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Open Access Horner Syndrome in 2 Pigs (Sus scrofa) after Vascular Grafting of the Carotid Artery and Jugular Vein

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The term Horner syndrome refers to the clinical presentation of oculosympathoparesis, comprising miosis, ptosis, and facial anhydrosis. To date, there are 2 reports of postoperative Horner syndrome in pigs. In this species the cervical sympathetic chain and cranial cervical sympathetic ganglion are consistently within the carotid artery sheath. This case study describes the sudden onset of Horner syndrome in 2 pigs, from a study cohort of 8, after the placement of a vascular graft between the carotid artery and external jugular vein. Anesthesia and surgery was uneventful in all the pigs in the study, but 2 pigs demonstrated clinical signs including ptosis, enophthalmos and prolapse of the nictitating membrane immediately after recovery from anesthesia. Horner syndrome was diagnosed in light of the clinical signs. These clinical signs persisted throughout the 2-mo study period and did not appear to improve or deteriorate in that time. Gross examination of the surgery site at the end of the study did not reveal an obvious lesion in the carotid artery sheath. The risk of Horner syndrome after surgery involving the carotid artery in pigs had not been reported prior to this study. Without specific measures to protect the cervical sympathetic ganglion during surgery, the incidence of postoperative Horner syndrome was 25% in our population of pigs. Although the welfare implications of this syndrome are minimal, concerted effort to avoid intraoperative damage to the cervical ganglion is essential for future work.

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Document Type: Case Report

Affiliations: 1: Animal Care Services, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia;, Email: [email protected] 2: Perth Animal Eye Hospital, Perth, Western Australia, Australia 3: School of Surgery, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia

Publication date: December 1, 2017

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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