A Prospective Evaluation of CT in Acutely Paraparetic Chondrodystrophic Dogs

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Bibevski JD, Daye RM, Henrickson TD, et al.

Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 2013;49:363-369.

The clinical usefulness of computed tomography (CT) as a sole diagnostic modality in identifying disc lesion(s) in chondrodystrophic breeds presenting with acute signs of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is incompletely characterized. CT was used prospectively to determine the validity of this tool. Neurologic examinations and CT scans were performed on all dogs at presentation. Surgical decompression was based on those findings. Clinical follow-up examinations were performed on days 1 and 14 postsurgically. CT detected a lesion consistent with clinical findings in 63 of 69 cases (91%). All 63 dogs with Hansen type I IVDD lesions were identified on CT alone. The surgeon and radiologist agreed on lesion level in 72 of 78 lesions (92%) and lateralization in 71 of 78 lesions (91%). Improvement in neurologic grade was documented in 60 of 69 dogs (87%) by 14 days. CT imaging can be used as a single imaging modality in chondrodystrophic dogs presenting with acute paresis. CT used in this manner is a reliable and noninvasive tool for detecting spinal compression secondary to IVDD in chondrodystrophic dogs.