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The signs of periodontitis observed in investigated dog (A, C) in comparison with normal image in modern healthy dog (B, C). 

The signs of periodontitis observed in investigated dog (A, C) in comparison with normal image in modern healthy dog (B, C). 

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A mostly complete canine skeleton was excavated during rescue archaeological explorations in Domaslaw (Lower Silesia, Poland). The archaeozoological analysis revealed loss of several left maxillary incisors. Discospondylitis was observed in two adjacent lumbar vertebrae. Potential causes of the vertebral pathology are discussed. The cause of death...

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... case report describes a dog skeleton with pathological spinal changes, excavated from Domaslaw (Lower Silesia), a site dating to the Przeworsk culture in the early period of Roman influence (BC/AD–160 AD). We compared pathology noted in this skeleton to similar modern pathological changes using digital radiography, and we interpreted results using modern human and veterinary medical knowledge. In both human and veterinary medicine, “adjacent segment disease” is a specific term that describes partial vertebral column fusion resulting from degeneration, inflammation, or other pathological processes (Ortega et al., 2012). Vertebral fusions are reported only rarely in the archaeozoological literature. The incidence in larger animals is linked to social and cultural role of dogs. Therefore, its presence may provide information for interpret- ing archaeological findings (Bartosiewicz and Bartosiewicz, 2002; Chrószcz et al., 2010, 2011; Janeczek et al., 2010, 2014; Janeczek and Chrószcz, 2011; Chrószcz and Janeczek, 2012; Pluskowski et al., 2010; Onar et al., 2012). Rescue archaeological exploration of Domaslaw site was performed during 2006–2008, prior to construction of the Wroclaw Ring circumferential highway (Fig. 1). The archaeological site no. 10/11/12 in Domasław (Domslau) is located ca. 20 km south-west from Wroclaw, capital city of Lower Silesia. During the archaeological site exploration (154,600 m 2 ), over 14 thousand of the artifacts were documented and dated form the Neolithic to the Migration period (5th century AC). A nearly complete dog skeleton (Fig. 2) was discovered in feature no. 7025. This feature is interpreted as a ground-embedded building of the Przeworsk culture, a rectangular area measuring approxi- mately 432 m × 360 m and 51 cm deep. Postholes were identified along the gable wall of the building, which is typical for the Barbaricum , area stretching east of the river Rhine and north of the Danube, during the Pre-Roman, Roman and Early Migration Periods. Feature no. 7025’s fill included clay pottery fragments (1792 artifacts) together with whetstones, spindle whorls. Its ceramic chronology is estimated as the early stage of Roman influence (1–2nd century AC), connected with settlements of the Przeworsk culture. Canine burials inside buildings within human settlements are observed frequently in European Iron Age cultures, especially that of Przeworsk (Leube, 1975; Maringer, 1980; Makiewicz, 1987, 1994; Nedoma et al., 2000; Bene s and Fi sáková, 2008). Such inhu- mations usually are interpreted as an evidence of magical or sacred rituals that are linked to a hearth and home cult (Leube, 1975; Makiewicz, 1987; Gralak, 2012). The dog’s age was estimated based on bone fusion in the extrem- ities, and dental maturation (Dyce et al., 1996). Osteometry was performed as described by Driesch (1976). The height at the withers was estimated from long bone and Ethmoideum-Basion dimensions (Harcourt, 1974; Chrószcz et al., 2007). The skeleton was radiographed with an Orange 1040 HF unit, and the images were interpreted using the CR – system 35 digital with Promis software (IGP UK Limited, Battles bridge, Essex). The classical skeletal osteometry results are summarized in Table 1. The shoulder height was estimated to be ca. 58.6 cm (Table 2), the age was estimated as 15–28 months. An os penis identified the dog as male. Vertebral fusion was observed in the postcranial skeleton. The left maxillary incisors (I 1 , I 2 , and I 3 ; 201, 202, 203 in modified Triadan system) were absent, and new bone was noted in their respective alveoli on radiographs (Fig. 3). M 1 (209 in modified Triadan system) also was missing. No signs of massive periodontal disease are present in the mandibular or maxillary dental arches. The incisors may have been lost following inflammation or injury, leading to bone remodeling with visible macroscopic transformations. Limited signs of a reac- tive process are observed in the wall of left maxillary molar alveolus (loss of M 1 ) and an exposed root and furcation of the right maxillary molar (M 1 ; 109 in modified Triadan system) (Fig. 4). The accessory buccal root of M 1 was found in the maxillary arch and was accompanied by an accessory canal within the maxillary alveolar process. Fig. 4c shows some bone loss near alveolar margins that may be partly pre-mortem, but this could be consistent with a degree of periodontal disease, especially given the staining of the roots that is visible. Moreover, Fig. 3 shows perialveolar small encircling rims that are consistent with mild-moderate bilateral periodontal disease. Spinal fusion unites the vertebral bodies, vertebral arches, and transverse processes of two adjacent lumbar vertebrae (L 2 and L 3 ). Cranial and caudal articular processes are also affected. The ventral longitudinal ligament (VLL) is calcified along the ventral vertebral margins. The left intervertebral foramen is normal size, but the right foramen is stenotic because of new bone formation (Figs. 5 and 6). No osteophytes are present within the vertebral canal lumen, but new bone is present along the ventral vertebral surfaces. The border between vertebral bone and new ossifications is indistinct, typical of vertebral body repair (Fig. 7). New bone also is present within the intervertebral space, suggesting chronic inflammation with sub- sequent mineralization and ossification of the intervertebral disk and VLL. The spinal pathology was compared to similar modern vertebral column specimens with known disease (Figs. 8 and 9). There is no evidence of a traumatic or violent death; no butchery or cutting marks were identified in the cranial and postcranial skeleton. This excludes cynophagia or other invasive procedures as contributors to death (Chrószcz et al., 2013). Spinal disease is a difficult problem in veterinary medicine due to multifactorial etiology, lack of clinical signs in some cases, diverse clinical signs in others, and variable consequences. Spondylosis is the most common degenerative spinal disease in dogs, but the term is nonspecific. Spondylosis can be described more specif- ically as spondylosis deformans, a non-inflammatory degenerative disease (Carnier et al., 2004). Both genetic (chondrodystrophic and non-chondrodystrophic breeds) and non-hereditary etiological factors should be considered. Discospondylitis is characterized by severe spinal pathology that has an infectious etiology. The literature suggests the bacterial and fungal causes are most probable (Adamo and Cherubini, 2001; Burkert et al., 2005; Seim, 2007; Slatter, 2003). The actual incidence of discospondylitis in dogs has not been reported in paleopatholog- ical investigations, to our knowledge. Diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH) is another disease that is characterized in part by spinal pathology, but it is rare in dogs. It is a systemic pathology of the axial and appendicular skeleton (Forestier and Rotes-Querol, 1950; Ciepluch et al., 2013). DISH causes calcification of the dorsal and ventral longitudinal spinal ligaments that can spread to adjacent structures such as the vertebral musculotendinous attachments and the vertebral articular capsules. The canine vertebral column is composed of seven cervical, thir- teen thoracic, seven lumbar, three (fused) sacral, and a variable number of coccygeal vertebrae, although the number of thoracic and lumbar vertebrae also may vary from the standard anatomic formula (König and Liebich, 2007; Thrall, 2012). The intervertebral disk structure is homologous to other mammals, including humans (Konig and Liebich, 2007). The ventral longitudinal (VLL) and dorsal longitudinal (DLL) ligaments are located at the ventral and dorsal vertebral body margins ( corpus vertebrae ), respec- tively. The vertebrae and intervertebral disks form a functional unit, together with the spinal, abdominal, and thoracic muscles, playing an important role in spinal and body biomechanics. The cervical and lumbar regions have the greatest mobility in the vertebral column. Lumbar mobility is critical for carnivores, and dysfunction can cause severe disease that significantly influences the quality of life, utilization potential, and the human–animal relationship. Spondylosis is the most frequent canine spinal disease (Fig. 8), but the term is nonspecific and is used to characterize various pathologies. Perhaps described more properly, spondylosis deformans is a degenerative process targeting the annulus fibrous and characterized by vertebral body osteophytes arising at the cranial and caudal margins (Fardon and Milette, 2014; Carnier et al., 2004; Levine et al., 2006; Bergknut et al., 2012). Ossification builds mul- tiple bony bridges within the intervertebral space that are visible radiographically (Fig. 9). The new bone associated with spondylosis deformans does not extend into the vertebral canal and rarely invades the intervertebral foramina in domestic dogs (Ortega et al., 2012). Spondylosis deformans is categorized into four radiographic types (Wright, 1982). Vertebral body endplate osteophytes occur in the ...

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