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  • Author or Editor: Fumitaka Takahashi x
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OBJECTIVE To evaluate and compare morphological characteristics of the dens in atlantoaxial instability (AAI)-predisposed toy-breed dogs (TBDs) with and without AAI and non–AAI-predisposed healthy Beagles.

ANIMALS 80 AAI-affected and 40 nonaffected TBDs and 40 Beagles.

PROCEDURES Each dog underwent CT examination of the cervical vertebral column. On median 3-D multiplanar reconstruction images, the dens angle (DA) was measured as were the lengths of the dens and the body of the axis; the dens-to-axis length ratio (ratio of the dens length to the axis body length [DALR]) was calculated. Data were compared among dog groups.

RESULTS The DALR in nonaffected TBDs and Beagles did not differ significantly. The mean DALR for AAI-affected TBDs was significantly lower than that for nonaffected TBDs. The mean DA of AAI-affected TBDs was significantly greater than that of Beagles and nonaffected TBDs.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that a low DALR might be associated with a high probability of dens abnormalities in TBDs. Additionally, dens length in AAI-affected TBDs appeared to be smaller than that in non–AAI-affected TBDs, given the low DALR in AAI-affected TBDs. Further investigations to determine reference ranges of the DA and DALR and the potential usefulness of those variables as diagnostic markers for AAI in TBDs are warranted.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To retrospectively evaluate the epidemiological and morphological features and outcome of surgical treatment of incomplete ossification of the dorsal neural arch of the atlas (IODA) in dogs with atlantoaxial instability (AAI).

ANIMALS 106 AAI-affected dogs that underwent ventral fixation of the atlantoaxial joint.

PROCEDURES Medical records and CT images for each dog were reviewed. Dogs were allocated to 1 of 2 groups on the basis of the presence or absence of IODA or of dens abnormalities (DAs) in CT images.

RESULTS Of the 106 dogs with AAI, 75 had and 31 did not have IODA; 70 had and 36 did not have DAs. Incomplete ossification was present in the cranialmost, central, or caudalmost portion of the dorsal neural arch of the atlas in 59, 39, and 28 dogs, respectively; 2 or 3 portions were affected in 29 and 11 dogs, respectively. The mean CT value (in Hounsfield units) for the midline of the dorsal neural arch of the atlas in dogs with IODA was significantly lower than that for the same site in the dogs without IODA. The mean age at surgery for dogs with central IODA was significantly higher than that of the non-IODA group. The severity of spinal cord injury before or after atlantoaxial ventral fixation did not differ between the IODA and non-IODA groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results indicated that concomitant DAs or IODA is common in dogs with AAI. In dogs with incomplete ossification in the central part of the dorsal neural arch of the atlas, surgical treatment of AAI generally occurs at a middle to advanced age.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To compare the prognosis of small dogs with cervical intervertebral disc herniation (C-IVDH) when treated with ventral slot decompression (VSD) alone or with concomitant vertebral fixation (VF).


Small dogs (n = 303) weighing < 15 kg diagnosed with C-IVDH and treated with VSD.


We recorded signalment, cervical myelopathy grade, surgical site, use of VF, degree of adjacent disc degeneration, recovery, recurrence, recurrence site, and postoperative course, including the time elapsed from recovery to recurrence. We examined factors associated with recovery and recurrence during the 30-month postoperative period using multivariate logistic regression analysis.


VF did not affect recovery (P = .79). However, nonchondrodystrophic breeds had poorer recovery (OR, 5.89; P = .023) than chondrodystrophic breeds, and a higher preoperative cervical myelopathy grade (grade 3 or 4) was associated with poorer recovery (OR, 7.09 or 3.46, respectively; P = .019 or .042, respectively), compared with grade 1. VF did not affect recurrence (P = .79); however, increasing age was associated with recurrence (OR, 1.79; P = .001).


In small dogs weighing < 15 kg, there was no difference in postoperative recovery and recurrence rates after VSD with or without concomitant VF. Therefore, in small dogs with C-IVDH, even if the slot volume is increased to remove sufficient disc material during VSD, a good prognosis can be achieved with or without VF.

Open access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association