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Open Access Case report

Spinal dermoid sinus in a Dachshund with vertebral and thoracic limb malformations

Natasha Barrios1, Marcelo Gómez2*, Marcelo Mieres3, Frank Vera1 and Genaro Alvial4

Author Affiliations

1 Hospital Veterinario, Universidad San Sebastián, Puerto Montt, Chile

2 Instituto de Farmacología y Morfofisiología, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile

3 Instituto de Ciencias Clínicas Veterinarias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile

4 Institutio de Anatomía, Histología y Patología, Universidad Austral de Chile, Casilla 567, Valdivia, Chile

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BMC Veterinary Research 2014, 10:54  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-10-54

Published: 4 March 2014



Dermoid sinus is an uncommon epithelial-lined fistula that may be associated with vertebral malformations. In humans, Klippel-Feil syndrome (KFS) is a rare condition characterized by congenital cervical vertebral fusion and may be associated with other developmental defects, including dermoid sinus. The present case report describes an adult Dachshund with cervical and cranial thoracic vertebral malformations as well as thoracic limb malformations resembling KFS with a concurrent type IV dermoid sinus.

Case presentation

A 1.5 year-old Dachshund with congenital thoracic limbs deformities and cervical-thoracic vertebral malformations presented with cervical hyperesthesia, rigidity of the cervical musculature and tetraparesis. Neurologic, radiographic, and computed tomography (CT) (2D, 3D, CT fistulography) examinations revealed skeletal anomalies, a dermoid sinus in the cranial thoracic region and epidural gas within the vertebral canal. Surgical resection and histopathological evaluation of the sinus tract were performed and confirmed a type IV dermoid sinus. The clinical signs progressively recovered postoperatively, and no recurrent signs were observed after 6 months of follow-up.


Cervical vertebral malformations associated with limbs anomalies have not been reported in dogs and may represent a condition similar to KFS in humans. KFS can occur concurrently with other congenital conditions including dermoid sinus and should be included among the complex congenital anomalies described in dogs.

Dermoid sinus; Klippel-Feil syndrome; Limbs malformations; Dog