OBJECTIVE To characterize outcomes following nonsurgical treatment of congenital thoracic vertebral body malformations causing neurologic deficits in dogs.
DESIGN Retrospective case series.
ANIMALS 13 client-owned dogs treated nonsurgically for congenital thoracic vertebral body malformations at 3 veterinary referral hospitals from June 2009 through May 2016.
PROCEDURES Data were extracted from the medical records regarding dog signalment, duration and type of clinical signs before referral, general physical and neurologic examination findings, radiographic and MRI findings, and treatments provided after diagnosis. Follow-up data were obtained from records of recheck examinations and via a standardized owner questionnaire.
RESULTS All included dogs were screw-tail brachycephalic breeds with a median age of 6 months. All dogs had ambulatory paraparesis and ataxia, and in 1 dog, signs of spinal hyperesthesia could be elicited. Nonsurgical treatments consisted of restricted exercise without (n = 5) or with (3) physiotherapy, physiotherapy without restricted exercise (3), and no exercise modification (2). Seven dogs received additional nonsurgical treatment consisting of prednisolone (n = 5) or gabapentin (2). Four dogs were eventually euthanized because of progressive neurologic deterioration, 2 underwent surgery for the same reason, and the remaining 7 dogs survived for ≥ 170 days after diagnosis, despite progressive neurologic deterioration.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Nonsurgical treatment of congenital thoracic vertebral body malformations was associated with an unfavorable outcome in this group of dogs. Despite this treatment, all dogs had progression of clinical signs.
OBJECTIVE To investigate whether hemivertebra subtype as determined via CT was associated with breed and Cobb angle (a measure of the degree of spinal curvature) in apparently neurologically normal French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, and Pugs.
ANIMALS Client-owned French Bulldogs (n = 58), English Bulldogs (30), and Pugs (12) with thoracic hemivertebrae that underwent CT for reasons unrelated to spinal disease.
PROCEDURES CT scans of each dog were evaluated, and hemivertebrae were categorized by subtype (ventral aplasia, ventral hypoplasia, lateral aplasia, lateral hypoplasia, ventrolateral aplasia, ventrolateral hypoplasia, ventral and median aplasia, ventral and median hypoplasia, and symmetric hypoplasia). The Cobb angle was measured, and kyphosis was defined as a Cobb angle > 10°. Results were compared among breeds.
RESULTS 243 hemivertebrae were identified in the French Bulldog group, 100 in the English Bulldog group, and 19 in the Pug group. Breed was significantly associated with hemivertebra subtype. Pugs were more likely than French and English Bulldogs to have ventral hypoplasia and less likely to have ventral and median hypoplasia. English Bulldogs were more likely than French Bulldogs to have ventral and median hypoplasia. Compared with other hemivertebra subtypes, ventral hypoplasia was associated with a greater Cobb angle and a higher likelihood of kyphosis. Pugs were more likely than the other 2 breeds to have kyphosis.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Pugs had a different spectrum of hemivertebra subtypes than French and English Bulldogs in this study. Additional research is necessary to evaluate the clinical relevance of this finding.