Infection (bacterial/fungal) of vertebral bodies and intervertebal disc.
Bacterial much more common in Europe:
Straph. aureus, Staph. intermedius
Fungal: Aspergillus, Blastomyces, Actinomyces.
More common in male, large breeds in dogs, rare in small breeds and cats.
Cause: haematogenous spread from the urinary bladder, skin, heart, testes, uterus, teeth.
Anywhere in the spine but T13-L1 L7-S1 most common.
Pain is severe, also mild to moderate neurological deficits
Always perform urine (up to 50% positive)/ blood culture (up to 75% positive)to identify the causative organism.
Serology for Brucella canis.
Antibiotics for 3-6 months
According to culture results if positive
Cephalosporin +/- metronidazole/ clindamycin are good empiric choices if cultures are negative.
Exercise restriction should be advised to avoid pathological fractures/subluxations.
Analgesia, as this condition is very painful.