Spinal Dysraphism in Dogs
"Spinal Dysraphism" is a broad term encompassing developmental disorders of spinal cord leading to various structural defects. It may be progressive or non-progressive in nature. Spinal Dysraphism has been reported in English bulldogs, Samoyeds, Dalmatians, English setters, golden retrievers, rottweilers and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.
Symptoms and Types
- Limb weakness
- Neck or head pain
- Uncoordinated walk
- Postural abnormalities
Often, spinal dysraphism is due to spinal cord damage due to infection, trauma, or tumor(s). Genetics is also a factor, especially in weimaraners.
You will need to give a thorough history of your dog’s health, including the onset and nature of the symptoms. The veterinarian will then conduct a complete physical examination, as well as a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count (CBC) -- the results of which may be normal.
X-rays may reveal abnormalities related to vertebral column and spinal cord compression in some patients.