Pseudomonas-associated discospondylitis in a two-month-old llama.J Vet Diagn Invest. 2008 May; 20(3):349-52.JV
A 2-month-old female llama with a history of tetraparesis was presented for necropsy. This cria was apparently normal until it became ataxic during its second week of life. It had diminished flexor reflexes of the left forelimb and both hind limbs. Hematology and serum biochemistry revealed neutrophilia, elevated alkaline phosphatase, elevated phosphorus, and modest hyperglycemia. Radiography of the cervical spine demonstrated an abnormal C3-C4 intervertebral disc and bony proliferation of the vertebral end plates. The llama was treated with antibiotics and corticosteroids but failed to respond. Postmortem examination revealed cervical intervertebral disc disease and vertebral exostosis. Microscopically, there was necrosis of intervertebral connective tissue and focal malacia of the spinal cord. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was isolated from the intervertebral disc space and from cerebrospinal fluid. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first description of Pseudomonas-associated discospondylitis in a llama.