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J Feline Med Surg. 2000 Dec;2(4):207-12.

Spontaneous lumbar intervertebral disc protrusion in cats: literature review and case presentations.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine, Clinic for Small Animals, University of Bern, Switzerland.


Reports on intervertebral disc disease in cats are rare in the veterinary literature. It has been postulated that intervertebral disc protrusion is a frequent finding during necropsy in cats, without having any clinical relevance (King and Smith 1958, King & Smith 1960a, King & Smith 1960b). However, a total of six cases with disc protrusions and clinically significant neurological deficits have been reported over the past decade. (Heavner 1971, Seim & Nafe 1981, Gilmore 1983, Littlewood et al 1984, Sparkes & Skerry 1990, Bagley et al 1995). As in dogs, there are also two types of intervertebral disc disease in cats: Hansen's type I (extrusion), and type II (herniation). Cervical spinal cord involvement was more commonly recognised in cats than the lumbar or the thoraco lumbar area. Cats over 15 years were mainly affected (King & Smith 1958, King & Smith 1960a, King & Smith 1960b). We describe two cats with lumbar intervertebral disc protrusions. Emphasis is placed on differential diagnoses, treatment and follow-up.

Copyright 2000 European Society of Feline Medicine.

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