At Highcroft Veterinary Referrals we have experience regarding the correction of spinal deformity in dogs.
What is the problem?
Hind limb weakness, which is caused by poor stability of the spine and results in repeated contusions (bruising) of the spinal cord. French Bulldogs and Pugs are typically affected.
How do we identify the problem?
CT gives us precise images of the bony anatomy and MRI provided detailed images of the cord; both tests are very useful in treating these cases.
What can we do about it?
We design patient-specific implants to fix the spine surgically and restore stability. This stops any further damage to the spinal cord.
These are the steps we take to help our cases:
- The Patient has a CT in the same position as for their surgery;
- The CT data is sent to VET3DTM who creates a replica model of the dog’s spine;
- Two titanium locking plates (right and left) are moulded to the spinal deformity on the model and temporally fixed in placed, which are then re-scanned with CT;
- The CT data (‘model + plates’) is then sent back to VET3DTM. The best entry points for the screws, which hold the plates onto the spine, are plotted using a CAD platform;
- Patient-specific drill guides are created to aid us in surgery;
- The custom plates and drill guides are used in surgery to fix the patient’s spine in the desired position. If needed, we can use live X-rays (Fluoroscopy) in theatre to help that process;
- The patient has a post-op CT to ensure correct placement and depth of the locking screws and the plates position.