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Treatment of Hansen Type 1 intervertebral disc rupture in a 5 year old Lhaso Apso.

The patient was referred to Chantry vets for investigation of progressive hindlimb ataxia and thoracolumbar spinal pain. Radiographs performed at the referring veterinary surgery were suggestive of a disc rupture at the level of T11-12; narrowed intervertebral space, increased opacity of the intervertebral foramen and calcified disc material in the vertebral canal.

On examination the patient was ambulatory but had reduced proprioception in both pelvic limbs (Grade 2 spinal disease). Repeatable thoracolumbar pain was elicited on palpation. An MRI confirmed the presence of a left-sided intervertebral disc rupture at the level of T11-12, filling about 60% of the vertebral canal. T2- weighted images indicated that spinal cord integrity was favourable. The patient was transferred to surgery and a left-sided hemilaminectomy was performed.

The patient made a speedy recovery and was discharged after forty-eight hours, once voluntary urination had returned. Intensive physiotherapy was continued for several weeks and regular recheck appointments at the referring veterinary surgery ensured her full recovery.