Management of cervical spondylopathy-associated intervertebral disc protrusions using metal washers in 78 dogs



Intervertebral 7·5 mm (n=75) and 6-0 mm (n=22) metal washers were used to distract intervertebral spaces in 78 consecutive cases of canine cervical spondylopathy-associated disc protrusions, where myelography had demonstrated traction-responsive spinal cord compression. Nineteen dogs had compressive lesions at two sites. Fifty lesions were evaluated myelographically on immediate postoperative radiographs; of these, 32 compressions had been eliminated and 18 had been reduced. Euthanasia was performed in nine dogs within six months of surgery and 15 dogs had varying degrees of neck pain during this period. Long-term follow-up information was available on 65 dogs nine to 70 months following surgery (median 32 months). Sixty-three of these dogs improved postoperatively. Neurological function subsequently deteriorated in 17 dogs 10 to 59 months following surgery (median 34 months). Eight of these 17 cases had further myelographic investigations and all had additional disc protrusions with no evidence of cord compression at the previous sites of surgery. The remaining nine cases had a deterioration in hindlimb function but were not investigated further.