Article Text

Dysplasia of the caudal vertebral articular facets in four dogs: results of radiographic, myelographic and magnetic resonance imaging investigations
  1. J. Penderis, BVSc, MVM, PhD, CertVR, DipECVN, MRCVS1,
  2. T. Schwarz, MA, DrMedVet, DACVR, DipECVDI, DVR, MRCVS2,
  3. J. F. McConnell, BVM&S, CertSAM, DVR, MRCVS1,
  4. L. S. Garosi, DVM, DipECVN, MRCVS1,
  5. C. E. Thomson, PhD, DACVIM, DipECVN, MRCVS3 and
  6. R. Dennis, MA, VetMB, DVR, DipECVDI, MRCVS1
  1. 1Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket CB8 7UU
  2. 2Department of Clinical Studies, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, 3900 Delancey Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
  3. 3Department of Small Animal Clinical Studies, Glasgow Veterinary School, Bearsden Road, Bearsden, Glasgow G61 1QH


Congenital anomalies of the vertebral column associated with aberrations of one of the primary vertebral ossification centres have been frequently described in the veterinary literature, but clinically significant abnormalities of secondary vertebral ossification centres, particularly involving the caudal articular processes, are much less frequently reported. This paper describes three dogs with aplasia and one dog with hypoplasia of the caudal vertebral articular processes. Thoracolumbar spinal cord compression and ataxia was evident in the three dogs with aplasia but no clinical signs were evident in the dog with hypoplasia. The radiographic appearance was similar in all four cases, with aplasia or hypoplasia of the caudal articular facets at one or more intervertebral joints in the thoracolumbar region. Bone proliferation was evident secondary to an associated degenerative joint disease. Compensatory hyperplasia of the adjacent cranial articular facets and ligamentum flavum protruded into the vertebral canal, resulting in a compressive myelopathy observed by myelography and magnetic resonance imaging.

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