Objective: To assess risk factors for recurrence of clinical signs associated with thoracolumbar intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) in dogs that had decompressive laminectomy without attempted prophylactic treatment of other disk spaces.
Design: Retrospective study.
Animals: 229 dogs.
Procedure: Medical records of dogs that had decompressive laminectomy without prophylactic fenestration for a first episode of IVDD and were available for follow-up were reviewed. Information on 7 clinical and 8 radiographic potential risk factors were recorded.
Results: Clinical signs associated with recurrence of IVDD developed in 44 (19.2%) dogs. Ninety-six percent of recurrences developed within 3 years after surgery. Recurrence developed in 25% of Dachshunds and 15% of dogs of other breeds combined. Number of opacified disks was a significant risk factor for recurrence. Risk increased with number of opacified disks in an almost linear manner; each opacified disk increased risk by 1.4 times. Dogs with 5 or 6 opacified disks at the time of first surgery had a recurrence rate of 50%.
Conclusions and clinical relevance: When all likely episodes of recurrence are considered and a long follow-up period is achieved, true rate of recurrence of IVDD appears to be higher than in many previous reports. Dogs with multiple opacified disks at the time of first surgery should be considered a high-risk subpopulation.