• Open Access

Cervical Myelopathy Associated with Extradural Synovial Cysts in 4 Dogs


Department of Medical Sciences, University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine, 2015 Linden Drive West, Madison, WI 53706; e-mail: levitski@facstaff.wisc.edu.


Three Mastiffs and 1 Great Dane were presented to the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital for cervical myelopathy based on history and neurologic examination. All dogs were males and had progressive ataxia and tetraparesis. Degenerative arthritis of the articular facet joints was noted on survey spinal radiographs. Myelography disclosed lateral axial compression of the cervical spinal cord medial to the articular facets. Extradural compressive cystic structures adjacent to articular facets were identified on magnetic resonance imaging (1 dog). High protein concentration was the most important finding on cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Dorsal laminectomies were performed in all dogs for spinal cord decompression and cyst removal. Findings on cytologic examination of the cystic fluid were consistent with synovial fluid, and histopathologic results supported the diagnosis of synovial cysts. All dogs are ambulatory and 3 are asymptomatic after surgery with a follow-up time ranging from 1 to 8 months. This is the 1st report of extradural synovial cysts in dogs, and synovial cysts should be a differential diagnosis for young giant breed dogs with cervical myelopathy.