What is atlantoaxial instability dog?

Atlantoaxial (AA) luxation is a condition in which instability, or excessive movement, is present between the first two vertebrae within the neck. This spinal disorder is most commonly seen in young, small breed dogs, such as Toy Poodles, Miniature Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, Pomeranians, and Chihuahuas.

How is atlantoaxial instability diagnosed?

Atlantoaxial subluxation is usually diagnosed with plain cervical x-rays; however, flexion views may be required to show intermittent subluxation. Views during flexion, as tolerated by the patient, show dynamic instability of the entire cervical spine.

What is C1 C2 in dogs?

The atlas is the first vertebrae of the neck or cervical spine (C1) and is firmly attached to the skull. The axis is the second vertebrae of the cervical spine (C2).

What does the atlanto-axial joint do?

The primary movement of the atlantoaxial joint complex is rotation. In rotation the atlas together with the head, rotate around the dens of axis. This movement allows us to turn our head to look towards the left or towards the right.

How do dogs get wobblers?

The etiology of wobbler syndrome is not fully understood and it appears to have many contributing factors. Several factors thought to be influential in the development of wobblers in dogs include genetic predisposition and nutritional problems, such as a high protein diet.

Do dogs have a nuchal ligament?

In the dog, the nuchal ligament extends from the spinous process of the axis to the spinous processes of the first three thoracic vertebrae and is continued caudally as the supraspinous ligament. It prevents abnormal separation of the spinous processes during flexion.

What is Grisel’s syndrome?

Grisel’s syndrome involves the subluxation of the atlantoaxial joint from inflammatory ligamentous laxity following an infectious process. Even though it was first described in 1830, it is a rare disease usually affecting children, but infrequent adult cases do occur.

How is atlantoaxial instability treated?

Surgery is most successful for treating patients with ligamentous instability and less successful in treating patients with osseous instability. Optimal results have been obtained in patients with severe pain and mild myelopathy. Thus, detecting symptoms early is preferable for the most successful treatment.

How do you treat wobblers in dogs?

Conservative, non-surgical treatment consists of managing pain and restricting activity for several months. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are generally prescribed to decrease inflammation of the affected tissues and reduce pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerve roots.

Which joint is between atlas and axis?

The axis is the second cervical vertebra; it has what is called the odontoid process about which the atlas rotates. The joint between the atlas and axis is a pivot type of joint. It allows the head turn from side to side. It is also called the atloaxoid joint.

How is the atlanto-axial joint in a dog stabilised?

Instead, the atlanto-axial joint is stabilised by ligaments just like those in the joints in a leg, for example. The design of this joint allows the dog’s head to move from side to side. What is meant by atlanto-axial subluxation?

Can a dog get atlanto axial subluxation from a cat?

Although any dog could develop atlanto-axial subluxation due to trauma (for example, running into a patio door), it is most commonly seen in toy breeds of dogs, such as Yorkshire Terriers or Poodles. Very rarely it can occur in cats.

How does DJD affect articular cartilage in dogs?

This smooth resilient articular cartilage degenerates, becoming brittle over time. With severe DJD, the degenerated cartilage may actually split away from the bone and become loose within the joint. DJD can occur following a number of joint diseases, including infection, and may develop after bone or joint injury or surgery.

When does subluxation of the atlanto-axial joint occur?

Subluxation of the atlanto-axial joint occurs when the normal alignment of the first and second vertebrae in the neck is disrupted.