Why Should Veterinary MRI be used to Diagnose Spine, Back and Disc Problems in Dogs?

Spine, back, and disc problems in dogs are quite common and difficult to accurately diagnose without the help of high-resolution Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI.  


The exquisite detail found in MR images, allow the veterinary radiologist to evaluate the scanned area and determine if there is disease, injury, tumors, and other spine, back and disc problems.

An MRI examination of the spine shows the anatomy of the vertebrae that make up the spine, as well as the disks or discs, the spinal cord, and the intervertebral spaces between the vertebrae through which the spinal nerves pass.  Depending on the location of symptoms or problem area, only part of the spine may be imaged. For example, the cervical (neck) portion, the thoracic (chest) spine or the lumbar (lower) spine.


Common indications or uses of MRI for the diagnosis of spine, back, and disc problems in dogs:

  • Assess the spinal anatomy and alignment
  • Detect anomalies of vertebrae or the spinal cord
  • Assess intervertebral disk or disc disease including degenerated, bulging or herniated
  • Assess intervertebral joint disease
  • Assess compression of the spinal cord and nerves
  • Facilitate planning for spinal surgical procedures
  • Monitor changes in the spine after surgery
  • Explore possible causes of back pain
  • Explore possible causes of paralysis
  • Image spinal infection or tumors in the spine
  • Assess inflammation of the spinal cord or nerves

Spine MRI Indications Dogs
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