Comparative study of vertebral fractures and luxations in dogs and cats

Download the Full Abstract - PDF The purpose of this retrospective study was to compare patterns of vertebral fractures and luxations in 42 cats and 47 dogs, and to evaluate the impact of species-related differences on clinical outcome. Data regarding aetiology, neurological status, radiographic appearance and follow-up were compared between the groups.The thoracolumbar (Th3-L3) area was the most commonly affected location in both cats (49%) and dogs (58%). No lesions were observed in the cervical vertebral segments in cats, and none of the cats showed any signs of a Schiff-Sherrington syndrome.

Vertebral luxations were significantly more frequent in dogs (20%) than in cats (6%), whereas combined fracture-luxations occurred significantly more often in cats (65%) than in dogs (37%). Caudal vertebral segment displacement was mostly dorsal in cats and ventral in dogs, with a significant difference in direction between cats and large dogs. The clinical outcome did not differ significantly between the two populations, and was poor in most cases (cats: 61%; dogs: 56%). The degree of dislocation and axis deviation were both significantly associated with a worse outcome in dogs, but not in cats. Although several differences in vertebral fractures and luxation patterns exist between cats and dogs, these generally do not seem to affect outcome.

M. S. Bali; J. Lang; A. Jaggy; D. Spreng; M. G. Doherr; F. Forterre
Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Switzerland

Vet Comp Orthop Traumatol 2009; 22: 47–53

Prepublished online: December 10, 2008 doi:10.3415/VCOT-08–02–0018