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Thoracic Kyphosis Associated with Hemivertebra


  • Pierre Moissonnier DVM, PhD, Diplomate ECVS,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Surgery, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, Maisons Alfort Cedex, France
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  • Pauline Gossot DVM,

  • Stefano Scotti DVM

  • Presented in part at the European College of Veterinary Surgeons 11th Annual Meeting, Dublin, Ireland, July 2007.

Corresponding Author

Pierre Moissonnier, DVM, PhD, Department of Surgery, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire d'Alfort, 7, Avenue du Général De Gaulle, 94704 Maisons Alfort Cedex, France




To radiographically assess the influence of thoracic hemivertebra on kyphosis and neurologic status in 45 dogs.

Study Design

Case series.


French Bulldogs without neurologic signs (n = 41) and 4 dogs with compressive spinal cord disease associated with hemivertebra.


Thoracic spinal radiographs were divided into 3 groups: 1 = dogs with no hemivertebra, 2 = dogs with hemivertebra but no associated neurologic signs, and 3 = dogs with hemivertebra associated with clinical signs. Vertebral canal height, vertebral column angle, and the step between 2 adjacent vertebrae were measured in each group.


Vertebral canal height was not significantly different in the 3 groups; however, mean vertebral column angle was significantly (P < .001) different between groups 1 (178°) and 2 (169°), and group 3 (133°). Median cranial step was significantly different between groups (P < .001): 0 mm (group 1), 0.3 mm (group 2), 3 mm (group 3).


Vertebral canal height does not differ between normal dogs and dogs with thoracic hemivertebra. There is an important association between neurologic signs and kyphosis and subluxation.

Clinical Relevance

Vertebral realignment without vertebral canal opening could lead to spinal cord decompression in dogs affected by thoracic hemivertebra.