Spondylosis Deformans

Spondylosis is a term referring to various degenerative diseases that can involve any part of the vertebrae, the intervertebral disc, and the surrounding soft tissue. Spondylosis deformans is characterized by the development of bony spurs (osteophytes) that originate from intervertebral discs and grow to bridge the gap between adjacent vertebrae. The disease is common both in dogs and cats and seems to be related to the aging process, especially in large dogs, with some breeds showing clear predisposition. Other causes and risk factors include repeated microtrauma, major trauma, obesity, and lack of exercise. Recently, cases of spondylitis of bacterial and fungal origin have been reported. The causative organisms isolated from discospondylitis lesions were Scedosporium apiospermum (German Shepherd Dog), Spirocerca lupi (Rhodesian Ridgeback), and Candida albicans.

Most affected dogs show no signs, while in others, pressure and pain originating from osteophytes can cause prominent hind-end weakness and reluctance to move. The dog may drag his hind feet, a condition known as "knuckling." Spondylosis occurring just above the base of the tail may result in urinary or fecal incontinence. There is no cure for spondylosis deformans. Discomfort associated with this condition can be temporarily relieved with anti-inflammatory drugs. In rare cases, where paralysis occurs, surgery can be attempted to reduce spinal cord compression. Clinical studies of the effects of d-glucosamine hydrochloride and collagen peptides in dogs and cats have shown that these supplements increase proteoglycan and collagen synthesis as well as exhibit anti-inflammatory effects and trigger recovery of vascular circulation in the damaged area.3.


  1. Chris C. Pinney. The Complete Home Veterinary Guide
  2. Brenda Belmonte. The Pug Handbook
  3. Minamia at al. Clinical application of d-glucosamine and scale collagen peptide on canine and feline orthopedic diseases and spondylitis deformansSaburo

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