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The emergency spine: part 2 – causes and diagnosis


  • Mark Lowrie MA VetMB, MVM, DipECVN, MRCVS RCVS

    European Specialist in Veterinary Neurology
    1. Davies Veterinary Specialists, Manor Farm Business Park, Higham Gobion, Hertfordshire, SG5 3HR
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The vertebra column is a complex series of bones designed to protect the spinal cord; to allow movement and transmit propulsive forces; and provide support for the rest of the skeleton. As a consequence of these functions, it is very liable to injury and to degenerative changes, with diseases of the spinal column being far more common than diseases of the spinal cord. Despite the focus of this article being on diseases resulting in an emergency spinal presentation, it is worth remembering that any chronic compressive spinal cord disease can present acutely due to ongoing vascular and contusive injuries to the spinal cord. This article will focus only on the common diseases requiring emergency management.