Acta Vet. Brno 2023, 92: 361-368

Comparative analysis of neurological recovery and adverse effects in chondrodystrophic dogs with thoracolumbar intervertebral disc herniation treated with methylprednisolone versus non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

William McCartney1, Ciprian Andrei Ober2ID, Maria Benito3

1North Dublin Orthopaedic Animal Hospital (NOAH), Dublin, Ireland
2University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
3Sandyford, Dublin, Ireland

Received December 10, 2022
Accepted October 25, 2023

Thoracolumbar intervertebral disc herniation is a common neurological disease presented to the small-animal practitioner. The use of methylprednisolone sodium succinate (MPSS) as an adjunct to surgical decompression in cases of acute spinal cord injury following intervertebral disc extrusion is controversial. A prospective study was undertaken to compare the perioperative use of MPSS and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in 40 chondrodystrophic dogs presenting with similar signs and undergoing spinal decompressive surgery. Twenty dogs received MPSS and 20 had NSAIDs administered preoperatively. Dogs were administered with either MPSS intravenously 20 min before surgery (30 mg/kg) or NSAID (meloxicam 0.2 mg/kg or carprofen 4 mg/kg) subcutaneously 20 min before surgery. Dogs were evaluated by neurological examination of gait 24 h postoperatively, at time of discharge, and then at 8 weeks. The neurological recovery was similar in both groups, but the frequency of side effects such as vomiting (MPSS group: 90% vs NSAIDs group: 55%), and anorexia within the first three days (present in all 20 dogs pretreated with MPSS) was significantly different, with complications being more prevalent in the MPSS group. This study showed that side effects were significantly more evident with the MPSS treatment group than with the NSAID group, with a neurological recovery similar in both groups.


The publication was supported by funds from the National Research Development Projects to finance excellence (PFE)-14 (ID 546) granted by the Romanian Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitalization.


35 live references