Extended durotomy to treat severe spinal cord injury after acute thoracolumbar disc herniation in dogs. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: To report recovery of ambulation of dogs treated with extended thoracolumbar durotomy for severe spinal cord injury caused by intervertebral disc herniation. STUDY DESIGN: Descriptive cohort. ANIMALS: Twenty-six consecutive paraplegic dogs presented with loss of deep pain sensation after acute thoracolumbar intervertebral disc herniation. METHODS: Each dog underwent routine diagnostic assessment and surgery for removal of extradural herniated intervertebral disc, followed by a four-vertebral body length durotomy centered on the herniated disc. Each dog was followed up until it was able to walk 10 steps without assistance or until 6months after surgery. RESULTS: Sixteen of 26 dogs recovered to walk unaided (all but one also recovered fecal and urinary continence), and six dogs did not; four dogs were lost to follow-up. One dog was euthanized because of signs consistent with progressive myelomalacia. There was no evidence of detrimental effects of durotomy within the period of study. Using Bayesian analysis, we found a point estimate of successful outcome of 71% with 95% credible interval from 52% to 87%. CONCLUSION: Extended durotomy seemed to improve the outcome of dogs in our case series without increase in morbidity. CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: Extended durotomy appears safe and may improve the outcome of dogs with severe thoracolumbar mixed contusion and compressive injuries associated with acute intervertebral disc extrusion.

published proceedings

  • Vet Surg

altmetric score

  • 0.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Jeffery, N. D., Mankin, J. M., Ito, D., Boudreau, C. E., Kerwin, S. C., Levine, J. M., ... Granger, N.

citation count

  • 15

publication date

  • January 2020