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Flashcards in Spine Deck (16):

Figure 2. Diagram showing the shape of normally-formed vertebrae in the spinal column and how the spinal cord runs through them.

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Location names and numbers of dog and cat spine.

Cervical 7

Thoracic 13

Lumbar 7 

Sacral 3

Caudal Cd20-23


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Figure 3. Abnormal development of vertebral bodies results in formation of _______. Unlike the normal shape of vertebrae shown in Figure 2, in which the opposing faces of adjacent vertebrae are at right angles to the line of the spine, wedge shaped vertebrae as shown here can lead to _____ of the spine with health and welfare effects.



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Figure 4. Radiograph of a hemivertebra in the thoracic region of a Pug. The wedge shaped vertebra has caused _____of the spine, which in turn can cause compression and damage to the spinal cord.


 Hemivertebrae can occur in any breed but are most common in brachycephalic, screw-tailed dogs such as Pugs (also English Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Boston Terriers). This is because the kinked tails in these breeds result from hemivertebrae in the tail region of the spine and these breeds have genes that tend to cause the formation of hemivertebrae elsewhere in the spinal column as well as in the tail (LeCouteur and Grandy 2000). The commonest region of the spine to be affected by hemivertebrae, in Pugs, is the thoracic area

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 Hemivertebrae is the cause of kinked or screw tails in some breeds of dog, such as the Boston Terrier and Pug . This condition makes them prone to developing hemivertebrae _______ in the spinal column also.


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Hemivertebral abnormalities commonly occur without clinical sign of disease . However, if the spinal cord becomes damaged or _______ signs appear. Signs include posterior paresis (abnormal functioning of the hindlimbs), muscle wastage, abnormal shape to the back and back pain. If the problem is severe then the dogs can lose all use of their hind legs and can have urinary and faecal incontinence (inability to control passing urine or faeces). Signs can be _____ or ____ in onset and sometimes are progressive. In a number of cases, however, signs may be mild and non-progressive and stabilise once the dog has stopped growing at about __ ____ of age, though the deformity will remain. In these cases no treatment may be necessary. Skin disease in skin folds can also occur if the tail is very tightly coiled.


gradual or rapid

9 months 

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I wanted to bring to point the anticlinal vertebra, T11, often referred to (apparently) as "___ ___." The tall spikes on the spine are positioned the way they are for a reason. In this illustration, you can see that the thoracic vertebrae (above the rib cage) all point backwards, and each one more so than the last.

the dip

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These points (called the dorsal spinous process) are positioned like this because muscles attach to the processes and go forward to the _____. See the picture below to understand how the muscles attach:


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The dorsal processes  have a laid back angle of the process creates a stronger ____ _____ to withstand the force from the muscle contraction. This is the same thought when anchoring in a tug-o-war competition. One needs to remain low and angled back. As soon as you stand vertical, all of your strength is compromised and a team loss is inevitable. Want to win in tug-o-war? Stay low and leaning back. Want to have a strong thoracic dorsal spinous process? Make sure it is angled back.

attachment point

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What the heck does it have to do with "The Dip?" Well- just like the thoracic vertebrae's dorsal spinous processes are leaning backward, the lumbar vertebrae's (loin section) ____ ____ ___  are leaning forward. While some muscles going to the front of the dog do attach to these processes, the muscles that pull the rear legs forward also attach here. And for the same reason that the thoracic dorsal processes lean back, the lumbar dorsal processes need to lean forward providing strength for the muscles hooking to the rear legs. It turns out that T11, or the anticlinal vertebra, or "The Dip" is the____ ____ where the backwards and forward leaning dorsal processes meet.


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dorsal spinous processes

 transitional vertebra

In of the dog, tht should be noted that the taller the dorsal processes in the thoracic sectioe more the dip will be hidden. Also, the more heavily muscled the dog's back, the more hidden this transition will be.

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The ribs attach to the spine at two spots.  The head of the rib connects at the join between two vertebrae while the ______ joins higher up on the vertebra on its transverse process (which is very much smaller than the transverse processes on the lumbar vertebrae.).  So even though the connections are movable joints, having two joints that close together makes it is pretty firmly connected up top. 

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Dog body references

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Name all the processes on the thoracic spine?

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Which vertebral ligament holds the dens (odentiod) against the atlantic ventral arch?

The Transverse atlantal ligament

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Which vertebrae has the most luxations around it?

The atlas

Atlanto-occiptial luxation 

Atlantoaxial luxation

Other areas= cervicothoracic, throacolumbar and lumbarsacral

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Where are accessory processes on the vertebrae? What vertebrae are they on?

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The accessory processes on all vertebrae are jutting out the sides of the vertebrae, horizontally planed and parallel to the animal's back. They are in similar position to the transverse processes but are smaller (hence the name accessory) and have a slightly different angle (pointing more upwards than downwards). See below for examples.

(While the accessory process is not labeled here, it is the smaller jut you see pointing up on the sides of the vertebrae just above the transverse process)


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