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Thoracolumbar meningeal fibrosis in pugs

Last changed: 12 May 2020

Thoracolumbar myelopathies associated with spinal cord and vertebral column lesions, with a similar clinical phenotype, but different underlying etiologies, occur in pugs. The objective of the present study was to further characterize the clinical and neuropathological characteristics of pugs with longstanding thoracolumbar myelopathy.


Thirty client‐owned pure‐bred pugs with a history of more than a month of ataxia and paresis of the pelvic limbs, suggesting a myelopathy localized to the thoracolumbar spinal cord, were included in the study.


Prospective clinicopathological study. Included pugs underwent a complete neurological examination and gross and histopathologic postmortem studies with focus on the spinal cord. Computed tomography (n = 18), magnetic resonance imaging (n = 17), and cerebrospinal fluid analysis (n = 27) were performed before or immediately after death.


Twenty male and 10 female pugs had a median age at clinical onset of 84 months (interquartile range, 66‐96). Affected pugs presented with a progressive clinical course and 80% were incontinent. There was circumferential meningeal fibrosis with concomitant focal, malacic, destruction of the neuroparenchyma in the thoracolumbar spinal cord in 24/30 pugs. Vertebral lesions accompanied the focal spinal cord lesion, and there was lympho‐histiocytic inflammation associated or not to the parenchymal lesion in 43% of the pugs.

Conclusions and clinical importance

Meningeal fibrosis with associated focal spinal cord destruction and neighboring vertebral column lesions were common findings in pugs with long‐standing thoracolumbar myelopathy.

Link to the publication


Rohdin C, Ljungvall I, Häggström J, Leijon A,  Lindblad‐Toh K, Matiasek  K, Rosati M, Wohlsein P, Hultin Jäderlund K. Thoracolumbar meningeal fibrosis in pugs. J Vet Intern Med. 2020; 1– 11.


Cecilia Rohdin
Clinical Veterinarian at the University Animal Hospital; Small Animal Clinic

Telephone: +4618672680, +46708583681