Spondylitis in Dogs

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Spondylitis is an inflammation of the vertebrae and vertebral discs that can affect dogs. Spondylitis usually involves infection of the vertebrae, and can cause lameness, fever and lethargy. A veterinarian can diagnose and treat this canine affliction.

Causes

  • Bacteria and fungi, typically found on certain grass seeds, seem to cause spondylitis when they pierce the skin, enter the blood stream and infect the vertebrae of the dog.

Diagnosis

  • A veterinarian can diagnose spondylitis through blood tests, X-rays, urinalysis and spinal taps. He may also use myelography to find the exact location of the spinal compression, according to peteducation.com.

Treatment

  • A veterinarian will treat the spondylits by first determining if the condition was caused by bacteria or a fungus. The affected dog must take a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs for a period of six weeks to six months.

Surgery

  • A veterinary surgeon may operate on the dog to relieve pressure on the spinal cord, but this procedure is seldom required.

Prognosis

  • The dog's condition should improve through treatment and/or surgery, but this will depend on its "ability to eliminate the infection and how much nerve damage resulted from the spinal compression," according to peteducation.com.

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