Case Studies

Slipped Disc in a Cat

Like people, dogs and cats can have slipped or bulging discs. Sometimes they are in the low back as is commonly seen in people. Unlike with people, however, this ailment usually happens quickly and may even paralyze the animal. The MRI below illustrates a large slipped disc in a cat. In many instances, this is a surgical emergency for animals. However, this cat had the ruptured part of the disc removed (as opposed to the whole disc) and recovered completely. The MRI provided the exact location of the disc and provided the veterinarians with a roadmap to perform the surgery. A myelogram may not have provided enough information to diagnose a slipped disc at this low back location in cats and dogs.

Low back slipped disc in a cat. The normal discs are the bright white circles to the left of the arrow in between each vertebrae. The slipped disc is the large black area within the spinal canal at the level of the 6th and 7th lumbar vertebrae.