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Late-onset wedge-shaped thoracic vertebrae in a six-month-old pug
  1. Lieve Marie De Rycke1,
  2. Casper Crijns1,
  3. Koen Chiers2,
  4. Henri JJ van Bree3 and
  5. Ingrid Gielen4
  1. 1Medical Imaging, Universiteit Gent Faculteit Diergeneeskunde, Merelbeke, Belgium
  2. 2Pathology, Bacteriology and Poultry Diseases, UGent, Merelbeke, Belgium
  3. 3Medical Imaging and Small Animal Orthopaedics, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
  4. 4Faculteit Diergeneeskunde, Universiteit Gent, Merelbeke, Belgium
  1. Correspondence to Dr Lieve Marie De Rycke,{at}


A six-month-old pug was presented with kyphosis and pelvic limb lameness. During a routine neurological and radiographic screening of the vertebral column at two months of age, no congenital abnormalities were noted. Four months later, radiography showed marked kyphosis of the thoracic vertebral column with wedge-shaped T8 and T9. After euthanasia, gross examination and CT revealed the same findings as on radiology. Histopathology of the wedge-shaped vertebrae T8 and T9 showed abnormal caudal growth plates possibly due to necrosis or premature partial fusion. It can be concluded that the vertebral malformation of the spine in this pug was latent at birth and became visible during a growth spurt due to growth plate deficiency. The results of this case can be of clinical importance for veterinarians and breeders of brachycephalic breeds as it would be better to perform radiological screening for wedge vertebrae when the vertebral length growth is more advanced.

  • Dogs
  • Histopathology
  • Lameness
  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Spine
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