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Radiographic examination of the canine spine
  1. R Dennis


Radiography plays an essential part in the diagnosis of spinal disease in the dog. Careful positioning of the patient and attention to technique are important in obtaining diagnostic films and sedation or general anaesthesia is usually required, especially if the animal is in pain or muscle spasm. Additional information may be obtained by myelography, a technique in which a water-soluble iodine-containing contrast medium is injected into the subarachnoid space via the cisterna magna, under general anaesthesia. The advent of two new contrast media, iopamidol and iohexol, has rendered this a relatively safe procedure which may be carried out in practice. The radiological features of a variety of canine spinal conditions are discussed, including congenital and developmental abnormalities, infective, nutritional and degenerative conditions and trauma and neoplasia.

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