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Intramedullary Spinal Cord Damage Associated with Intervertebral Disk Material in a Dog

Sanders S.G., Bagley R.S. and Gavin P.R.

J Am Vet Med Assoc, 2002. 221(11): p.1594-6, 1574-5.

Intervertebral disk extrusions into the spinal cord are rarely reported in veterinary medicine, and only necropsy findings are described in previous reports. It is hypothesized that a disk lesion results in forceful injection of disk material into the spinal cord. In the 3-year-old Miniature Doberman Pinscher of our report, acute clinical signs and results of magnetic resonance imaging were consistent with this disease and helped determine the extent and character of the lesions. Alteration in the appearance of the nucleus pulposus was important in determining that intervertebral disk disease may have been present in this dog. However, a definitive diagnosis of intramedullary disk extrusion can be made only via histologic examination of a biopsy specimen or at necropsy. The dog improved substantially after surgical decompression of the spinal cord, and histologic findings in a biopsy specimen of material found within the spinal cord were consistent with mature degenerate intervertebral disk material.