Spondylosis in dogs (What you can do about it)What kind of disease spondylosis is, what are the signs and what can be done against it, you will learn here. In addition, we have for this article advice from the veterinarian Mag.med.vet. Emin Jasarevic caught up.
Spondylosis in dogs is a disease of the spine.
This brings considerable restrictions in movement and severe pain. So that your veterinarian can make an accurate diagnosis and contain the consequences of the condition, early treatment is crucial.
What is spondylosis?
Medicine describes spondylosis as a pathological change in the spine that occurs due to severe wear and tear. The consequences are restrictions in movement, irritation of the nerves, severe pain and stiffness.
The signs of wear and tear that occur are possible on the entire spine. Nevertheless, they occur preferentially in the area of the lumbar vertebrae.
The disease usually progresses in episodes and becomes obvious when the dog moves abnormally and can perform certain activities with difficulty or not at all.
Structure of the spine
In order to understand the course of a pathological process in the skeleton, I would like to briefly describe the structure of the spine to you.
The spine is there to provide good mobility and ensure the stability of the body. It consists of several individual vertebrae. The section between the cervical and lumbar vertebrae is composed of 27 independent vertebral segments. In addition there are three connected vertebrae in the sacrum. Up to 20 tail vertebrae depending on the breed of dog. Each vertebra consists of a vertebral body, a vertebral arch, a spinous process, two transverse processes and four articular processes.
The composition of the different sections of the spine is adapted to their function. To keep it stable, there are ligaments and muscles at the spinous and transverse processes. The vertebrae from the neck down must be less mobile but able to withstand more stress and are therefore significantly larger than the others.
intervertebral discs& Vertebral body
The intervertebral discs are located between the individual vertebrae. These connect them with each other, serve as shock absorbers and provide a supple and painless mobility. The top two cervical vertebrae and the fused vertebra of the sacrum and coccyx do not have an intervertebral disc.
An important part of a vertebra are the Vertebral body. They carry a large part of the weight with the intervertebral discs between them. The surrounding muscles have a supporting and stabilizing effect. On the vertebral bodies are the vertebral arches.
Inside an arch and the back of the vertebral body lies the vertebral hole. The vertebral holes of the individual vertebrae form the spinal canal, in which the spinal cord is located.
If the spine is exposed to unusual loads, its parts wear out. Thereby it changes its shape. Limits their function. The body tries to counteract the deficiency by developing bony structures on the vertebral bodies for support.
As a result, the actual bone structure enlarges, and different strong and pointed bone formations develop at the edge of the vertebral bodies. These spikes bear the name Spondylophytes and influence the vertebra in its function. Thus they interfere with the normal function of the muscles.