Nephroblastoma in Dogue de Bordeaux, Bella 

Bella, a young Dogue de Bordeaux, presented to EBVS Diplomate in Veterinary Neurology Chloe Fisher, following a 2-day history of acute onset left-lateralised paraparesis.  

Neurolocalisation, based on examination, was to the T3-L3 spinal cord segments. An MRI documented a well-defined mass at L1-2 (left-sided), with imaging characteristics raising suspicion for a nephroblastoma. The mass was removed surgically a few days following Bella’s consult.  Histopathological analysis confirmed our suspicion of a nephroblastoma.  

Nephroblastoma is rare tumour of the spine, most commonly seen in dogs between the age of 6 months and 3 years (reported in dogs as old as 7 years). There is a high prevalence in German Shepherd Dogs and Retriever breeds. The tumour can have intradural-extramedullary (most commonly), intramedullary and extradural location; with most found between T10 and L2. Prognosis is unfortunately guarded, due to a high rate of local recurrence, but survival times of up to several years are reported when treated with a combination of surgery and radiotherapy.  

We’re pleased to report Bella responded excellently to surgery, returning to a neurologically normal baseline by her 4-week post-op check. Repeat MRI, performed 5-months following the mass removal, documented no evidence of mass re-growth and Bella was doing neurologically well with only a mild pelvic limb paresis.