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Clinical characterization of thoracolumbar and lumbar intervertebral disk extrusions in English Cocker Spaniels

Thomas J.A. Cardy BvetMed, PhD1, Caitlin E. Tzounos BVS2, Holger A. Volk DVM, PhD3, and Steven De Decker DVM, PhD, MvetMed4
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  • 1 Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Services, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, England.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Services, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, England.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Services, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, England.
  • | 4 Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Services, Royal Veterinary College, University of London, North Mymms, Hertfordshire, AL9 7TA, England.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess the anatomic distribution of thoracolumbar and lumbar intervertebral disk extrusions (IVDEs) in English Cocker Spaniels as compared with findings in Dachshunds and to characterize clinical findings in English Cocker Spaniels with thoracolumbar or lumbar IVDEs affecting various regions of the vertebral column.

DESIGN Retrospective observational study.

ANIMALS 81 English Cocker Spaniels and 81 Dachshunds with IVDEs.

PROCEDURES Signalment, clinical signs, neurologic examination findings, and affected intervertebral disk spaces (IVDSs) were recorded for both breeds. Management methods and outcomes were recorded for English Cocker Spaniels. Lesions were categorized as thoracolumbar (IVDSs T9–10 through L1–2), midlumbar (L2–3 through L4–5), or caudal lumbar (L5–6 through L7–S1).

RESULTS Midlumbar and caudal lumbar IVDEs were significantly more common in English Cocker Spaniels than in Dachshunds. English Cocker Spaniels with caudal lumbar IVDEs had a longer median duration of clinical signs before evaluation and more commonly had unilateral pelvic limb lameness or spinal hyperesthesia as the predominant clinical sign than did those with IVDEs at other sites. Those with caudal lumbar IVDEs less commonly had neurologic deficits and had a higher median neurologic grade (indicating lesser severity), shorter mean postoperative hospitalization time, and faster mean time to ambulation after surgery than those with other sites affected. These variables did not differ between English Cocker Spaniels with thoracolumbar and midlumbar IVDEs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Caudal and midlumbar IVDEs were more common in English Cocker Spaniels than in Dachshunds. English Cocker Spaniels with caudal lumbar IVDE had clinical signs and posttreatment responses that differed from those in dogs with midlumbar or thoracolumbar IVDE.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To assess the anatomic distribution of thoracolumbar and lumbar intervertebral disk extrusions (IVDEs) in English Cocker Spaniels as compared with findings in Dachshunds and to characterize clinical findings in English Cocker Spaniels with thoracolumbar or lumbar IVDEs affecting various regions of the vertebral column.

DESIGN Retrospective observational study.

ANIMALS 81 English Cocker Spaniels and 81 Dachshunds with IVDEs.

PROCEDURES Signalment, clinical signs, neurologic examination findings, and affected intervertebral disk spaces (IVDSs) were recorded for both breeds. Management methods and outcomes were recorded for English Cocker Spaniels. Lesions were categorized as thoracolumbar (IVDSs T9–10 through L1–2), midlumbar (L2–3 through L4–5), or caudal lumbar (L5–6 through L7–S1).

RESULTS Midlumbar and caudal lumbar IVDEs were significantly more common in English Cocker Spaniels than in Dachshunds. English Cocker Spaniels with caudal lumbar IVDEs had a longer median duration of clinical signs before evaluation and more commonly had unilateral pelvic limb lameness or spinal hyperesthesia as the predominant clinical sign than did those with IVDEs at other sites. Those with caudal lumbar IVDEs less commonly had neurologic deficits and had a higher median neurologic grade (indicating lesser severity), shorter mean postoperative hospitalization time, and faster mean time to ambulation after surgery than those with other sites affected. These variables did not differ between English Cocker Spaniels with thoracolumbar and midlumbar IVDEs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Caudal and midlumbar IVDEs were more common in English Cocker Spaniels than in Dachshunds. English Cocker Spaniels with caudal lumbar IVDE had clinical signs and posttreatment responses that differed from those in dogs with midlumbar or thoracolumbar IVDE.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Tzounos' present address is Greencross Vets, Wool-loongabba, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia.

Address correspondence to Dr. De Decker (sdedecker@rvc.ac.uk).