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Functional outcome following hemilaminectomy without methylprednisolone sodium succinate for acute thoracolumbar disk disease in 51 non-ambulatory dogs


Address correspondence and reprint requests to:
Dr. William W. Bush, 9215 Slate Quarry Road, Dickerson, MD 20842.


Objective: To report the functional outcome of hemilaminectomy in dogs with acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) without the administration of a methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS) protocol.

Design: Prospective study.

Setting: Private practice specialty hospital.

Animals: Fifty-one, client owned, non-ambulatory dogs weighing less than 15 kg that had not been treated with MPSS.

Interventions: Myelography and hemilaminectomy

Measurements and main results: Fifty-one dogs met the inclusion criteria. Before surgery, all dogs were non-ambulatory (26 paraplegic, 25 paraparetic), and 98% were painful. Preoperative incontinence was not assessed or unknown in most cases. Ten days following surgery, 90% were ambulatory, 98% were pain free, and 82% were fully continent. By 6 weeks, 100% were ambulatory, 94% were pain free, and 86% were fully continent. By 16 weeks, 96% were pain free, and 88% were fully continent.

Conclusion: Hemilaminectomy is highly successful in returning non-ambulatory, small breed dogs to full function and in these dogs MPSS may not be a necessary adjunct to surgery.