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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Bone Spurs (Spondylosis)

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Condition Overview

Spondylosis is characterized by the presence of osteophytes - bone spurs that form around the intervertebral discs as a dog ages.

Symptoms

These osteophytes do not usually produce symptoms. On rare occasions, spurs project into the spinal canal and cause symptoms similar to those of a ruptured disc.

Causes

A fusion of the osteophytes, called spondylosis deformans, restricts movement of the vertebral column and causes pain and stiffness. Large breed dogs are most often affected.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is made by veterinary examination.

Treatment

Dogs with the pain and stiffness of spondylosis deformans respond well to analgesica. Surgery to remove osteophytes and decompress the spinal cord may be of benefit to dogs who are not helped by analgesics. Acupuncture and physical therapy will help some dogs as well.

Prevention

There is no prevention for this condition.

Support

Please contact your veterinarian for more information regarding this condition.

Show Sources & Contributors +

Sources

Dog Owners Home Veterinary Handbook

Publisher: Wiley Publishing, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Authors: Debra M. Eldredge, Liisa D. Carlson, Delbert G. Carlson, James M. Giffen MD

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