Published: 29 Mar 2021 | Last Updated: 29 Mar 2021 07:15

A world first - International taskforce gathers to clarify the alphabet soup of canine movement disorders

Under the umbrella of the European College of Veterinary Medicine (ECVN), a group of veterinary neurologists gathered from several countries to create an International Veterinary Dyskinesia Task Force, with the sole purpose of helping to clarify and homogenize the often-disparate terminology used to describe canine movement disorders. A consensus statement describing their conclusions has now been published in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Movement disorders have become increasingly recognized, but there was a lack of consensus in regards of terminology. “Without standardized terminology and classification schemes developed specifically for veterinary patients, it is difficult to compare various breed-related reports and facilitate accurate discussion among clinicians,” says Dr. Sofia-Cerda Gonzalez, chair and initiator of the Task Force. Although reports and studies of canine movement disorders had been published, we had still lacked a veterinary-specific basis for their description. As such, most papers had described these disorders using terms borrowed from human medicine. But, as Dr. Rebecca Packer, one of the co-leaders of the Task Force, notes, “The difficulty in using human terminology and classification schemes is that veterinary and human movement disorders have varying pathophysiology and triggers. Further, the clinical appearance of abnormal movements between humans and veterinary patients differs due to differences in anatomic conformation and joint movement.” Dr. Veronika Stein, President of ECVN, commented on the achievement of the taskforce: “The taskforce has done a remarkable job in creating a common unified language for these new emerging neurological identities. This was the first consensus statement of ECVN and there could have not been a better one to start with”.

As a group the Taskforce recognizes that this is just a first step in the process of building our knowledge in this area and reminds us that these consensus recommendations provide a basis for improved communication in this area and can be modified as our knowledge base evolves. As we identify more genetic mutations that cause veterinary movement disorders, and further identify the etiologies, triggers, and treatment responses in affected animals, we can build upon these recommendations.

The Taskforce’s recommendations entitle “International veterinary canine dyskinesia task force ECVN consensus statement: Terminology and classification” can be found in the most recent issue of the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Task Force Members

1Sofia Cerda-Gonzalez, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology); 2Rebecca A Packer, MS, DVM, DACVIM (Neurology); 3Laurent Garosi, DVM, DECVN; 4Mark Lowrie, MA, VetMB, MVM, DECVN; 5Paul JJ Mandigers, DVM, PhD, DECVN; 6Dennis P O’Brien, DVM, PhD, DACVIM (Neurology); 7Holger A Volk, DVM, PhD, PGCAP, DECVN

Author Affiliations

1MedVet Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA

2Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

3Vet Oracle Teleradiology, Bedford, United Kingdom

4Dovecote Veterinary Hospital, Castle Donington, Derby, United Kingdom

5Departement Clinical Sciences, Universiteit Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

6Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA

7Department of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany

Note to the Editor:

The European College of Veterinary Neurology (ECVN) functions to advance veterinary neurology by authenticating veterinarians as specialists in veterinary neurology and by furthering knowledge relating to the pathogenesis, diagnosis, therapy and the control of diseases affecting the nervous system of animals. Diplomates are recognised as specialists by the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation.

Diplomates have undergone extensive, well-defined training in small and large animal neurology and neurosurgery and have passed an in-depth examination lasting several days. The demanding process of board certification assures quality service to the public and their animals, which are treated by true specialists