A one-year-old Thoroughbred colt was evaluated because of facial nerve paralysis, ataxia and fever. Neurological evaluation found the colt to be obtunded and grade 3/5 ataxic in all 4 limbs. Right-sided facial nerve paralysis was present and a large, deep corneal ulcer noted in the right eye. Signs of vestibular disease were also present, including circling towards the right and horizontal nystagmus. A complete blood count showed mild leucocytosis, neutrophilia and hyperfibrinogenaemia. A computed tomography (CT) examination of the skull was performed under general anaesthesia and a diagnosis of right sided otitis media-interna was made. Culture of fluid taken from the middle ear and cerebrospinal fluid collected from the atlanto-occipital site yielded pure growth of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis. Initial therapy consisted of antimicrobial treatment with cefotaxime and anti-inflammatory treatment with flunixin meglumine. Six days after initiating treatment, the colt developed Clostridium difficile associated colitis. The colitis resolved with supportive care and the colt was discharged from the hospital receiving chloramphenicol. Eight months later, the colt continued to be mildly ataxic (grade 1/5), with a slight head tilt and facial nerve paralysis. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first reported case of otitis media-interna due to C. pseudotuberculosis in the horse.
- Cranial nerves
ASJC Scopus subject areas