Ascending/descending myelomalacia (ADMM) is a severe complication of thoracolumbar intervertebral disk herniation (TL-IVDH) in dogs.
To investigate the prevalence and risk factors for ADMM in nonambulatory dogs with surgically treated TL-IVDH.
Six-hundred and fifty-two client-owned dogs evaluated for TL-IVDH that underwent decompressive spinal surgery.
Retrospective medical record review from February 2007 through December 2015.
Thirteen dogs developed ADMM, with an overall prevalence of 2.0%. The prevalence of ADMM was 0% in dogs with neurological signs graded 1 or 2 at admission or before magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or surgical procedures, 0.6% in dogs with neurological signs graded 3, 2.7% in dogs with neurological signs graded 4, and 14.5% in dogs with neurological signs graded 5. Age (<5.8 years), neurological status (grade 5), site of disk herniation (L5-L6), duration of clinical signs before becoming nonambulatory (<24 hours), detection of intramedullary T2-weighted (T2W) hyperintensity, and a T2 length ratio >4.57 were significant risk factors in the univariate analysis for development of ADMM.
The factors identified in this study may be useful for the prediction of ADMM. Multicenter studies with a higher number of dogs with ADMM are required to confirm these data.