Objective—To determine whether results of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) are associated with postoperative outcome in working dogs with degenerative lumbosacral stenosis.
Design—Prospective cohort study.
Animals—12 dogs treated surgically for degenerative lumbosacral stenosis.
Procedure—Procedure—The lumbosacral vertebral column was examined before surgery by use of MRI and CT and after surgery by use of CT. Outcome, based on performance in standardized training exercises, was assessed 6 months after decompressive surgery. Associations between imaging results and postoperative outcome were determined by use of a Fisher exact test and logistic regression.
Results—None of the dogs were able to perform their duties before surgery. By 6 months after surgery, 8 of 12 dogs had been returned to full active duty. Nerve tissue compression was effectively localized by use of CT and MRI. Significant associations between results of imaging studies and postoperative outcome were not identified.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Surgical intervention is justified in high-performance working dogs with degenerative lumbosacral stenosis. However, results of imaging studies may be less important than clinical or surgical factors for predicting outcome in affected dogs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2000;216:1769–1774)