Translation of experimental stroke research into the clinical setting is often unsuccessful. Novel approaches are therefore desirable. As humans, pet dogs suffer from spontaneous ischaemic stroke and may hence offer new ways of studying genuine stroke injury mechanisms.
The objective of this study was to compare clinical symptoms and infarct topography of naturally occurring ischaemic stroke in pet dogs with human ischaemic stroke.
Medical records and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of 27 dogs with spontaneous ischaemic stroke were retrospectively investigated with respect to clinical symptoms and infarct topography. Symptomatology and MRI characteristics were compared with humans.
Seventy per cent were diagnosed with middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusions. Motor dysfunction or sensory-motor dysfunction was reported in 78%, including specific signs of contra-lateral motor dysfunction in 11 of 27 (40%). Seizures were reported in 15 of 27 cases (56%).
Spontaneously occurring ischaemic stroke in dogs share characteristics with human ischaemic stroke in terms of clinical symptoms and infarct topography. Investigating pet dogs with spontaneous ischaemic stroke may provide an alternative approach to the research of stroke injury mechanisms as they occur naturally, and should be further investigated.