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  • Author or Editor: Jonathan A. Hash x
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Objective—To assess the feasibility of measuring cord dorsum potentials (CDPs) in anesthetized clinically normal dogs after caudal nerve stimulation, determine the intervertebral site of maximum amplitude and best waveform of the CDP, and evaluate the effects of neuromuscular blockade.

Animals—8 male and 4 female dogs (age, 1 to 5 years).

Procedures—Dogs were anesthetized, and CDPs were recorded via needles placed on the dorsal lamina at intervertebral spaces L1–2 through L7–S1. Caudal nerves were stimulated with monopolar electrodes inserted laterally to the level of the caudal vertebrae. Dogs were tested without and during neuromuscular blockade induced with atracurium besylate. The CDP latency and amplitude were determined from the largest amplitude tracings.

Results—CDPs were recorded in 11 of 12 dogs without neuromuscular blockade and in all dogs during neuromuscular blockade. The CDP was largest and most isolated at the L4–5 intervertebral space (3 dogs) or the L5–6 intervertebral space (9 dogs); this site corresponded to the segment of insertion of the first caudal nerve. Onset latencies ranged from 2.0 to 4.7 milliseconds, and there was no effect of neuromuscular blockade on latencies. Amplitudes of the CDPs were highly variable for both experimental conditions.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—CDPs were recorded from all dogs tested in the study; neuromuscular blockade was not critical for successful CDP recording but reduced muscle artifact. This technique may be useful as a tool to assess the caudal nerve roots in dogs suspected of having compressive lumbosacral disease or myelopathies affecting the lumbar intumescence.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



To determine whether muscle-sparing laryngoplasty results in fewer changes in swallowing function compared to standard surgical treatment for laryngeal paralysis.


12 clinically normal sexually intact male Beagles.


Group A dogs (n = 4) had a standard approach to the larynx, with left arytenoid cartilage lateralization. Group B dogs (n = 4) had a muscle-sparing laryngoplasty performed with the thyropharyngeus muscle fibers bluntly separated, and the cricoarytenoideus dorsalis muscle spared. Pre- and 24-hour postoperative fluoroscopic swallowing studies were performed and graded. Larynges were harvested after humane euthanasia, and glottic area was measured. Group C dogs (n = 4) acted as controls, with surgical dissection ending lateral to the thyropharyngeus muscle, arytenoid lateralization not performed, and the dogs not euthanized. The study was performed between October 15, 2011 and May 15, 2021.


Changes in pharyngeal and upper esophageal sphincter function were not detected in any group. There was no difference in glottic area between treatment groups. Aspiration of liquid was not a consistent finding. Two dogs in each treatment group developed moderate to severe cervical esophageal paresis. This did not occur in control dogs.


We found no evidence to support our hypothesis that muscle-sparing laryngoplasty results in less severe changes in swallowing function compared to a standard technique. The cervical esophageal paresis identified in both treatment groups could increase the risk of postoperative aspiration pneumonia in dogs treated for laryngeal paralysis via a lateral approach to the larynx. Further study to determine the frequency, cause, and duration of esophageal dysfunction is warranted.

Open access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research