Neurosciences and Radiation Oncology, La Cittadina Fondazione Studi e Ricerche Veterinarie, Romanengo, Cremona, Italy
A retrospective clinical study examined 178 animals (9 cats and 169 dogs) with neck pain. The aim of this research was to define the causes of neck pain and to establish a diagnostic protocol to follow in case of neck pain.
The inclusion criteria were a MRI imaging of head, neck and chest, a confirmed diagnosis based on cytology-histopathology or surgical findings or lab work, and a complete followup. Data considered were: localization of lesions, type of pathology responsible for neck pain, primary or indirect involvement of nervous system, any neurological or systemic signs.
Ninety-five percent of patients suffered from neurological pathology, whereas 5% were non-neurological. Lesions were in the neck in 72.5% of cases, in which 17.4% both head and neck were involved. In 9% of cases the lesions were in the head, in 1.1% in the chest. 52.5% of dogs suffered from intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), 19.5% were neoplastic, 14.5% inflammatory, 8.5% traumatic, 2.5% malformation, 2.5% vascular. 66.6% of cats were neoplastic, 22.2% traumatic, 11.2% inflammatory. Seventy-eight percent of cases showing a cervical spinal lesion had IVDD. Seventy-seven percent of cases with brain and spinal lesions had an inflammatory disease, whereas in all cases of neck pain with a lesion located in the head, the pathology is neoplastic.
The findings of this study indicate that lesions responsible for neck pain can localize in the neck, head or chest. Pain and lesion localization does not always correlate. There are differences in the incidence of diseases in dogs and cats.