• corticosteroids;
  • neurological deficits;
  • nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


Objective: To determine the recurrence rate of clinical signs in dogs with spinal hyperpathia and mild neurological deficits due to presumed Hansen Type 1 thoracolumbar intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) that were managed medically with anti-inflammatory agents, and to compare the recurrence rates between dogs treated with corticosteroids and those treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: Private veterinary emergency clinic in a large metropolitan area.

Animals, interventions, and measurements: Medical records were used to ascertain study eligibility, record patient signalment and condition severity, and document medical treatment regimen. Each dog was assigned a severity score: (1) spinal hyperpathia with no neurological deficits, (2) spinal hyperpathia with conscious proprioceptive deficits only, or (3) spinal hyperpathia with ataxia but still retaining ambulatory motor function. Owners of 78 dogs weighing less than 16 kg presented from 1997 through 2000 were sent a questionnaire to determine recurrence rate.

Main results: All dogs recovered from the initial episode; 39 experienced recurrence and 39 did not. There was no statistically significant relationship between gender, age, or severity score and recurrence rate. Dogs treated with NSAIDs or methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS) were less likely to experience recurrence than dogs treated with corticosteroids other than MPSS.

Conclusion: A 50% recurrence of presumed IVDD occurred in this population of dogs after treatment with NSAIDs or corticosteroids. Those treated with NSAIDs or MPSS were less likely to experience a recurrence.