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Spinal arachnoid cysts in dogs
Not a common reason for neurological deficites in dogs, but sometimes very hard to diagnose. This retrospective study collected the data of 17 dogs with this diagnosis and tried to find the `classic` patient regarding age, breed and clinical symptoms and the localisation of the cyst. Very helpful in the daily practice!

The medical records of 17 dogs diagnosed with spinal arachnoid cysts at North Carolina State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital were retrospectively examined to identify trends in signalment, history, neurological status, treatment, and short- and long-term prognosis.

The typical case was that of a nonpainful, progressive ataxia frequently characterized by hypermetria and incontinence.

Cysts typically occurred in the dorsal subarachnoid space at the first to third cervical vertebrae of young, large-breed dogs or the caudal thoracic vertebrae of older, small-breed dogs.

Although 14 of 15 dogs treated surgically did well in the short term, long-term successful outcomes were achieved in only eight of the 12 dogs that were followed for >1 year.

Significant predictors of good, long-term outcome were not identified; however, factors associated with a trend toward a good outcome included <3 years of age, <4 monthsÂ’ duration of clinical signs, and marsupialization as the surgical technique.



Source: Todd M. Skeen, Natasha J. Olby, Karen R. Muñana, Nicholas J. Sharp (2003): Spinal Arachnoid Cysts in 17 Dogs. In: Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association 39:271-282 (2003)



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SMALL ANIMAL PRACTICE

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One hundred and ninety lateral thoracic radiographs of asymptomatic dogs radiographed for reasons other than spinal pain, were retrospectively reviewed by two board-certified radiologists. Images were assessed for impinged spinous processes and graded for narrowing, sclerosis or remodelling of the spinous processes.
How is the prevalence of impinged spinous processes in this group of dogs?

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