"My dog has more muscular front legs than the back," the owner said. "The
back leg muscles are withered and my dog could not walk properly. The
owner wondered why the dog had very weak back legs and an arched back. I
noted that she made the dog wear diapers too.
"The arched back is due to pain behindthe rib cage
at the lumbar 2 and 3 vertebral joints," I said. This was a case of
spondylosis deformans, a chronic disease of degenerated intervertebral
In this disease, the joints between the vertebral bones become unstable as
the intervertebral discs become abnormal and unable to act as cushions to
absorb shocks when the dog jumps.
Bony spurs called osteophytes form on the sides of the vertebral bone, as
can be seen in this dog's X-rays.
"Blood test showed high total white cell count and neutrophils, indicating
a bacterial infection of the blood," I explained to her the blood test
results. The dog had skin diseases which would have had led to such
Bony growths called osteophytes develop from the
vertebral bones of L2 and L3 to stabilise the weakened L2/L3
1. None if there is no pain.
2. In this dog, there is some pain of arched back and wasting of the back
leg muscles. Painkillers (NSAID, analgesics,
corticosteroids) may be prescribed. Weight loss is not necessary as
he is not fat. Physical therapy and exercise are not practical.
No more jumping up and down sofas or stairs. Elevated feed bowl if the dog
cannot bend to eat. Soft bed. Bladder and skin infections need to be
3. Surgery if the spinal cord is compressed. This will be costly.