Proportion recovery and times to ambulation for non-ambulatory dogs with thoracolumbar disc extrusions treated with hemilaminectomy or conservative treatment: A systematic review and meta-analysis of case-series studies

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L. Langerhuus, J. Miles

Thoracolumbar intervertebral disc extrusion is a common cause of spinal cord dysfunction in dogs. Peer-reviewed studies reporting treatment of predominantly chondrodystrophic dogs with disc extrusion with loss of ambulation with either hemilaminectomy or conservative treatment (rest, analgesics and anti-inflammatories) were evaluated in a systematic review of the literature. Generally, the level of evidence available was low with no controlled studies and only case series available. In the meta-analysis, there was a clear trend to a greater proportion of dogs recovering and returning faster to ambulation for dogs treated with hemilaminectomy than for conservatively treated dogs. The mean proportions that recovered for neurological grades 3, 4 and 5 were 93, 93 and 61% for those treated with hemilaminectomy, and 79, 62 and 10% for those treated conservatively (Grade 3 – non-ambulatory paraparetic dogs; grade 4 – paraplegic dogs with intact deep pain perception; grade 5 – paraplegic dogs without intact deep pain perception). Due to the use of case series, these results represent between-study comparisons, thereby increasing the risk of selection bias and other biases. Data presented in this review support the current recommendations for surgical management of non-ambulatory dogs with disc-extrusion, but controlled clinical studies comparing outcomes are necessary to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Journal
Pages (from-to)7-16
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Intervertebral disc disease, Neurological, Spinal

ID: 188369254