The objectives of the present study were to investigate survival time, possible predictors of survival and clinical outcome in dogs with ischaemic stroke. A retrospective study of dogs with a previous diagnosis of ischaemic stroke diagnosed by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed. The association between survival and the hypothesised risk factors was examined using univariable exact logistic regression. Survival was examined using Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression. Twenty-two dogs were identified. Five dogs (23%) died within the first 30days of the stroke event. Median survival in 30-day survivors was 505days. Four dogs (18%) were still alive by the end of the study. Right-sided lesions posed a significantly increased risk of mortality with a median survival time in dogs with right-sided lesions of 24days vs. 602days in dogs with left sided lesions (P=0.006). Clinical outcome was considered excellent in seven of 17 (41%) 30-day survivors. Another seven 30-day survivors experienced new acute neurological signs within 6-17months of the initial stroke event; in two of those cases a new ischaemic stroke was confirmed by MRI. In conclusion, dogs with ischaemic stroke have a fair to good prognosis in terms of survival and clinical outcome. However, owners should be informed of the risk of acute death within 30days and of the possibility of new neurological events in survivors. Mortality was increased in dogs with right-sided lesions in this study.
Veterinary Journal, 2013, Vol 196, Issue 3, p. 408-413