Focal vertebral bone density changes were assessed in vertebral computed tomography (CT) images obtained from clinically healthy dogs without diseases that affect bone density. The number, location, and density of lesions were determined. A total of 429 vertebral CT images from 20 dogs were reviewed, and 99 focal vertebral changes were identified in 14 dogs. Focal vertebral bone density changes were mainly found in thoracic vertebrae (29.6%) as hyperattenuating (86.9%) lesions. All focal vertebral changes were observed at the vertebral body, except for a single hyperattenuating change in one thoracic transverse process. Among the hyperattenuating changes, multifocal changes (53.5%) were more common than single changes (46.5%). Most of the hypoattenuating changes were single (92.3%). Eight dogs, 40% of the 20 dogs in the study and 61.6% of the 13 dogs showing focal vertebral changes in the thoracic vertebra, had hyperattenuating changes at the 7th or 8th thoracic vertebra. Our results indicate that focal changes in vertebral bone density are commonly identified on vertebral CT images in healthy dogs, and these changes should be taken into consideration on interpretation of CT images.
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