• corticosteroid;
  • spinal trauma;
  • melena;
  • decompressive surgery


Objective: To compare the incidence of clinically evident post-operative complications, financial cost and length of hospital stay for Dachshunds with acute intervertebral disc disease treated with decompressive surgery with and without the use of methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS).

Design: Retrospective clinical study

Setting: Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Animals: Dachshunds that presented to the Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania between January 1994 and December 1999 with acute intervertebral disc disease that were treated with decompressive surgery.

Intervention: None

Measurements and Main Results: Dogs were divided into 2 groups dependent upon whether they had received MPSS. Medical records were examined for evidence of post-operative complications. Other parameters recorded included details of drugs administered (principally corticosteroids and gastrointestinal protectant drugs), length and cost of hospital stay and neurological status at 24 hours post-operatively and at suture removal. Compared to other corticosteroids, dogs receiving MPSS had a significantly higher incidence of clinically evident post-operative gastrointestinal complications, an increased use of gastrointestinal protectant drugs, and an increased cost for hospital stay (p<0.01).

Conclusions: The use of MPSS inDachshunds with acute intervertebral disc disease is associated with an increased post-operative complication rate and an increased financial cost to the client. The use of MPSS should be carefully evaluated for each patient.