Spina Bifida in Dogs

Source: PetWave, Updated on August 17, 2016
Spina Bifida

Definition of Spina Bifida

Spina bifida is a birth defect involving abnormal prenatal development of one or more of a dog’s vertebrae, which are the bones of the spine. What causes spina bifida isn’t well-understood, although there probably is a strong genetic component. Malnutrition and ingestion of toxins during pregnancy may play a role. The vertebrae of dogs with this condition aren’t properly fused, which interferes with the function of the spine and the shock-absorbing intervertebral disks. This defect allows the spinal cord to squeeze out through gaps in the spine, causing a variety of symptoms. Owners usually notice signs when affected puppies try to walk, between one and two weeks of age. They show hind-end weakness, poor muscle tone, incontinence, incoordination and abnormal use of their tail. There may be a draining mass or skin dimpling on the dog’s back, over the site of the spinal defect. Fortunately, spina bifida doesn’t worsen with time.

Dog Health Center

Lead Poisoning

Dogs can be poisoned when they ingest lead – especially if they have repeated exposure to the substance. Lead is found in a number of places and in a number of different things

Learn more about: Lead Poisoning