Objective: To describe clinical and magnetic resonance imaging features in dogs with compressive cervical myelopathy due to acute suspected hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion.
Design: Retrospective case series.
Animals: Ten dogs with compressive cervical myelopathy caused by acute suspected hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion.
Materials and Methods: Medical records and magnetic resonance images of dogs evaluated from 2005 through 2010 were reviewed. The inclusion criteria were clinical signs compatible with cervical myelopathy, magnetic resonance imaging of the spine performed within 48 hours after onset, magnetic resonance imaging findings consistent with compressive suspected hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion, complete medical records and follow-up information.
Results: Six dogs were presented with acute onset tetraplegia and four dogs with acute onset of nonambulatory tetraparesis. Compromised respiratory function was present in three dogs. Compressive suspected hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion was found on magnetic resonance imaging at the C4-C5 (n=6), C3-C4 (n=3) and C5-C6 (n=1) intervertebral disc spaces. Seven dogs underwent surgical treatment and three dogs were treated conservatively. All dogs except one regained ambulatory status within two weeks after the onset, and had a favourable outcome.
Clinical Significance: Compressive myelopathy caused by acute suspected hydrated nucleus pulposus extrusion has not been reported previously and, even though neurological deficits can be severe on presentation, outcome is favourable.