Classification and incidence of lumbosacral transitional vertebrae in dogs in Italy

Introduction: The lumbosacral Transitional Vertebra (VT) is a malformed vertebrae classified on the basis of the morphology of the transverse processes and their relationship with the ileum. The prevalence of VT in dogs, reported in the literature, varies both by breed and by country of study.
Aims of the study: Describe the classification of VT, identify a correlation between VT, the degree of HD and sex and evaluate the incidence of VT in breeds officially diagnosed for HD at the Animal Health Foundation (FSA).
Materials and methods: 15864 ventro-dorsal radiographs sent to the FSA from 2008 to 2017 were analyzed. The cases of VT were classified according to the 4 classifications described in the literature. The incidence was assessed for each breed. Sex and HD grade of each case of VT were recorded.
Results: VT was found in 174 cases in 42 races. The breeds with the highest prevalence were Epagneul Breton (7.08), Hanoverian Hound (4.87%) and English Setter (4.76%). A statistically significant difference was found between dogs with VT and without in relation to the presence of HD. No correlation with sex was found.
Conclusions: There was no correlation between sex and the incidence of VT. Asymmetric VT predisposes to asymmetric HD. The classification that considers the symmetry in its entirety may be the most functional.

Additional Info

  • Authors: 1 Morstabilini L., 2 Baroni M., 3 Vezzoni A.
  • Authors note: 1 Ambulatorio Veterinario Dr. Arisi, Brescia, 2Clinica Veterinaria Valdinievole, Monsummano Terme, 3Clinica Veterinaria Vezzoni, Cremona.
  • Year: 2020
  • Reference: Veterinaria Year 34, n. 6, December 2020
  • Pages: 293 - 301
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