Clinical and magnetic resonance imaging characterization of cervical spondylomyelopathy in juvenile dogs.J Vet Intern Med. 2019 Sep; 33(5):2160-2166.JV
Cervical spondylomyelopathy (CSM) occurs because of compression of the cervical spinal cord, nerve roots, or both, usually affecting young adult to older large and giant breed dogs. Juvenile dogs are affected infrequently.
To describe clinical and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in juvenile dogs (≤ 12 months) with cervical spondylomyelopathy.
Twenty CSM-affected juvenile dogs.
Medical and imaging records for juvenile dogs with CSM were reviewed. History and neurologic examination findings were obtained, including follow-up data. The MRI studies were reviewed for cause and site of spinal cord compression, intervertebral disk protrusion or degeneration, articular process degenerative changes, intervertebral foraminal stenosis, and spinal cord signal changes.
Mean (median) age at the time of diagnosis was 9.4 (10) months. There were 16 giant breed dogs. Eighteen dogs had a chronic presentation, 18/20 had proprioceptive ataxia, and 9/20 had cervical pain. On MRI, the principal spinal cord compression occurred at C5-C6, C6-C7, or both in most dogs; 12/20 dogs had ≥2 sites of spinal cord compression. The cause of compression was articular process proliferation in 8/20 dogs and disk protrusion in 2/20 dogs. Intervertebral disk degeneration was seen in 9/20 dogs. Follow-up was obtained for 12/20 dogs: 10/12 were managed medically and 2/12 surgically.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE
Cervical spondylomyelopathy in juvenile dogs was characterized mostly by osseous-associated spinal cord compression and multiple compressive sites. Almost half of the dogs had intervertebral disk degeneration. Intervertebral disk protrusion was seen in both giant and large breed dogs.