Diseases of the spine in horses and dogs

Dr. med. vet. Jochen Becker, Tespe, Germany
Both in small animal practice and in equine practice we are constantly confronted with problems relating to the spine.
There cannot be many of us who are not familiar with a horse owner’s initial comment that their horse isn’t riding well or has poor flexibility? Throwing its head, a reluctance for the hind quarters to go under the body, a lack of suppleness – these are expressions which we regularly encounter in equine practice.
In conventional medicine this is usually the start of a frustrating examination process which usually ends in the administration of anti-inflammatory medication and a diagnosis of ‘lumbago’.
An X-ray may possibly be taken to assist diagnosis, but usually this returns normal results. In some cases they may show changes in the spinal column may be visible, often termed ‘kissing spine’, or in rare cases they may show new bone formations in the ventral region of the vertebrae, which are then diagnosed as spondylarthr...

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