Epidemiological and Clinical Studies in Cats with Thoracolumbar Vertebral Fracture and Luxation and Its Management

DOI: 10.18805/ijar.B-3984    | Article Id: B-3984 | Page : 553-560
Citation :- Epidemiological and Clinical Studies in Cats with Thoracolumbar Vertebral Fracture and Luxation and Its Management.Indian Journal of Animal Research.2021.(55):553-560
S. Dhanalakshmi, I. Nath, M.R. Das, S.K. Panda, A.K. Kundu, U.K. Mishra, P.S. Parvathamma indravet123@gmail.com
Address : Department of Veterinary Surgery and Radiology, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, OUAT, Bhubaneswar-751 003, Odisha, India.
Submitted Date : 17-01-2020
Accepted Date : 14-08-2020


Background: Thoraco-lumbar spinal trauma frequently results in neurological dysfunction of varying degrees in domestic cats. The consequences may be permanent disability or death depending on severity and segment of spinal cord affected. Assessment of primary damage to spinal cord is important to prevent secondary damage and complications arising from neurological deficit. Since assessment of neurological dysfunction and its treatment in spinal trauma in cats is an evolving field, the present study was undertaken with an objective to record and associate epidemiological data and clinical examination findings at the time of presentation with clinical outcome on 60th post-treatment day in cats with thoracolumbar vertebral fracture and luxation, for a better clinical approach in this condition. 
Methods: 24 affected cats were assessed epidemiologically and clinically at the time of presentation. All the cats were treated either conservatively or surgically based on extent of neurological dysfunction and severity of injury on radiographic evaluation. Post-treatment observations was then correlated with epidemiological data and clinical findings to assess the clinical outcome.  
Result: In the present study, sub-adult semi-domicile cats were most affected and major cause was automobile accident. Presence of concomitant injuries (30%) affected recovery. Thoracolumbar spinal cord segment (T3-L3) was most affected (71%). Among 16 cats with unstable vertebral fractures, 5/6 cats recovered after surgical treatment and 2/10 cats recovered after conservative treatment. Survival and recovery was poor when degree vertebral canal displacement was more than 70% (10 cats). All 7 cats with grade 1 or grade 2 and one cat with grade 3 neurological dysfunction recovered after conservative treatment. 5 cats with grade 3 and 2 cats with grade 4 neurological dysfunction recovered after surgical treatment. Selection of surgical treatment provided better recovery in cats with unstable vertebral fractures and greater degree of neurological dysfunction. 


Cats Epidemiological Fracture luxation Thoracolumbar


  1. Araujo, B.M., Fernandes, T.H.T., Junior, D.B., Bonelli, M.A., Amorim, M. and Tudury, E.A. (2017). Clinical and epidemiological study in dogs with thoracolumbar vertebral fractures and luxations. Brazilian Veterinary Research. 37: 866-870.
  2. Arias, M.V.B., Nishioka, C.M., Garcia, C.O., Reia, A.Z., Junior, D.B. and Marcasso, R.A. (2007). Evaluation of clinical outcomes after decompression surgery in dogs with intervertebral disc disease. Arquivo Brasileiro de Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia. 59: 1445-1450. 
  3. Bali, M.S., Lang, J., Jaggy, A., Spreng, D., Doherr, M.G. and Forterre, F. (2009). Comparative study of vertebral fractures and luxations in dogs and cats. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology. 22: 47-53. 
  4. Besalti, O., Ozak, A. and Tong, S. (2002). Management of spinal trauma in 69 cats. Deutsche Tierarztliche Wochenschrift. 109: 315-320.
  5. Bruce, C.W., Brisson, B.A.and Gyselinck, K. (2008). Spinal fractures in dogs and cats: a retrospective evaluation of 95 cases. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatology. 21: 280-284. 
  6. Cabassu, J.P. (2012). Treatment of thoracic and lumbar vertebral fractures. Proceedings of European Society of Veterinary Orthopedics and Traumatology (ESVOT), Bologna. p.129-131. 
  7. Chai, O., Johnston, D.E. and Shamir, M.H. (2008). Bite Wounds Involving the Spine: Characteristics, Therapy and Outcome in Seven Cases. Veterinary Journal. 175: 259-265.
  8. Dewey, C.W. (2014). Thoracolumbar Spine Surgery, In: Small Animal Surgery. [Fossum TW (Ed)]. 4th Edn. Elsevier, Rio de Janeiro. pp.1508-1528. 
  9. Fehlings, M.G. and Perrin, R.G. (2006). The timing of surgical intervention in the treatment of spinal cord injury: A systematic review of recent clinical evidence. Spine. 31: 28-35.
  10. Gage, E.D. (1971). Surgical repair of spinal fractures in small breed dogs. Veterinary Medicine. 66:1095. 
  11. Grasmueck, S. and Steffen, F. (2006). Survival rates and outcomes in cats with thoracic and lumbar spinal cord injuries due to external trauma. Journal of Small Animal Practice. 45: 284-288.
  12. Krauss, M.W., Theyse, L.F.H., Tryfonidou, M.A., Hazewinkel, H.A.W. and Meij, B.P. (2012). Treatment of spinal fractures using Lubra plates. A Retrospective clinical and radiological evaluation of 15 cases. Veterinary and Comparative Orthopaedics and Traumatolog. 25: 1-6. 
  13. Lorenz, M.D., Coates, J.R. and Kent, M. (2011). Handbook of Veterinary Neurology. (5th Edn.). Elsevier, St. Louis. pp.545.
  14. Mendes, D.S. and Arias, M.V.B. (2012). Spinal cord injury in dogs and cats: prospective study of 57 cases. Pesquisa Veterinária Brasileira. 32: 1304-1312. 
  15. Paes, F., Ferrigno, C.R.A., Marine, P.V.T., Dal-Bo, I.S., Santos, J.F., Komorizono, D.T., Galeazzi, V.S. and Bregadioli, T. (2016). Use of the Clamp and Rod Internal Fixation pedicle in the stabilization of the lumbosacral column in feline: case report. Brazilian Journal of Veterinary and Animal Science. 68(6): 1557-1562.
  16. Platt, S.R. (2016). Disorders of the nervous system and muscle. In: Clinical medicine of the dog and cat. (3rd Edn.). [Schaer M and Gaschen F (Eds)]. CRC press, Boca Raton. pp. 555 -588
  17. Platt, S.R. and Olby, N. (2004). Neurological emergencies. In BSAVA Manual of Canine and Feline Neurology by Platt S and Olby N (Eds), (3rd Edn.). BSAVA, Gloucester. pp. 320-336.
  18. Stacharski, M., Pezinska, K., Wroblewska, M., Wojtas, J. and Baranowski, P. (2010). The biometric characteristics of domestic cat skull in three stages of its growth: juvenile, subadult and adult. Acta Scientiarum Polonorum Zootechnica. 9: 65-78.
  19. Weh, M. and Kraus, K.H. (2012). Spinal fractures and luxations, In: Veterinary surgery of small animals.[Tobias KM and Johnston SA (Eds)]. Saunders, Elsevier. pp.487-503.

Global Footprints