Hi stranger! Signing up for MypetMD is easy, free and puts the most relevant content at your fingertips.

Get Instant Access To

  • 24/7 alerts for pet-related recalls

  • Your own library of articles, blogs, and favorite pet names

  • Tools designed to keep your pets happy and healthy



or Connect with Facebook

By joining petMD, you agree to the Privacy Policy.

PetMD Seal

Spine Degeneration in Dogs

ADVERTISEMENT

Spondylosis Deformans in Dogs

 

Spondylosis deformans is a degenerative, noninflammatory condition of the spinal column characterized by the production of bone spurs along the bottom, sides, and upper aspects of the vertebrae of the spine. These bone spurs are simply projected growths of bone, usually grown in response to aging, or injury.

 

In dogs, spondylosis deformans occurs most often along the spine, in the area behind the chest, and on the upper section of the vertebrae of the lower back. Older, large-breed dogs are at highest risk for developing spondylosis deformans. In cats it tends to occur more often in the vertebrae of the chest.

 

Symptoms and Types

 

  • Patients are typically asymptomatic, the growth of bone can be felt when touching your pet before you will notice any behavioral changes a result of the growth
  • Pain may follow fracture of bony spurs or bridges
  • Stiffness
  • Restricted motion
  • Pain

 

Causes

 

  • Repeated microtrauma – repetitive pressure on the same joints, or bones, as through certain exercises or other activities
  • Major trauma – the body responds by attempting to grow new bone
  • Inherited predisposition to spurs

 

 

Diagnosis

 

Your veterinarian will perform a complete physical exam on your dog, including a biochemical profile, a complete blood count, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel, in order to rule out or confirm other diseases, like cancer. You will need to give a thorough history of your dog's health, including a background history of symptoms, onset of symptoms, and possible incidents that might have precipitated this condition.

 

X-ray images of the chest and abdomen (side view) are essential for diagnosing spondylosis deformans. X-rays will reveal osteophytes (small, bony growths) on the vertebrae, or in more advanced cases an osteophyte may be found as a bridge in the space between the vertebrae.

 

Your doctor may choose from several other types of tests in order to arrive at a definitive conclusion. A myelography, which uses injection of a radiopaque substance for internal imaging; computed tomography (CT); or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They can assist your veterinarian in finding where a bony spur might be pressing on your dog's spinal cord or on the nerves (causing neurological reactions).

 

 

Related Articles

Torn Knee Ligament in Dogs
The stifle joint is the joint between the thigh bone (the femur) and the two lower...
READ MORE
Muscle Tear in Dogs
A normal muscle can be stretched, pinched, or injured directly, resulting in fiber...
READ MORE
Verterbral Disc Inflammation in Dogs
Diskspondylitis is the inflammation of vertebral disks due to an infection caused...
READ MORE
  • Lifetime Credits:
  • Today's Credits:
Hurry Before All Seats are Taken!
Enroll
Be an A++ Pet Parent! Take fun & free courses to earn badges & certifications. Choose a course»

Latest In Dog Nutrition

The Role of Exercise in Pet Weight Loss
Exercise is beneficial for our pets in many ways, including weight loss, and here's...
READ MORE
Pet Food Ingredients that Promote Longer Life
Pet foods, in order to promote a healthy long life, must be balanced and complete...
READ MORE
Does My Senior Dog Need Special Dog Food?
Whether or not your senior dog needs special dog food depends, to a large extent,...
READ MORE
Around the Web
MORE FROM PETMD.COM