Objective: To describe diagnostic findings, surgical technique, and outcome in dogs with thoracic spinal canal stenosis and vertebral instability secondary to congenital vertebral anomalies.
Study design: Retrospective clinical study.
Animals: Dogs (n=9) with thoracic spinal canal stenosis.
Methods: Medical records (1995-1996; 2000-2006) of 9 dogs with a myelographic diagnosis of spinal canal stenosis and/or vertebral instability secondary to congenital vertebral anomaly that were surgically managed by vertebral stabilization with or without laminectomy were reviewed. Data on pre- and postoperative neurologic status, diagnostic findings, surgical techniques, and outcomes were retrieved. Follow-up evaluations were performed at 1, 2, and 6 months. Long-term outcome was assessed by means of clinical examination or owner telephone interviews.
Results: Spinal cord compression was confirmed by myelography, and in 2 dogs, dynamic compression by stress myelography. Eight dogs regained the ability to ambulate postoperatively. One dog with a partial recovery regained voluntary movement but did not become ambulatory.
Conclusions: Spinal cord injury secondary to congenital vertebral anomaly may have a good outcome when treated by vertebral stabilization with or without laminectomy. Adequate stabilization of the vertebrae and improved neurologic outcome were achieved in most dogs.
Clinical relevance: Vertebral stabilization using positively threaded profile pins and polymethylmethacrylate with or without laminectomy is an effective treatment for spinal canal stenosis and vertebral instability secondary to congenital thoracic vertebral anomalies.