Objective—To determine whether results of magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography
(CT) are associated with postoperative outcome in
working dogs with degenerative lumbosacral stenosis.
Design—Prospective cohort study.
Animals—12 dogs treated surgically for degenerative
Procedure—Procedure—The lumbosacral vertebral column was
examined before surgery by use of MRI and CT and
after surgery by use of CT. Outcome, based on performance
in standardized training exercises, was
assessed 6 months after decompressive surgery.
Associations between imaging results and postoperative
outcome were determined by use of a Fisher
exact test and logistic regression.
Results—None of the dogs were able to perform
their duties before surgery. By 6 months after
surgery, 8 of 12 dogs had been returned to full active
duty. Nerve tissue compression was effectively localized
by use of CT and MRI. Significant associations
between results of imaging studies and postoperative
outcome were not identified.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Surgical intervention
is justified in high-performance working dogs
with degenerative lumbosacral stenosis. However,
results of imaging studies may be less important than
clinical or surgical factors for predicting outcome in affected
dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1769–1774)