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This is a hereditary condition that forms in embyro.  As the spine if forming, it should separate completely from the skin.  In this disorder, it does not and there are cyst-like formations along the spine with lesions on the skin.  Depending on the depth of the connection to the spine, this can be a serious condition.  The Rhodesian Ridgeback is most commonly affected, but the Shih Tzu and Boxer also have this possibility in their bloodlines.  Symptoms can include:

  • A Sac or Lesion Along the Spine Just Below the Skin
  • A Sac or Lesion Along the Spine that Extends into the Tissue Below the Skin
  • A Sac or Lesion Along the Spine that Extends to the Membrane Covering The Spine
  • A Tube or Cord Can be Felt Below the Skin
  • An Opening in the Skin, Along the Spine, Possibly with Hair Growing Out of It
  • An Opening in the Skin, Along the Spine, with a Discharge from It
  • Swelling of the Skin Along the Spine
  • Stiffness
  • Rigidity
  • Pain
  • Fever
  • Inflammation of the Spinal Cord
  • Meningitis