Hello Everyone,

I have finally gotten Zoey's results back, and her ashes have been returned to me. The CT results could not be sent to me in full because of the file type they use in the program attached to the CT machine. We're working out how I can get the results from that. However, I have attached the necropsy results below along with a photo that shows the side view of Zoey's spine where the deformity is. In short, Zoey had a tumor that was growing on her spine that severely compressed her spinal cord and other nerves associated with her front limbs. The tumor likely caused the deformity as it grew. Given the nature of the tumor, the vet at Cornell and the neuropathology team agreed that we took the best course of action for Zoey moving forward. In the photo, look for the sharp angle area near her head, this is deformity and where the tumor was found. If anyone would like to see Zoey's other radiographs or have any of her reports sent to their veterinarians as a reference for spinal damage in sugar gliders, please PM me.

Thank you everyone, and I hope to make updates with my other two girlies that are in much better light <3.


Final Comments

Histologic Diagnosis

Peripheral nerve sheath tumor

Histologic examination reveals a peripheral nerve sheath tumor (PNST) arising within the cervical portion of the vertebral canal compressing the spinal cord. The PNST appears to have started within the vertebral canal probably around 1 of the nerve rootlets. There is loss and resorption of the bone of the vertebral bodies and severe compression of the spinal cord itself in 1 section. The location of this PNST would account for the clinical signs. There are no histologic lesions to provide a cause of the left head tilt. There is no evidence of otitis interna or otitis media in the left ear. There is however severe hyperkeratosis filling the left external ear canal, the cause and significance of which is unclear. The skin lining the external ear canal shows no indication of inflammation. If you have some micro-CT results I would be interested in correlating these with the histologic findings. Dr. Andrew D. Miller, DVM, DACVP, who has an interest in neuropathology was consulted and concurs with this diagnosis.

Spinal cord, cervical: Peripheral nerve sheath tumor

Ear canal, left: Severe basket-weave orthokeratotic hyperkeratosis

EAR: Ear canal, left (slide 5; 1 section): The external ear canal is packed full of basketweave orthokeratotic keratin. Attached to the keratin are globules of cerumen and cocci bacteria. The epidermis lining the external ear canal is unremarkable. The tympanic membrane is intact. The middle and inner ear are unremarkable.

BRAIN, NOS: (slides 1 to 5; 5 sections): No significant findings.

SPINAL CORD, NOS: Spinal cord, cervical (slides 6 to 7; 6 sections): In sections of the vertebral column from the level of C1 to the mid cervical region, there is an intra-dural, parenchymal, unencapsulated, expansile multinodular, moderately infiltrative neoplasm. Neoplastic cells are elongated spindle cells forming short interlacing fascicles, streams and bundles on a moderate vascular stroma. There are more densely cellular areas with packed palisading nuclei and less densely cellular areas with increased amounts of fibrillar collagen. In 1 focus, neoplastic cells are separated by small amounts of myxomatous matrix material. Neoplastic cells expand and efface dorsal root ganglia and extend around the dorsal and ventral nerve roots. Neoplastic cells have indistinct cell margins, small amounts of eosinophilic, wispy cytoplasm, and an oval to elongated nucleus with dense uniformly dispersed chromatin and no distinct nucleolus. There are no mitotic figures in ten 400x fields. There is mild anisocytosis and anisokaryosis. There are small numbers of scattered lymphocytes. There is thinning of the vertebral bone with scalloping and resorption of the periosteal surfaces adjacent to the neoplasm. Within the dura there are multiple dilated lymphatic vessels and congested blood vessels surrounded by small amounts of edema. The spinal cord is severally compressed. There is vacuolation of the white matter tracts, gliosis, and few degenerate neurons. Sections of the caudal cervical cord have mild scattered white matter vacuolation.

Spinal cord, thoracic and lumbosacral (slides 8 to 10; 8 sections): There is mild scattered vacuolation in white matter tracts.

Gross Comments

Gross Description

Gross examination did not reveal a cause for the clinical history of chronic progressive neurologic deficits. The vertebral column and skull was isolated and externally examined; no obvious fractures or malformations could be appreciated. Due to the small size of the specimen, the entire vertebral column and skull will be fixed and decalcified before further examination and dissection. Please feel free to email me at jnt47@cornell.edu to discuss the suspected lesions and share imaging findings so I can determine how to best dissect the sample. Any additional post-fixation gross findings and histopathology is pending and will follow in the final report.

Examined is the body of a 0.6 kg, black and gray, female sugar glider in good body condition with minimal autolysis. On the left forelimb digits 4 and 5 are absent and on the right forelimb digit 2 is absent.

There are no significant gross external or internal lesions. External examination of the vertebral column is within normal limits.

The artsy engineer with a pouch full of cuteness

:bb: Amelia :grey: Aurora

:rbridge: Zoey