Disorder - Hemivertebrae

Organ Systems Involved
Musculoskeletal

Brief Description
    A condition where a single, or sometimes several, vertebral bones in the spine appear wedge-shaped following retarded or abnormal development.

Presenting Signs
    The majority of hemivertebrae cases are undiagnosed because this condition does not usually produce any obvious clinical signs. However, in severely affected dogs in which the condition causes impaired nerve function, there may be some symptoms including increasing hind leg weakness. This weakness commonly affects one hindlimb more than the other, and severe cases may result in hind limb paralysis. It commonly results in muscle shrinkage, particularly in the pelvis and lower back. The dog may also be unable or reluctant to raise itself into a standing position. There may be involuntary action or movement of the hind limbs and urinary and/or faecal incontinence. Abnormal spinal conformation is another possible sign. Patients may present with curvature of the spine to either the left or right of the animal and/or to the front or back of the dog. Manipulation of the malformed area may be painful. The thoracic vertebrae, those of the top half of the back, are most commonly affected.

Groups Affected
Hound
Non Sporting
Terrier
Toy


Breeds Affected
Afghan hound
Border terrier
Boston terrier
British bulldog
French bulldog
Pug


PubMed References
Hemivertebrae

Further Reference Material [OMIA Number]
1191


Contributor
Kristen Sutton