a diagnostic procedure used to determine the presence of abnormalities in the spinal column.
This procedure is performed prior to disc surgery when a patient presents with loss of function in back legs and bladder control, and ultimately loss of feeling in the rear half of the body. The myelogram will be recommended by your general practice veterinarian when physical examination suggests a disc abnormality and steroid therapy is either ineffective or not suggested due to health conditions.
Prior to the procedure being performed, spinal fluid is collected for further diagnostics in the event that the myelogram does not identify the problem. A myelogram is performed under general anesthesia, and involves the use of a contrast medium injected into the spinal canal that “stains” the spinal fluid under radiographic view. After the contrast medium is injected, a radiographic survey of the spine is taken to locate any abnormalities in disc location. If an abnormality is found using this diagnostic method, the patient is a candidate for immediate surgery (see Intervertebral Disc Disease – IVDD). If nothing is visible in the myelogram, the collected fluid sample is sent to a diagnostic lab for further analysis.