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Keywords:

  • cauda equina syndrome;
  • dog;
  • contrast radiography;
  • myelography;
  • epidurography;
  • discography;
  • computed tomography;
  • magnetic resonance imaging

There are many imaging modalities available for evaluating the canine lumbosacral region. These include conventional radiography, stress radiography, myelography, epidurography, transosseous and intravenous venography, discography, linear tomography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging. Myelography, epidurography and discography are commonly used, but often lack sensitivity. Myelography is of little value when evaluating the cauda equina because the dural sac is elevated from the vertebral canal floor and frequently ends before the lumbosacral junction. Epidurography will identify a ventrally located compressive lesion and discography can delineate the dorsal extent of the diseased disc; however, both are sometimes difficult to interpret. Therefore, more than one of these imaging techniques must be used in order to make a diagnosis. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging have become valuable in evaluating the lumbosacral region in dogs. These modalities have proven to be both sensitive and specific for determining cauda equina compression in both humans and in dogs.