Brachial plexus injury (BPI) represents a common consequence of road traffic accidents in humans and small animals. In humans, neuropathic pain is a common symptom after BPI. The aim of the study was to describe the clinical signs, the electrodiagnostic findings, the outcome and the quality of life (QoL) of a cohort of dogs and cats with BPI. Clinical records of 40 dogs and 26 cats with BPI were retrospectively reviewed. Specific attention was put on the evaluation of electrodiagnostic findings (35/40 dogs; 14/26 cats) and telephonic interview results (26/40 dogs; 18/26 cats). The most common neurological condition was the inability to bear weight and sensory deficits on the affected limb. Radial and ulnar motor nerve conduction studies (MNCSs) were absent respectively in 47% (radial) and 62% (ulnar) of dogs and 57% (radial) and 57% (ulnar) of cats. The absence of radial (p = 0.003) and ulnar (p = 0.007) MNCSs in dogs and ulnar MNCSs in cats (p = 0.02) was significantly associated to the amputation of the affected limb. The owners described signs of pain/discomfort in 73% of dogs and 56% of cats. This is the first report suggesting that neuropathic pain/discomfort should be adequately considered in order to improve the QoL.
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