Spinal Cord Development Disorders in Dogs

Spinal dysraphism is the general term for a malformation that affects the spinal column. It  results from defective or delayed closure of the neural tube during embryonic development. There are a number of defects and deformities that can arise as a result of spinal dysraphism. The condition can be progressive or non-progressive in nature. It is a hereditary or acquired disease involving malformation of the spinal cord and often resulting in musculoskeletal abnormalities.

During embryonic development, the neural tube fails to close fully which results in a condition where the spinal cord is easily exposed to infection, trauma or tumor growth.

English bulldogs, Samoyeds, Dalmatians, English setters, golden retrievers, rottweilers and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are breeds which are affected by this disorder.

Common symptoms associated with this disorder include

Limb weakness


Neck or head pain

Uncoordinated walk

Postural abnormalities

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