A retrospective study of canine cervical disk herniation and the beneficial effects of rehabilitation therapy after ventral slot decompression

https://doi.org/10.17221/114/2018-VETMEDCitation:Jeong I., Rahman M., Choi G., Seo B., Lee G., Kim S., Kim N. (2019): A retrospective study of canine cervical disk herniation and the beneficial effects of rehabilitation therapy after ventral slot decompression. Veterinarni Medicina, 64: 251-259.
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The objective of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome of ventral slot decompression and rehabilitation therapy in dogs with cervical intervertebral disc herniation (IVDH). Surgical decompression was performed in dogs with IVDH using the ventral slot procedure. After surgery, physiotherapeutic rehabilitation consisted of a combination of electrotherapy, infrared therapy and mechanical massage; treadmill exercise was started when the animal could stand up. A total of 58 dogs were selected from the hospital and included in two groups: rehabilitated group (RG, n = 34) and non-rehabilitated group (NRG, n = 24). Dogs of each group were subdivided into five groups based on a pre-operative clinical grading system. Grade 1 designated spinal pain only, grade 2 designated ambulatory paraparesis, grade 3 designated non-ambulatory paraparesis, grade 4 designated paraplegia with deep-pain perception intact and grade 5 designated paraplegia without deep-pain perception. Post-operative changes of both groups were evaluated and compared, including time until unassisted standing and walking after surgery and the success rate. Overall, 79.41% (27/34) of dogs had a successful neurologic outcome in the RG group, which was significantly (P < 0.05) higher than the NRG group 62.50% (15/24). Interestingly, the success rate differed when the preoperative grading system was considered. The success rates of grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 were 100% (9/9), 100% (7/7), 75% (3/4), 53.85% (7/13) and 100% (1/1), respectively, in the rehabilitated groups, whereas in the non-rehabilitated groups success rates were 100% (5/5), 83.33% (5/6), 60.00% (3/5), 28.57% (2/7) and 0% (0/1), respectively. The differences in success rates between the two groups according to grading were 0, 16.67, 15, 25.57 and 100%, respectively. The proposed rehabilitation therapy after surgical decompression of cervical IVDH can improve the success rate when the preoperative pathological condition is severe.

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