Case report: clinical and radiographic features of partial fusion of the last lumbar vertebra with the sacrum involving a German shepherd-cross bitch


A year-old German shepherd-cross bitch was presented with a history of incontinence and an abnormal posterior gait that worsened on progression. Visual examination did not show ectoparasites. The heart, pulse and respiratory rates as well as rectal temperature were normal. Palpation of the hip joints did not suggest luxation. History also revealed that the bitch was served 2 weeks earlier. The radiographic examination revealed partial fusion of the last lumbar vertebra with the sacrum. The case was handled conservatively with periodic analgesic treatment recommended. A follow-up of the case showed an improved condition, and the bitch whelped four puppies (two dead and two alive) 6 weeks later. It is concluded from this report that the lameness observed with the attendant loss of condition may have resulted from stenosis of the vertebral canal due to partial fusion of the sacrum with the lumbar vertebra which may have been acquired later in life as the animal did not suffer from any sign of lameness in its early life.

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Correspondence to Chinedu Athanasius Eze.

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Eze, C.A., Kene, R.O.C. Case report: clinical and radiographic features of partial fusion of the last lumbar vertebra with the sacrum involving a German shepherd-cross bitch. Comp Clin Pathol 22, 335–337 (2013).

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  • Sacro-lumbar fusion
  • Clinical management
  • Radiograph features
  • German shepherd bitch