Caudal articular process dysplasia of thoracic vertebrae in neurologically normal French bulldogs, English bulldogs, and Pugs: Prevalence and characteristics

Bertram, S and Ter Haar, G and De Decker, S (2018) Caudal articular process dysplasia of thoracic vertebrae in neurologically normal French bulldogs, English bulldogs, and Pugs: Prevalence and characteristics. VETERINARY RADIOLOGY & ULTRASOUND.

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Abstract

The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence and anatomical characteristics of thoracic caudal articular process dysplasia in French bulldogs, English bulldogs and Pugs presenting for problems unrelated to spinal disease. In this retrospective cross‐sectional study, computed tomography scans of the thoracic vertebral column of these three breeds were reviewed for the presence and location of caudal articular process hypoplasia and aplasia, and compared between breeds. A total of 271 dogs met the inclusion criteria: 108 French bulldogs, 63 English bulldogs, and 100 Pugs. A total of 70.4% of French bulldogs, 84.1% of English bulldogs, and 97.0% of Pugs showed evidence of caudal articular process dysplasia. Compared to French and English bulldogs, Pugs showed a significantly higher prevalence of caudal articular process aplasia, but also a lower prevalence of caudal articular process hypoplasia, a higher number of affected vertebrae per dog and demonstrated a generalized and bilateral spatial pattern more frequently. Furthermore, Pugs showed a significantly different anatomical distribution of caudal articular process dysplasia along the vertebral column, with a high prevalence of caudal articular process aplasia between T10 and T13. This area was almost completely spared in French and English bulldogs. As previously suggested, caudal articular process dysplasia is a common finding in neurologically normal Pugs but this also seems to apply to French and English bulldogs. The predisposition of clinically relevant caudal articular process dysplasia in Pugs is possibly not only caused by the higher prevalence of caudal articular process dysplasia, but also by breed specific anatomical characteristics.