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Canine Degenerative Lumbosacral Stenosis: Prevalence, Impact And Management Strategies

Authors Worth A, Meij B, Jeffery N

Received 5 March 2019

Accepted for publication 10 October 2019

Published 19 November 2019 Volume 2019:10 Pages 169—183

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VMRR.S180448

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Nicola Ludin

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Young Lyoo


Andrew Worth,1 Björn Meij,2 Nicholas Jeffery3

1Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand; 2Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Utrecht 3508 TD, The Netherlands; 3Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, College Station, TX 77845, USA

Correspondence: Andrew Worth
Massey University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, School of Veterinary Science, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
Tel +64 6 3505329
Email a.j.worth@massey.ac.nz

Abstract: Canine degenerative lumbosacral stenosis (DLSS) is a syndrome of low back pain with or without neurologic dysfunction associated with compression of the cauda equina. Most commonly occurring in medium- to large-breed dogs of middle to older age, German shepherd and working dogs are predisposed. Diagnosis is based on a combination of clinical signs, advanced imaging and ruling out other differential diagnoses. The volume of the intervertebral foramina at the lumbosacral junction is naturally reduced on extension but degenerative changes lead to a more marked reduction that can impinge the L7 nerve roots. Evidence is lacking on which to base decision-making for treatment of dogs with DLSS. However, surgical intervention may be indicated in dogs that do not respond to conservative management, or for dogs in which there is a requirement to work that prevents lifestyle adjustments. Improvements in electrodiagnosis and novel intra-discal treatments may improve the management of DLSS in the future.

Keywords: lumbosacral, cauda equina, review, degenerative stenosis, low back pain


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