Evaluation of the influence of kyphosis and scoliosis on intervertebral disc extrusion in French bulldogs.BMC Vet Res. 2018 Jan 05; 14(1):5.BV
Although thoracic vertebral malformations with kyphosis and scoliosis are often considered incidental findings on diagnostic imaging studies of screw-tailed brachycephalic breeds, they have been suggested to interfere with spinal biomechanics and intervertebral disc degeneration. It is however unknown if an abnormal spinal curvature also predisposes dogs to develop clinically relevant intervertebral disc herniations. The aim of this study was to evaluate if the occurrence of thoracic vertebral malformations, kyphosis or scoliosis would be associated with a higher prevalence of cervical or thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion in French bulldogs.
French bulldogs that underwent computed tomography for reasons unrelated to spinal disease (n = 101), and French bulldogs with thoracolumbar (n = 47) or cervical intervertebral disc extrusion (n = 30) that underwent magnetic resonance imaging were included. There was a significant association between the presence of kyphosis and the occurrence of intervertebral disc extrusion, particularly in the thoracolumbar region. Dogs with kyphosis were at nearly a two times increased odds of being affected by intervertebral disc extrusion than those without kyphosis [(OR = 1.98 (95% CI: 1.04-3.78)]. There was also an association between the presence of scoliosis and the anatomical distribution of intervertebral disc extrusions, with dogs with scoliosis more likely to have more caudal lumbar intervertebral disc extrusions. Presence of scoliosis was not associated with an increased odds of being affected by intervertebral disc extrusion.
Although thoracic vertebral malformations with kyphosis only rarely cause spinal cord dysfunction in itself, French bulldogs with kyphosis appear to be at higher risk to develop thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion.