Cervical vertebral fractures in 56 dogs: A retrospective study

Julia C. Hawthorne, William E. Blevins, Larry J. Wallace, Nita Glickman, David J. Waters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


The clinicopathological features of cervical fractures in 56 dogs were reviewed. "Hit by car" (HBC) was the most common inciting cause, and the axis and atlas were the vertebrae most frequently affected. Surgical treatment was associated with high (36%) perioperative mortality. However, all dogs that survived the perioperative period achieved functional recovery. Functional recovery was achieved in 25 (89%) of 28 nonsurgically treated dogs with adequate follow-up. Overall, severity of neurological deficits (nonambulatory status) and prolonged interval (five days or longer) from trauma to referral were associated with poorer outcome. Nonsurgical treatment is a viable therapeutic approach for many dogs with cervical fractures. Early neck immobilization and prompt referral are recommended, because delay in referral decreases the likelihood of functional recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-146
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Animal Hospital Association
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1999


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