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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2011 Jun 15;238(12):1593-600. doi: 10.2460/javma.238.12.1593.

Comparison of the effect of single-site and multiple-site disk fenestration on the rate of recurrence of thoracolumbar intervertebral disk herniation in dogs.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Studies, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON N1G 2W1, Canada.



To prospectively assess whether multiple-site disk fenestration decreases the incidence of recurrent thoracolumbar intervertebral disk herniation (IVDH), compared with single-site disk fenestration, in small-breed dogs treated for IVDH.


Randomized controlled clinical trial.


207 client-owned dogs.


Dogs undergoing decompressive surgery of the spinal cord because of thoracolumbar IVDH between 2001 and 2004 were randomly assigned to receive single-site disk fenestration at the level of surgical decompression (n = 103) or multiple-site disk fenestration of all disks from T11 through L4 (104). Follow-up consisted of complete reevaluation of patients, telephone surveys, and further surgery if signs indicative of recurrence occurred.


189 dogs were available for long-term follow-up: 95 dogs in the single-site disk fenestration group and 94 in the multiple-site disk fenestration group. Twenty-four dogs developed 28 confirmed episodes of recurrent thoracolumbar IVDH. The rate for first-time recurrence was 12.7% (24/189). First-time recurrence rates for single-and multiple-site disk fenestration groups were 17.89% (17/95) and 7.45% (7/94), respectively. Dogs undergoing single-site disk fenestration were significantly more likely to have recurrent thoracolumbar IVDH than were dogs undergoing multiple-site disk fenestration. Disk mineralization at the time of first surgery was associated with recurrence, and 87.5% (21/24) of recurrences occurred at a disk space adjacent to or 1 disk away from the initial lesion. Regardless of disk fenestration group, 22 of 24 (91.7%) recurrences occurred at a nonfenestrated disk space.


Multiple-site disk fenestration decreased the rate of recurrent IVDH in small-breed dogs, compared with the use of single-site disk fenestration.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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