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Evaluation of the association between spondylosis deformans and clinical signs of intervertebral disk disease in dogs: 172 cases (1999–2000)

Gwendolyn J. Levine BS1, Jonathan M. Levine DVM, DACVIM2, Michael A. Walker DVM, DACVR, DACVRO3, Roy R. Pool DVM, PhD4, and Geoffrey T. Fosgate DVM, PhD, DACVPM5
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  • 1 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 2 Department of Small Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 3 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 4 Department of Veterinary Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.
  • | 5 Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the association between spondylosis deformans and clinical signs of intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—210 dogs.

Procedure—Records of 172 dogs with clinical signs of IVDD and 38 dogs with other neurologic disorders were reviewed. Signalment, sites of spondylosis, severity of associated osteophytosis, type of disk herniation, and duration of signs were recorded.

Results—Dogs with IVDD had significantly fewer sites of involvement and lower grades of spondylosis deformans, compared with those in the non-IVDD group. When groups were adjusted for age and weight via multivariate linear regression, there were no differences in severity of osteophytosis or number of affected sites. Dogs with type II disk disease had higher numbers of affected sites and more severe changes, compared with dogs with type I disk herniation. There was no difference between groups in the rate at which IVDD was diagnosed at sites of spondylosis, compared with the rate at which IVDD was diagnosed in unaffected disk spaces. Areas of spondylosis were closer to sites of IVDD that elicited clinical signs than to randomly chosen intervertebral spaces, and distances between sites of spondylosis and sites of IVDD had a bimodal appearance.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An association may exist between radiographically apparent spondylosis and type II disk disease; type I disk disease was not associated with spondylosis. Spondylosis in radiographs of dogs with suspected type I disk disease is not clinically important. Spatial associations among sites of spondylosis and sites of IVDD may be coincidental or associated with vertebral column biomechanics.

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the association between spondylosis deformans and clinical signs of intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) in dogs.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—210 dogs.

Procedure—Records of 172 dogs with clinical signs of IVDD and 38 dogs with other neurologic disorders were reviewed. Signalment, sites of spondylosis, severity of associated osteophytosis, type of disk herniation, and duration of signs were recorded.

Results—Dogs with IVDD had significantly fewer sites of involvement and lower grades of spondylosis deformans, compared with those in the non-IVDD group. When groups were adjusted for age and weight via multivariate linear regression, there were no differences in severity of osteophytosis or number of affected sites. Dogs with type II disk disease had higher numbers of affected sites and more severe changes, compared with dogs with type I disk herniation. There was no difference between groups in the rate at which IVDD was diagnosed at sites of spondylosis, compared with the rate at which IVDD was diagnosed in unaffected disk spaces. Areas of spondylosis were closer to sites of IVDD that elicited clinical signs than to randomly chosen intervertebral spaces, and distances between sites of spondylosis and sites of IVDD had a bimodal appearance.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An association may exist between radiographically apparent spondylosis and type II disk disease; type I disk disease was not associated with spondylosis. Spondylosis in radiographs of dogs with suspected type I disk disease is not clinically important. Spatial associations among sites of spondylosis and sites of IVDD may be coincidental or associated with vertebral column biomechanics.

Contributor Notes

Address correspondence to Dr. J. M. Levine.