Radiographic findings during recovery from discospondylitis

Vet Radiol Ultrasound. Nov-Dec 2001;42(6):496-503. doi: 10.1111/j.1740-8261.2001.tb00976.x.


The diagnosis of discospondylitis is based on radiographic changes in the vertebrae. The limitations of this method are the time gap between the onset of clinical signs and the first appearance of the radiographic findings, as well as the disassociation between the clinical and radiographic signs during recovery. It is known that the radiographic changes appear only two to four weeks after the onset of clinical signs, but the characteristics of radiographic changes during recovery has yet to be documented, thus making follow-up radiographs difficult to interpret. A prospective and retrospective study was designed to document typical radiographic changes during recovery from discospondylitis. We reviewed 12 dogs that had complete and uneventful recovery with antibiotic therapy alone. Periodic follow-up radiographs and clinical examinations were conducted up to five months after the onset of clinical signs to correlate between the clinical status and radiographic changes during recovery. Although the clinical signs improved within the first 10 days of antibiotic therapy, the radiographic deterioration continued before regression and signs of radiographic recovery were noticed. This radiographic deterioration, despite successful antibiotic therapy, appeared shorter in young dogs (less than one year old) and lasted three to nine weeks in older dogs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Breeding
  • Discitis / diagnostic imaging
  • Discitis / veterinary*
  • Dog Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Dog Diseases / drug therapy
  • Dogs
  • Escherichia coli Infections / diagnostic imaging
  • Escherichia coli Infections / veterinary
  • Female
  • Lumbar Vertebrae
  • Lumbosacral Region
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Records / veterinary
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnostic imaging
  • Staphylococcal Infections / veterinary
  • Thoracic Vertebrae


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents