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Nova Scotia duck tolling retrievers (Tollers) have been shown to be strongly predisposed to immune-mediated diseases, including steroid-responsive meningitis-arteritis (SRMA) and an immune-mediated rheumatic disease (IMRD) (Anfinsen and others 2008, Hansson-Hamlin and Lilliehöök 2009). SRMA has been described in several canine breeds, where the typical, acute form of SRMA is characterised by cervical rigidity, pain, pyrexia and a polymorphonuclear pleocytosis of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) (Tipold and others 1995, Tipold and Schatzberg 2010). SRMA has been described as occasionally occurring concurrently with immune-mediated polyarthritis (Webb and others 2002, Tipold and Schatzberg 2010). Genetic studies have indicated an inherited connection between the diseases, IMRD and SRMA, in Tollers (Wilbe and others 2009, 2010).
The aim of this study was to describe 23 Tollers with probable SRMA, including history, clinical signs, CSF, haematological and serum biochemical findings, antinuclear antibody (ANA) reactivity and C-reactive protein (CRP). Treatment and progress of the disease were also studied.
The 23 Tollers (unrelated at the grandparental level), were privately owned and diagnosed with suspected acute SRMA during 2005–2012. They showed clinical signs of meningitis with acute severe pain from the neck, fever, depression, anorexia and stiffness. The diagnosis was made by different clinicians at different veterinary clinics in Sweden. Haematological analyses were performed with the instruments at the clinics where the dogs were examined. The different clinicians and laboratory methods was a disadvantage of the study. However, all clinicians contacted the main author of this manuscript (who was known to be in charge of the …