Tail docking is a routine procedure for rottweilers in the United States and Canada. A cross-sectional comparative study was conducted in tailed (n = 25) and docked (n = 39) rottweilers ≥5 yr old to compare prevalence and severity of spondylosis deformans in the lumbar spine between groups. The prevalence of spondylosis was 68.0% in tailed dogs and 76.9% in docked dogs, which was not significantly different (P = .563). Distribution of spondylosis severity did not significantly differ between tailed and docked dogs (P = .102). Logistic regression found moderate to severe spondylosis was associated with age and sex. Females were three times at greater risk than males (odds ratio 3.10, 95% confidence interval 1.060–9.08; P = .039). Risk increased 1.4 times for each additional year (odds ratio 1.43, 95% confidence interval 1.02–1.99, P = .036). Tail docking may not impact or only play a minor role in spondylosis deformans in rottweilers.

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