This retrospective study evaluated the magnetic resonance (mr) images of traumatic disc extrusions in 11 dogs. The findings included a reduction in the volume and signal intensity of the nucleus pulposus, focal hyperintensity within the overlying spinal cord on T2-weighted mr images, and subtle spinal cord compression, extraneous material or signal change within the vertebral canal. The largest area of hyperintensity in the spinal cord was directly over or close to the affected disc space, appeared asymmetrical and in the majority of cases was less than one vertebra in length. Parenchymal spinal cord haemorrhage was identified in four of the dogs. Vacuum phenomena, evident as a signal void in the centre of the disc, were identified in two of the dogs. The mr images were distinct from those reported for other causes of spinal cord dysfunction.