Objective—To evaluate the possible association
between facet joint geometry and intervertebral disk
degeneration in German Shepherd Dogs.
Animals—25 German Shepherd Dogs and 11 control
dogs of similar body weight and condition.
Procedure—Facet joint angles in the caudal portion
of the lumbar region of the vertebral column (L5-S1)
were measured by use of computed tomography, and
the intervertebral discs were evaluated microscopically.
The relationship between facet joint geometry
and disk degeneration was evaluated by use of statistical
Results—German Shepherd Dogs had significantly
more facet joint tropism than control dogs, but an
association with disk degeneration was not found.
However, German Shepherd Dogs had a different
facet joint conformation, with more sagittally oriented
facet joints at L5-L6 and L6-L7 and a larger angle difference
between the lumbar and lumbosacral facet
joints, compared with control dogs.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—A large difference
between facet joint angles at L6-L7 and L7-S1 in
German Shepherd Dogs may be associated with the
frequent occurrence of lumbosacral disk degeneration
in this breed. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:86f–90)
Objective—To determine the association between the 3-dimensional (3-D) motion pattern of the caudal lumbar and lumbosacral portions of the canine vertebral column and the morphology of vertebrae, facet joints, and intervertebral disks.
Sample Population—Vertebral columns of 9 German Shepherd Dogs and 16 dogs of other breeds with similar body weights and body conditions.
Procedure—Different morphometric parameters of the vertebral column were assessed by computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging. Anatomic conformation and the 3-D motion pattern were compared, and correlation coefficients were calculated.
Results—Total range of motion for flexion and extension was mainly associated with the facet joint angle, the facet joint angle difference between levels of the vertebral column in the transverse plane on CT images, disk height, and lever arm length.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Motion is a complex process that is influenced by the entire 3-D conformation of the lumbar portion of the vertebral column. In vivo dynamic measurements of the 3-D motion pattern of the lumbar and lumbosacral portions of the vertebral column will be necessary to further assess biomechanics that could lead to disk degeneration in dogs.
Objective—To evaluate the 3-dimensional motion
pattern including main and coupled motions of the
caudal lumbar and lumbosacral portions of the vertebral
column of dogs.
Animals—Vertebral columns of 9 German Shepherd
Dogs (GSDs) and 16 dogs of other breeds with similar
body weights and body conditions .
Procedure—Main and coupled motions of the caudal
lumbar and lumbosacral portions of the vertebral column
(L4 to S1) were determined by use of a testing
apparatus that permitted precise application of known
pure moments to the vertebral column. Motion was
compared between GSDs and dogs of other breeds.
Results—All specimens had a similar motion pattern
consisting of main motion and a certain amount of
coupled motion including translation. Vertebral
columns of GSDs had significantly less main motion
in all directions than that of dogs of other breeds.
Translation was similar in GSDs and dogs of other
breeds and was smallest at the lumbosacral motion
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated
that motion in the caudal lumbar and lumbosacral
portions of the vertebral column of dogs is
complex and provided a basis for further studies evaluating
abnormal vertebral columns. ( Am J Vet Res 2004;65:544–552)