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What is a myelogram?

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A myelogram is a specialized form of an xray that helps a veterinarian to determine if there is damage to the spinal cord.

If your vet is suspecting that your dog has intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), sometimes we can see the answer on a plain radiograph of the spine. However, sometimes it is unclear. A myelogram often helps us to determine if there is a serious problem and also whether or not your dog needs to have back surgery.

To perform a myelogram the animal must be placed under a general anesthetic. These days our anesthetics are very safe and it is rare that we have any problems with an animal going under a general anesthetic. Your vet will likely place your animal on intravenous fluids to help to keep his or her blood pressure up and support the kidneys.



Then, a dye is injected into the spinal column. This dye turns up well on radiographs. Then, radiographs are taken of the spine. The dye causes the spinal cord to be outlined. If there is a disc protrusion or bulging we can usually see this on the xray.

Often a myelogram cannot be done at a regular practice. Many vets will need to refer your dog to a specialist or veterinary teaching hospital in order to have this test done.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.