Specialist Veterinary Spinal equipment
Hall surgairtome II &
3M Minos spinal air drills
Distractors for distraction– fusion in “wobbler” syndrome & lumbosacral disease
x4 - 20 zoom operating microscope
Rotweiller after ventral slot for wobbler syndrome CCSM
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Spinal surgery in dogs and cats
Intervertebral disc disease (or slipped disc) is the most common surgical spinal neurological problem seen in small animal veterinary practice and varies in its presentation from back or neck pain through limb weakness, ataxia, recumbancy to complete paralysis of one or more limbs.
Myelographs of the lumbar spine showing extrusion of an ossified disc
Spinal disc lesions
Whilst pain and mild neurological symptoms can be treated with rest and non steroidals more advanced spinal lesions require urgent investigation and surgery if the outcome is to be successful. Intervertebral disc disease / slipped disc cases with deep pain sensation have at least a 90% success rate in our clinic for return to function, however early referral cannot be over emphasised.
This condition occurs frequently in Spaniels, Terriers, Dachshunds, Bassets, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers and GSDs. If deep pain sensation is absent success rates are much lower. In disc disease deep pain sensation is always present when a dog is ataxic or can move a limb voluntarily.
Following location of the disc lesion (slipped disc) by myelography a Hemi-laminectomy is carried out for thoraco-lumbar disc lesions, whilst a ventral slot is performed in the neck with fenestration of adjacent discs if necessary.
Caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy CCSM
Caudal cervical spondylomyelopathy CCSM or Wobbler syndrome usually affects the C6-C7 region of the neck and is due to vertebral instability, hyperplasia of the soft tissue spinal structures, disc herniation and in some cases vertebral malformation. These lead to spinal cord compression causing hind leg ataxia and later foreleg involvement. CCSM occurs in older large breeds such as Dalmations, Dobermans, Rottweillers & Retreivers. Also young Great Danes. The surgery performed is either a standard ventral slot or in some cases fusion of the vertebrae in a distracted position by “screw & washer” placement or screws and bone cement.
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