Goofy’s Rare Brain Defect

Goofy was referred to our Neurology and Neurosurgery team as an emergency after disappearing on a walk and was found disorientated by the side of a road. He had a small amount of blood in one of his nostrils and had a seizure on the way to his local veterinary practice, so a road traffic accident and associated head trauma was highly suspected.

Goofy had further seizures at the practice, where he was stabilised before being referred to us.

Tomas Elvira-Rodriguez, one of our Neurology Residents gave him a neurological examination and was convinced, partly due to his history of acute seizures, that he had a problem affecting his brain.

Our Diagnostic Imaging team performed MRI and CT scans of his head which revealed an unusual malformation of his skull and back of his nose, including a bony defect through which his brain was herniating into the caudal nasal cavity, called a ‘meningoencephalocoele’.

The origin of this defect in Goofy’s skull was uncertain, but there was no evidence on the scans of recent trauma (i.e., no bone fragments, swelling or bleeding associated with the regions of bone loss) and it therefore most likely represented an anomaly that he had been born with, or less likely a previous head trauma in early life.

A concurrent infection (meningoencephalitis) was suspected in Goofy’s case, based on the scan results, therefore Tomas started a treatment of antibiotics and a short course of corticosteroids, together with antiepileptic medications.

Goofy’s neurological signs were severe when he came to us, to the point that he could not walk, but with intensive care by our dedicated nursing team he showed a progressive improvement over the following days.

He was discharged after a week in the hospital and we were as delighted as his owner to see him looking so well when he returned for his recheck recently.