Ultrasound-guided paravertebral perineural glucocorticoid injection for signs of refractory cervical pain associated with foraminal intervertebral disk protrusion in four dogs

Authors: 
Johanna K Wolf, Peter J Early, Antonio Pozzi, Alessio Vigani
J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2021 May 1;258(9):999-1006.

Case description: 4 dogs, 7.5 to 10 years of age, were presented for evaluation of signs of chronic cervical pain and forelimb lameness secondary to cervical foraminal intervertebral disk protrusion (IVDP). All dogs were refractory to ≥ 2 weeks of conservative management including strict rest and pain management with anti-inflammatory drugs, methocarbamol, and gabapentin.

Clinical findings: The MRI findings included left foraminal IVDP at C2-3 causing mild C3 nerve root compression (dog 1), multifocal degenerative disk disease with mild focal left-sided disk protrusion at C6-7 without associated spinal cord or nerve root compression (dog 2), left foraminal C6-7 IVDP with suspected focal spinal cord atrophy or mild compression (dog 3), and right foraminal C6-7 IVDP and multifocal cervical intervertebral disk degeneration with annulus fibrosus protrusion (dog 4).

Treatment and outcome: Ultrasound-guided paravertebral perineural injections with methylprednisolone acetate (1 mg/kg [0.45 mg/lb]) at the C3 nerve root in dog 1 and at the C7 nerve root in the other 3 dogs were performed. Injections were repeated at intervals of 4 weeks to 3 months on the basis of clinical response. None of the dogs had any complications from the procedures. For dogs 1 and 4, there was complete resolution of lameness and signs of cervical pain following perineural injections, and for dog 3, there was complete resolution of lameness and only minimal residual cervical pain. Dog 2 did not have long-lasting improvement.

Clinical relevance: Findings indicated that ultrasound-guided paravertebral perineural injection can be an effective treatment of cervical foraminal IVDP for some dogs. Additional studies to determine appropriate case selection and better assess the overall success rate and risks associated with this technique are warranted.

Small animal: