April 10, 2018

Lumbosacral transitional vertebrae are abnormally formed vertebrae between the last normal lumbar (lower back) vertebra and the first normal sacral vertebra (upper tail). They are a common congenital and hereditary anomaly in many dog breeds.

The lumbosacral transitional vertebrae predisposes to premature degeneration of the lumbosacral junction. This degeneration can then lead to pressure on the spinal cord and spinal nerves causing pain, hind limb weakness, urinary and faecal incontinence.

This problem is over represented but not limited to our larger breeds including the German Shepard and the Labrador Retriever.

Radiographs of the pelvic region, taken under a general anaesthetic, can give us an understanding of the risk of this disease in the future to both our pets and breeding dogs.

There is no formal screening programme for transitional vertebrae, an independent radiologist report is attained.


Testing Requirements:

  • The dog must be over one year old.
  • Your dog must be microchipped
  • All registration paperwork must be presented if applicable
  • Your dog must have been fasted for 8 hours prior to the general anaesthetic
  • Your dog will be required to stay with us for a minimum of 2-3 hours
  • You can opt not to have hair clipped on the leg if your dog is in the show ring.
  • Results of the lumbosacral screening will be available within 2 weeks


For bookings or further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us on 07 888 8197

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