Prevalence of radiographic detectable intervertebral disc calcifications in Dachshunds surgically treated for disc extrusion

University Animal Hospital, Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Box 7040, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden.
Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica (Impact Factor: 1.38). 04/2010; 52(1):24. DOI: 10.1186/1751-0147-52-24
Source: PubMed


An association between the occurrence of calcified discs, visible on radiographic examination (CDVR), and disc extrusions has been suggested in published literature over the past 10-20 years, mainly from Nordic countries. It has also been postulated that dogs without CDVR would not develop disc extrusions. Furthermore, inheritance of CDVR has been calculated and it has been postulated that, by selecting dogs for breeding with few, or no CDVR, the prevalence of disc extrusions in the Dachshund population may be reduced.
The prevalence of radiographic detectable intervertebral disc calcifications was calculated from one hundred surgeries for disc extrusion, performed in 95 Dachshunds, in order to determine if the disc causing clinically significant IVDD, had radiographic signs of calcification at the time of confirmed disc extrusion. Inclusion criteria, for each dog, included a complete physical, orthopedic and neurologic examination, radiographs of the entire vertebral column, a myelogram or magnetic resonance imaging examination indicating extradural spinal cord compression, and finally a surgical procedure confirming the diagnosis of a disc extrusion. In addition to descriptive statistics, age correlation with number of calcifications visible at radiographic examination and with CDVR at the surgery site was examined.
We found that disc extrusions occur as frequently in discs that are found to have radiographic evidence of calcification as those discs that do not have signs of radiographic calcification, and that IVDD (intervertebral disc disease) requiring surgery does occur in the absence of any calcified discs on radiographic examination. We found that calcified discs were more frequent in our Dachshund population compared to previous studies suggesting that disc calcification might be a serious risk factor for developing disc extrusion. Further studies are needed to show, conclusively, if selection of breeding dogs based on CDVR in the Dachshund will reduce the incidence of IVDD. The presence of the calcifications of intervertebral disc should be evaluated with caution, as only part of the calcifications will be detected and the real extent of the disc degeneration may be underestimated.

Download full-text


Available from: Cecilia Rohdin,
  • Source
    • "This could be achieved through breeding towards more moderate, lower-risk morphologies to bring about reduced prevalences of IVDE over time. At least three approaches could be used towards this aim: (1) only those dogs with more moderate morphologies could be selected for breeding, (2) screening could be used to help select only those more extreme dogs that have no sign of associated disc pathology [15], [36], [37] or genetic disposition [38] for breeding (if such tests are developed), and/or (3) for breeds lacking more moderate morphological variation judicious out-crossing may be considered. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Intervertebral disc extrusion (IVDE) is a common neurological disorder in certain dog breeds, resulting in spinal cord compression and injury that can cause pain and neurological deficits. Most disc extrusions are reported in chondrodystrophic breeds (e.g. Dachshunds, Basset Hounds, Pekingese), where selection for 'long and low' morphologies is linked with intervertebral discs abnormalities that predispose dogs to IVDE. The aim of this study was to quantify the relationship between relative thoracolumbar vertebral column length and IVDE risk in diverse breeds. A 14 month cross-sectional study of dogs entering a UK small animal referral hospital for diverse disorders including IVDE was carried out. Dogs were measured on breed-defining morphometrics, including back length (BL) and height at the withers (HW). Of 700 dogs recruited from this referral population, measured and clinically examined, 79 were diagnosed with thoracolumbar IVDE following diagnostic imaging ± surgery. The BL:HW ratio was positively associated with IVDE risk, indicating that relatively longer dogs were at increased risk, e.g. the probability of IVDE was 0.30 for Miniature Dachshunds when BL:HW ratio equalled 1.1, compared to 0.68 when BL:HW ratio equalled 1.5. Additionally, both being overweight and skeletally smaller significantly increased IVDE risk. Therefore, selection for longer backs and miniaturisation should be discouraged in high-risk breeds to reduce IVDE risk. In higher risk individuals, maintaining a lean body shape is particularly important to reduce the risk of IVDE. Results are reported as probabilities to aid decision-making regarding breed standards and screening programmes reflecting the degree of risk acceptable to stakeholders.
    PLoS ONE 07/2013; 8(7):e69650. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0069650 · 3.23 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Although calcification can affect IVD integrity and calcified discs can herniate, calcification occurs more often than IVD herniation. Moreover, disc extrusion can occur in IVDs without any radiographic evidence of calcification (Hansen, 1952, 1959; Rohdin et al., 2010). Partial or complete resolution of disc calcification has been reported (Stigen, 1996; Jensen and Arnbjerg, 2001) and is common among CD dogs older than 3 years (Jensen and Arnbjerg, 2001). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Dogs can be grouped into two distinct types of breed based on the predisposition to chondrodystrophy, namely, non-chondrodystrophic (NCD) and chondrodystrophic (CD). In addition to a different process of endochondral ossification, NCD and CD breeds have different characteristics of intravertebral disc (IVD) degeneration and IVD degenerative diseases. The anatomy, physiology, histopathology, and biochemical and biomechanical characteristics of the healthy and degenerated IVD are discussed in the first part of this two-part review. This second part describes the similarities and differences in the histopathological and biochemical characteristics of IVD degeneration in CD and NCD canine breeds and discusses relevant aetiological factors of IVD degeneration.
    The Veterinary Journal 11/2012; 195(3). DOI:10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.10.011 · 1.76 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To determine the incidence and distribution of intervertebral disk (IVD) degeneration-related diseases in a large population of dogs of various breeds, ages, and sexes and to determine mortality rates among dogs with these diseases. Epidemiological study. Insurance data for dogs with veterinary health-care and life insurance coverage (n = 665,249 and 552,120, respectively). Insurance claim records of 1 company in Sweden were searched to identify dogs with IVD degeneration-related diseases; incidence and mortality rates were determined for affected dogs < 12 years old and < 10 years old, respectively. Only the first paid IVD degeneration-related claim for a dog was included in incidence rate calculations. The incidence rate of IVD degeneration-related diseases was 27.8 (95% confidence interval [CI], 27.2 to 28.4) occurrences/10,000 dog-years at risk (DYAR), indicating that approximately 0.3% of dogs/y in this population were affected. Miniature Dachshund was the most highly represented breed, followed by Standard Dachshund and Doberman Pinscher (237.1 [95% CI, 212.9 to 261.4], 141.5 [95% CI, 135.5 to 147.4], and 88.6 [95% CI, 72.1 to 105.2] occurrences/10,000 DYAR, respectively). The incidence rate of IVD degeneration-related disease was greater in male than in female dogs and increased with age. Overall mortality rate attributed to IVD degeneration-related diseases was 9.4 (95% CI, 8.9 to 9.8) deaths/10,000 DYAR and was greater in males than in females. Differences in incidence rates among various breeds suggested a genetic involvement. Knowledge of the distribution of IVD degeneration-related diseases among dogs of various breeds and ages may facilitate early diagnosis and preemptive treatments in patients at risk for developing these diseases.
    Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 06/2012; 240(11):1300-9. DOI:10.2460/javma.240.11.1300 · 1.56 Impact Factor
Show more