Evaluation of Fenestration for Treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease in the Caudal Cervical Region of Large Dogs

Authors

  • JAMES D. LINCOLN DVM, MS,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • GHERY D. PETTIT DVM, DiplomateACVs

    1. Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington.
    Search for more papers by this author

McCoy 134, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164–6610.

Abstract

Seventeen large dogs (15 Doberman pinschers, one Labrador retriever, and one German short-haired pointer) with pain and gait abnormalities resulting from caudal cervical intervertebral disc degeneration were treated by disc fenestration. Four dogs recovered completely, two dogs appeared to have recovered but nerve root compression and pain returned 3 years later, five did not recover completely or did not improve, and six became progressively worse. In the dogs that recovered, preoperative myelograms showed that traction on or flexing the neck relieved the spinal cord compression. Such manipulation did not relieve slight persistent compression in the dogs that did not improve nor did it relieve severe compression by disc herniation or spinal canal stenosis in the dogs that became progressively worse. The return of nerve root compression after 3 years in two dogs was attributed to incomplete removal of dorsal anulus fibrosus. It was concluded that disc fenestration alone provided inadequate treatment of caudal cervical degenerative disc disease in large dogs.

Ancillary