Surgical management of first caudal nerve root foraminal compression secondary to intervertebral disc disease in a Cocker Spaniel

de Vicente F, Pinilla M, McConnell JF, et al.

Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2012;25:74-78.

A nine-year-old spayed female Cocker Spaniel was investigated for an eight week history of licking and rubbing at the tail base, dullness, and signs of pain on manipulation of the tail. Left-sided intraforaminal compression of the first caudal nerve root due to intervertebral disc disease was diagnosed by radiographic, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging examinations. The dog was nonresponsive to conservative medical therapy. A decompressive left-sided first-second caudal (Cd1-Cd2) foraminotomy was performed. Postoperative computed tomography confirmed surgical decompression of the involved nerve root. At the one month follow-up examination there was marked improvement in clinical signs. At two months, clinical signs were completely resolved and there was not any evidence of recurrence twelve months after surgery. Intervertebral disc disease should be considered as a differential diagnosis in dogs with discomfort at the tail base or signs of pain on manipulation of the tail. Surgical decompression may be indicated for management of these cases. This is the first report of diagnosis and surgical management of caudal intervertebral disc disease by foraminotomy in the dog. Surgical decompression by foraminotomy may therefore be a treatment option for this condition.