Congenital Vertebral Anomaly
Congenital vertebral anomalies are a collection of malformations
spine in animals. Most are not clinically significant, but they can
cause compression of the
spinal cord by deforming the vertebral canal or causing instability.
This condition occurs in the womb. Congenital vertebral anomalies
include alterations of the shape and number of
Among the congenital vertebral anomalies, hemivertebrae are the most likely
to cause neurologic problems. They are wedge shaped vertebrae, and therefore can
cause an angle in the spine (such as
The probable cause of hemivertebrae is a lack of blood supply causing part of
the vertebrae to not form. Hemivertebrae in
dogs are most common
in the tail, causing a screw shape, but can also occur in the thoracic
vertebrae. Affected dog breeds include
Boston Terriers. It is inherited in
Yorkshire Terriers and
German Shorthaired Pointers. The condition can cause death in very young
Block vertebrae occur when there is improper segmentation of the vertebrae,
leading to parts of or the entire vertebrae being fused. It can lead to an angle
in the spine, but there are usually no symptoms. The
sacrum is a
normal block vertebrae.
Butterfly vertebrae have a cleft through the body of the vertebrae and a
funnel shape to the ends. This gives the appearance of a
on an x-ray. It
is caused by persistence of the
(which usually only remains as the center of the
intervertebral disk) during vertebrae formation. There are usually no
symptoms. Butterfly vertebrae occur most often in Bulldogs, Pugs, and Boston
Transitional vertebrae have the characteristics of two types of vertebrae.
The condition usually involves the vertebral arch or transverse processes. It
occurs at the cervicothoracic, thoracolumbar, or lumbosacral junction. For
instance, the transverse process of the last cervical vertebrae may resemble a
rib. A transitional vertebrae at the lumbosacral junction can cause
disk changes, or spinal cord compression.
- Ettinger, Stephen J.;Feldman, Edward C.(1995).Textbook of Veterinary
Internal Medicine(4th ed.). W.B. Saunders Company.
- Thrall, Donald E. (1994). Textbook of Veterinary Diagnostic Radiology
(2nd ed.). W.B. Saunders Company.
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