Vertebrae

Just as the skull protects the brain, the bony spine protects the spinal cord. The spinal cord passes through multiple vertebrae to provide a neurologic highway that connects the brain to the rest of the body. Muscles intimately attach to the spine and allow movement and activity. Disorders of the spinal column may interfere with the bony structures of the spinal column (e.g.: arthritis), the muscles that attach to it (e.g.: trauma), or the nerves that pass through (e.g.: intervertebral disc disease or a “slipped disc”). Symptoms of spinal injury include: pain along the spine, weakness, inability to walk or stand, and restlessness. Spinal injury requires immediate veterinary attention.

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