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Diagnosis and treatment of arthrosis of cervical articular facet joints in Scottish Deerhounds: 9 cases (1998–2002)

Sylvia KinzelDepartment of Laboratory Animal Science, University of Technology Aachen, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

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Sven HeinDepartment of Laboratory Animal Science, University of Technology Aachen, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

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Arno BueckerDepartment of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Technology Aachen, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

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Gabriele A. KrombachDepartment of Diagnostic Radiology, University of Technology Aachen, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

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Werner KuepperDepartment of Laboratory Animal Science, University of Technology Aachen, 52074 Aachen, Germany.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine diagnostic features and efficacy of treatment of arthrosis of the cervical articular facet joints between C2 and C3 in Scottish Deerhounds.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—9 client-owned dogs.

Procedure—Medical records of affected dogs were reviewed. Diagnosis was confirmed by results of clinical examination (signs of severe pain from unilateral or bilateral flexion of the cervical vertebral column), radiography, myelography, and computed tomography. Treatment consisted of fluoroscopy-guided intra-articular injection of corticosteroids and lidocaine.

Results—Unilateral or bilateral arthrosis of the cervical facet joints between C2 and C3 was detected in all dogs. In 7 dogs, signs of pain were elicited by flexion of the side of the neck in which affected joints were detected radiographically. Two dogs had signs of pain during right lateral flexion, although bilateral lesions were detected. Five dogs had unilateral lesions, and 4 dogs had bilateral lesions; sclerosis and hypertrophy of the articular process were common. Two dogs had bridging of the articular space. Use of computed tomography confirmed the diagnosis. Myelography did not reveal abnormalities of the spinal cord or canal. After treatment, 8 dogs had rapid marked improvement of clinical signs, and 7 dogs remained free of clinical signs for > 4 months.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Arthrosis of the cervical facet joints in Scottish Deerhounds is a severely painful condition for which conventional radiography is a useful screening test. Intra-articular administration of corticosteroids and anesthetic is efficacious, long-lasting, and minimally invasive. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1311–1315)

Abstract

Objective—To determine diagnostic features and efficacy of treatment of arthrosis of the cervical articular facet joints between C2 and C3 in Scottish Deerhounds.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—9 client-owned dogs.

Procedure—Medical records of affected dogs were reviewed. Diagnosis was confirmed by results of clinical examination (signs of severe pain from unilateral or bilateral flexion of the cervical vertebral column), radiography, myelography, and computed tomography. Treatment consisted of fluoroscopy-guided intra-articular injection of corticosteroids and lidocaine.

Results—Unilateral or bilateral arthrosis of the cervical facet joints between C2 and C3 was detected in all dogs. In 7 dogs, signs of pain were elicited by flexion of the side of the neck in which affected joints were detected radiographically. Two dogs had signs of pain during right lateral flexion, although bilateral lesions were detected. Five dogs had unilateral lesions, and 4 dogs had bilateral lesions; sclerosis and hypertrophy of the articular process were common. Two dogs had bridging of the articular space. Use of computed tomography confirmed the diagnosis. Myelography did not reveal abnormalities of the spinal cord or canal. After treatment, 8 dogs had rapid marked improvement of clinical signs, and 7 dogs remained free of clinical signs for > 4 months.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Arthrosis of the cervical facet joints in Scottish Deerhounds is a severely painful condition for which conventional radiography is a useful screening test. Intra-articular administration of corticosteroids and anesthetic is efficacious, long-lasting, and minimally invasive. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:1311–1315)