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J Zoo Wildl Med. 2008 Sep;39(3):468-71.

Continuous lumbar hemilaminectomy for intervertebral disc disease in an Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica).

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  • 1Department of Small Animal Medicine, University of Leipzig, An den Tierkliniken 23, 04103 Leipzig, Germany.


A 13-yr-old Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) was presented for an acute onset of paraplegia. Spinal imaging that included plain radiographs, myelography, and computed tomography performed under general anesthesia revealed lateralized spinal cord compression at the intervertebral disc space L4-5 caused by intervertebral disc extrusion. This extrusion was accompanied by an extensive epidural hemorrhage from L3 to L6. Therefore, a continuous hemilaminectomy from L3 to L6 was performed, resulting in complete decompression of the spinal cord. The tiger was ambulatory again 10 days after the surgery. This case suggests that the potential benefit of complete spinal cord decompression may outweigh the risk of causing clinically significant spinal instability after extensive decompression.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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