Over the past 10 to 12 years, cervical spondylomyelopathy has been increasingly recognised in large breed dogs. The breeds mainly affected are dobermanns, great danes and basset hounds. Factors such as age, sex and location of the lesions are discussed in detail based on findings from 224 cases seen at the University of Liverpool Small Animal Hospital. The anatomical changes responsible for the signs show some striking similarities in young dogs of all the breeds affected. Where the condition is commoner later in life, such as in the dobermann, the changes and their effect on the spinal cord show considerable differences. These different findings are compared, and an attempt made to explain them.