Master Student: Lars Langerhuus
Specialisation: Surgery
Project: Proportion recovery and times to ambulation 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

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.

Read the article here