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.
Objective—To evaluate the role of the semitendinosus muscle in stabilization of the canine stifle joint.
Sample—Left stifle joints collected from cadavers of 8 healthy Beagles.
Procedures—Left hind limbs, including the pelvis, were collected. To mimic the tensile force of the quadriceps, gastrocnemius, and semitendinosus muscles, wires were placed under strain between the ends of each muscle. A sensor was used to measure the tensile force in each wire. Specimens were tested in the following sequence: cranial cruciate ligament (CrCL) intact, CrCL transected, released (tensile force of semitendinosus muscle was released in the CrCL-transected stifle joint), and readjusted (tensile force of semitendinosus muscle was reapplied in the CrCL-transected stifle joint). Specimens were loaded at 65.3% of body weight, and tensile force in the wires as well as the cranial tibial displacement were measured.
Results—Tensile force for the CrCL-transected condition increased significantly, compared with that for the CrCL-intact condition. Mean ± SD cranial tibial displacement for the CrCL-transected condition was 2.1 ± 1.3 mm, which increased to 7.2 ± 2.3 mm after release of the tensile force in the semitendinosus muscle.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results supported the contention that the semitendinosus muscle is an agonist of the CrCL in the stifle joint of dogs. Moreover, the quadriceps and gastrocnemius muscles may be antagonists of the CrCL. These findings suggested that the risk of CrCL rupture may be increased by diseases (such as cauda equina syndrome) associated with a decrease in activity of the semitendinosus muscle.
Objective—To identify characteristics of chondrodystrophoid and nonchondrodystrophoid small-breed dogs with cervical intervertebral disk herniation (IVDH).
Design—Retrospective case series.
Animals—187 small-breed (≤ 15 kg [33 lb]) dogs that underwent surgery because of cervical IVDH.
Procedures—Medical records were reviewed for information on breed, sex, age, weight, location of affected intervertebral disks, duration and severity of neurologic signs, and recovery time.
Results—55 of the 187 (29.4%) dogs were Beagles. The most frequently affected intervertebral disk was C2–3 (81/253 [32.0%]), and this was the more frequently affected intervertebral disk in dogs of several chondrodystrophoid breeds, including Beagles (29/66 [43.9%]), Dachshunds (13/37 [35.1%]), Shih Tzus (16/41 [39.0%]), and Pekingese (3/10 [30.0%]). However, caudal disks (C5–6 or C6–7) were more frequently affected in Yorkshire Terriers (13/24 [54.2%]) and Chihuahuas (9/13 [69%]). Shih Tzus and Yorkshire Terriers were significantly older at the time of surgery (mean ± SD age, 9.6 ± 2.3 years and 9.5 ± 2.5 years, respectively) than were Pomeranians (6.2 ± 2.3 years), and Yorkshire Terriers had a significantly higher number of affected disks (2.0 ± 0.9) than did Dachshunds (1.1 ± 0.3). Mean recovery time was significantly longer in Yorkshire Terriers (36.7 ± 13.0 days) than in Beagles (16.5 ± 17.1 days), Shih Tzus (17.8 ± 14.5 days), or Chihuahuas (12.2 ± 7. 2 days).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that there may be breed-specific differences in the characteristics of cervical IVDH in small-breed dogs.
OBJECTIVE To assess effects of vertebral distraction-fusion techniques at a treated segment (C5-C6) and an adjacent segment (C4-C5) of canine cervical vertebrae.
SAMPLE Cervical vertebrae harvested from cadavers of 10 skeletally mature Beagles.
PROCEDURES Three models (intact, titanium plate, and polymethylmethacrylate [PM MA]) for stabilization of the caudal region of the cervical vertebrae (C4 through C7) were applied to the C5-C6 vertebral segment sequentially on the same specimens. Biomechanical assessments with flexion-extension, lateral bending, and axial rotational tests were conducted after each procedure. Range of motion (ROM) for a torque load applied with a 6-axis material tester was measured at C4-5 and C5-6 and calculated by use of a 3-D video measurement system.
RESULTS In both the plate and PMMA models, ROM significantly increased at C4-5 and significantly decreased at C5-6, compared with results for the intact model. The ROM at C5-6 was significantly lower for the plate model versus the PMMA model in lateral bending and for the PMMA model versus the plate model in axial rotation. Conversely, ROM at C4-5 was significantly higher in axial rotation for the PMMA model versus the plate model. No significant differences were identified in flexion-extension between the PMMA and plate models at either site.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results of this study suggested that vertebral distraction and fusion of canine vertebrae can change the mechanical environment at, and may cause disorders in, the adjacent segment. Additionally, findings suggested that effects on the adjacent segment differed on the basis of the fusion method used.
To investigate the effect of an excessive tibial plateau angle (TPA) and change in compressive load on tensile forces experienced by the cranial cruciate, medial collateral, and lateral collateral ligaments (CCL, MCL, and LCL, respectively) of canine stifle joints.
16 cadaveric stifle joints from 16 orthopedically normal Beagles.
Stifle joints were categorized into unchanged (mean TPA, 30.4°) and excessive (mean TPA before and after modification, 31.2° and 41.1°, respectively) TPA groups. The excessive TPA group underwent a TPA-increasing procedure (curvilinear osteotomy of the proximal aspect of the tibia) to achieve the desired TPA. A robotic system was used to apply a 30- and 60-N compressive load to specimens. The craniomedial band of the CCL, caudolateral band of the CCL, MCL, and LCL were sequentially transected; load application was repeated after each transection. Orthogonal force components were measured in situ. Forces on ligaments were calculated after repeated output force measurements as the contribution of each component was eliminated.
Increasing the compressive load increased tensile forces on the craniomedial and caudolateral bands of the CCL, but not on the MCL or LCL, in specimens of both groups. At the 60-N load, tensile force on the craniomedial band, but not other ligaments, was greater for the excessive TPA group than for the unchanged TPA group.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results indicated that stress on the CCL may increase when the compressive load increases. The TPA-increasing procedure resulted in increased tensile force on the CCL at a 60-N compressive load without affecting forces on the MCL or LCL.
To investigate the effects of intervertebral distraction screw (IDS) fixation of the lumbosacral joint (LSJ) on the intervertebral foraminal area (IFA) and intervertebral stabilization of the LSJ and adjacent lumbar segments in dogs.
7 healthy Beagles.
Dorsal laminectomy was performed at the LSJ in each dog to expose the intervertebral disk. The IDS was then inserted into the L7-S1 disk. Computed tomography was performed before and after laminectomy and after IDS insertion (intact, laminectomy, and IDS conditions, respectively) to measure the intervertebral range of motion (ROM) and intervertebral distance (ID) at L7-S1, L6-7, and L5-6 with the LSJ in a flexed and extended position. The intervertebral foramina stenosis rate was calculated from the intervertebral foramina area in entrance, middle, and exit zones. Results were compared among conditions.
The ROM at L7-S1 after IDS insertion was lower than that observed before and after laminectomy; no other differences were identified among conditions. With the LSJ in the flexed position, the ID at L7-S1 was larger after IDS insertion than before and after laminectomy; no other differences in ID were identified. In all evaluated zones, the stenosis rate was lower after IDS insertion than before and after laminectomy. No differences in ROM, ID, and stenosis rate were identified among conditions at L6-7 or L5-6.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE
Results suggested that IDS fixation of the LSJ restricted lumbosacral ROM and prevented decreases in lumbosacral ID and IFA in healthy dogs. There were no changes at L6-7 and L5-6.
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.