Signalment, clinical presentation, and diagnostic findings in 122 dogs with spinal arachnoid diverticula

Mauler DA, De Decker S, De Risio L, et al.

J Vet Intern Med 2014;28:175-181.

BACKGROUND: Most information about spinal arachnoid diverticula (SADs) in dogs has been retrieved from relatively small case series. The aim of this study was to describe this disease in a larger number of dogs. OBJECTIVES: Description of the signalment, clinical presentation, and imaging findings of a large number of dogs with SADs. ANIMALS: One hundred and twenty-two dogs with SADs. METHODS: Retrospective case series study. All medical records were searched for a diagnosis of SAD. The diagnosis was made based on myelography, computed tomography myelography (CT-m), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). RESULTS: In the 122 dogs, 125 SADs were identified. Sixty-five were located in the cervical region and 60 in the thoracolumbar region. A higher body weight was significantly associated with a cervical localization of the SAD (P < .001). Ninety-five dogs were male and 27 dogs were female. Male dogs were significantly overrepresented (P < .0001). The most commonly affected breed was the Pug dog. Previous or concurrent spinal disorders, in the near proximity of the diagnosed SAD, were seen in 26 dogs. Eight of 13 French Bulldogs and 7 of 21 Pug dogs with SADs had a previous or concurrent spinal disease, whereas other spinal disorders occurred in only 1 of 17 Rottweilers with SADs. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Pug dogs and French Bulldogs might have a predisposition for SAD development. In a large percentage of these dogs, a concurrent spinal disorder, which might predispose to SAD formation, was diagnosed. The high prevalence in male dogs warrants further investigation.