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  • Author or Editor: Takaharu Hakozaki 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 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.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


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


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.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research