May 22, 2024

Cauda equina syndrome in dogs

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Learn more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for cauda equina syndrome in dogs, a serious neurological condition that often goes unnoticed.

Cauda equina syndrome in dogs is a serious neurological disease that is often overlooked or recognized too late. It affects the lower part of the spine and the base of the dog's tail. This syndrome occurs when the nerve roots of the cauda equina, a bundle of nerve fibers located at the end of the spinal cord, become compressed. Consequently Birkenfeld Veterinary Centre The syndrome mainly affects “large, athletic breed dogs from middle age onwards.”

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Cauda equina syndrome in dogs: recognizing the symptoms

Being overweight can increase the risk of cauda equina syndrome in dogs. (Avatar) © Pond5 Images/Imago

Because dogs endure growing pains for a long time, cauda equina syndrome can go unnoticed by the dog owner for a long time. Dogs only progress when their level of suffering is very high.

Four-legged friends with cauda equina syndrome often exhibit symptoms such as difficulty walking, lameness in the back legs, urinary incontinence, and pain in the lower back area. the Birkenfeld Veterinary Centre He also describes chewing of the tail or hind legs as a symptom. The dog is no longer able to move his tail up actively. Pronounced pulling of the hind legs when walking is a typical sign of the disease.

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These signs can occur gradually, and are sometimes misinterpreted as normal signs of aging. Here you can find out how you can tell that your dog is in pain.

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Causes and risk factors for cauda equina syndrome in dogs

The various causes of cauda equina syndrome in dogs include arthritic changes, infections, herniated discs, narrowing of the spinal canal, injuries, and tumors. Large and overweight dogs are most often affected by the disease.

Diagnosis and treatment

Timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment can provide your beloved four-legged friend with a better quality of life and save him great suffering. Diagnosis of cauda equina syndrome requires a comprehensive clinical examination as well as imaging tests (under anesthesia) such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT).

Treatment in the early stages can be medical, i.e. conservative, to reduce inflammation and thus pain, or surgical to eliminate nerve compression. It is important in treatment to determine the exact location of the nerve block.

Stay alert to potential symptoms and seek veterinary advice immediately if cauda equina syndrome is suspected.

This article only contains general information about the topic in question and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It does not in any way replace a visit to your vet. Unfortunately, our editorial team cannot answer individual questions about the diseases your animal suffers from.

The editor wrote this article and then used an AI language model to improve at her own discretion. All information has been carefully checked. Find out more about our AI principles here.