Outcomes and prognostic indicators in 59 paraplegic medium to large breed dogs with extensive epidural hemorrhage secondary to thoracolumbar disc extrusion

Christian W Woelfel, James B Robertson, Chris L Mariani, Karen R Muñana, Peter J Early, Natasha J Olby
Vet Surg. 2021 Feb 19. doi: 10.1111/vsu.13592.

Objective: To evaluate outcomes and prognostic factors after decompressive hemilaminectomy in paraplegic medium to large breed dogs with extensive epidural hemorrhage (DEEH) and thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion (TL-IVDE).

Study design: Retrospective, cohort, descriptive study.

Animals: Fifty-nine client-owned dogs.

Methods: Medical records and advanced imaging were reviewed for paraplegic dogs with DEEH. Ambulatory status 6 months after surgery and postoperative complications were recorded. Multiple logistic regression models were constructed to explore prognostic factors.

Results: Records of 22 dogs with and 37 dogs without pelvic limb pain perception at presentation were included. Median age of dogs was 5 years (interquartile range, 4-7), and mean weight was 26.9 kg (SD, ±9.71). Labradors and Labrador mixes were most common (17/59 [28.8%]). Recovery of ambulation occurred in 17 of 22 (77.3%) dogs with and in 14 of 37 (37.8%) dogs without pain perception prior to surgery. Progressive myelomalacia was recorded in three of 59 (5.1%) dogs, one with pain perception and two without pain perception at presentation. Postoperative complications (14/59 [23.7%]) were common. Factors independently associated with outcome included clinical severity (odds ratio [OR] 0.179, P = .005), number of vertebrae with signal interruption in half Fourier single-shot turbo spin-echo sequences (HASTEi; OR, 0.738; P = .035), and ratio of vertebral sites decompressed to HASTEi (OR, 53.79; P = .03).

Conclusion: Paraplegic medium to large breed dogs with DEEH have a less favorable outcome after surgical decompression than paraplegic dogs with TL-IVDE.

Clinical significance: Dogs with DEEH can have severe postoperative complications. Loss of pain perception and increased HASTEi are associated with a poor outcome, while more extensive decompression improves outcome.

Small animal: