Disorder - Spinal dysraphismOrgan Systems Involved
Spinal cord dysraphism
A hereditary disease involving malformation of the spinal cord and often resulting in musculoskeletal abnormalities.
Clinical signs of spinal dysraphism are apparent by four to six weeks of age. These signs can include abnormal hair patterns on the back and neck, and, in severe cases, koilosternia (a depression of the sternum on the mid-line of the animal). Affected dogs may also have a kinked tail and reduced muscle mass around the pelvis. Occasionally, dogs affected by the disorder can show a severe head tilt and a tendency to drift or fall to one side. The most typical sign, however, of spinal dysraphism, is what is referred to as 'bunny-hopping', the simultaneous use of both hind limbs when running. This is also associated with the dog being unable to sense the position and movement of its limbs. Thus these dogs may have a tendency to overextend a limb when getting up, walking or standing.
Dogs at Risk
Signs will manifest within four to six weeks of birth.
Further Reference Material [OMIA Number]