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To establish normal predictive values for cord dorsum potential (CDP) onset latency after thoracic and pelvic limb sensory or mixed nerve stimulation in adult dogs.


26 clinically normal adult dogs.


Sensory nerve action potentials (SNAP) were recorded proximally from tibial and lateral superficial radial nerves after distal stimulation. The CDP were recorded from the L4-L5 interarcuate ligament for the tibial nerve and from the C7-T1 interarcuate ligament for the radial nerve. Linear regression analyses were performed for CDP onset latency, and mean ± SD was calculated for CDP onset to peak latency differences and sensory nerve conduction velocities (SNCV).


For the tibial nerve, expected CDP onset latency (CDPOL) = −1.194 + 0.014 × pelvic limb length (mm; R 2 = 0.912); CDPOL = −2.156 + 0.011 × pelvic limb/spinal length (mm; R 2 = 0.911); and CDPOL = 0.941 + 2.197 × tibial nerve SNAP latency (milliseconds; R 2 = 0.903). For the radial nerve, CDPOL = −0.9 + 0.014 × thoracic limb length (mm; R 2 = 0.873); and CDPOL = 1.454 + 1.874 × radial nerve SNAP latency (milliseconds; R 2 = 0.903). Mean ± SD for CDP onset to peak latency difference for tibial and radial nerves was 3.1 ± 0.3 and 3.0 ± 0.4 milliseconds, respectively.


Strong linear associations exist between CDPOL and a number of easily measured peripheral independent variables in dogs. There is also a narrow range of normal values for CDP onset to peak latency differences that is independent of limb length.

Clinical Relevance

CDP evaluation can be used to accurately assess functional severity and distribution of abnormalities in proximal sensory nerves, dorsal nerve roots, and spinal cord dorsal horns in dogs with suspected neuropathy, radiculopathy, or myelopathy involving the brachial or lumbosacral intumescences. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:222-226)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


We compared the effects of bilateral vs unilateral tibial nerve stimulation of percutaneously recorded spinal evoked potentials (sep) in the lumbar and caudal thoracic area in dogs. The overall amplitude of the sep is increased by this means. Use of this method could improve legibility of the recordings. Amplitudes of root and interneuronal components of the sep are doubled as are cranially transmitted depolarizations. However, the amplitude of the sep component arising from the primary afferents’ depolarization was less than doubled. Latencies of the components were unaffected by bilateral stimulation. Careful observation of the latencies disclosed a 0.9-ms delay in transmission of the fastest component in the midlumbar area. This delay was consistant with results of previous cordotomy experiments, and could influence precision of conduction velocity measurement.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research