. The dogs had above normal activities of aspartate aminotransferase, alanine aminotransferase and creatine kinase, but their cerebrospinal fluid was normal. Myokymic discharges were observed by electromyography in two of the dogs. Two of them were treated with membrane-stabilising agents, with variable results.

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