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Intervertebral disc degeneration in the dog. Part 1: Anatomy and physiology of the intervertebral disc and characteristics of intervertebral disc degeneration.

Department of Clinical Sciences of Companion Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University, Yalelaan 108, 3508 TD Utrecht, The Netherlands; Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Small Animals, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Ulls väg 12, Box 7040, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden. Electronic address: .
The Veterinary Journal (Impact Factor: 2.42). 11/2012; DOI: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.10.024
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Intervertebral disc (IVD) degeneration is common in dogs and can give rise to a number of diseases, such as IVD herniation, cervical spondylomyelopathy, and degenerative lumbosacral stenosis. Although there have been many reports and reviews on the clinical aspects of canine IVD disease, few reports have discussed and reviewed the process of IVD degeneration. In this first part of a two-part review, the anatomy, physiology, histopathology, and biochemical and biomechanical characteristics of the healthy and degenerated IVD are described. In Part 2, the aspects of IVD degeneration in chondrodystrophic and non-chondrodystrophic dog breeds are discussed in depth.

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    ABSTRACT: Pain due to spontaneous intervertebral disc (IVD) disease is common in dogs. In chondrodystrophic (CD) dogs, IVD disease typically develops in the cervical or thoracolumbar spine at about 3-7 years of age, whereas in non-chondrodystrophic (NCD) dogs, it usually develops in the caudal cervical or lumbosacral spine at about 6-8 years of age. IVD degeneration is characterized by changes in the biochemical composition and mechanical integrity of the IVD. In the degenerated IVD, the content of glycosaminoglycan (GAG, a proteoglycan side chain) decreases and that of denatured collagen increases. Dehydration leads to tearing of the annulus fibrosus (AF) and/or disc herniation, which is clinically characterized by pain and/or neurological signs. Current treatments (physiotherapy, anti-inflammatory/analgesic medication, surgery) for IVD disease may resolve neurological deficits and reduce pain (although in many cases insufficient), but do not lead to repair of the degenerated disc. For this reason, there is interest in new regenerative therapies that can repair the degenerated disc matrix, resulting in restoration of the biomechanical function of the IVD. CD dogs are considered a suitable animal model for human IVD degeneration because of their spontaneous IVD degeneration, and therefore studies investigating cell-, growth factor-, and/or gene therapy-based regenerative therapies with this model provide information relevant to both human and canine patients. The aim of this article is to review potential regenerative treatment strategies for canine IVD degeneration, with specific emphasis on cell-based strategies.
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    ABSTRACT: Evidence of intervertebral disk degeneration (IVDD) is extremely common in dogs, and its prevalence increases with age. It has many important consequences because degeneration of the intervertebral disks often is a prelude to disk herniation, which can injure the spinal cord, spinal nerves, or both. This review summarizes the advances in diagnosis and treatment of IVDD that have been made since the 1950s when the first detailed description of the degenerative changes was published. It also discusses new approaches to treatment of the associated spinal cord injury and new methods by which to classify injury severity that are currently under development.
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Jun 4, 2014