Intervertebral disc disease in dogs - part 2: comparison of clinical, magnetic resonance imaging, and histological findings in 74 surgically treated dogs.
OBJECTIVE To determine magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) abnormalities in dogs with intervertebral disk disease (IVDD) and develop a classification scheme for IVDD in dogs based on MRI findings. DESIGN Retrospective case series. ANIMALS 69 dogs. PROCEDURE Medical records of dogs admitted because of thoracolumbar IVDD in which MRI of T9 through L7 had been performed were reviewed. RESULTS A total of 759 intervertebral disk spaces were examined. Of these, 342 (45.1%) were classified as having a normal MRI appearance; the remaining 417 (54.9%) had various types of IVDD. Disk degeneration was identified in 276 disk spaces in 56 dogs, bulging of the intervertebral disk was identified in 37 disk spaces in 24 dogs, disk protrusion was identified in 54 disk spaces in 32 dogs, and disk extrusion was identified in 50 disk spaces in 48 dogs. Cartilage endplate changes were identified in 35 vertebrae in 17 dogs, and increased signal intensity of the spinal cord was identified in 21 dogs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Four types of IVDD (disk degeneration, bulging of the intervertebral disk, disk protrusion, and disk extrusion) were identified on the basis of MRI findings in dogs with thoracolumbar IVDD. We recommend that a standardized nomenclature be adopted for the various types of thoracolumbar IVDD in dogs.