The vertebral column is made up of different vertebra, each of which can be categorized into five groups: cervical (C), thoracic (T), lumbar (L), sacral (S), and caudal (Cd). The number of each type present along the vertebral column is dependent on the species in question. In canines, one expects to find 13 thoracic vertebrae. T7 denotes the seventh of these, located in the mid to lower dorsal area at the inferior angle of the scapula (shoulder blade). The thoracic vertebrae are characterized by their short bodies and, in the case of T1-9, their comparatively larger spines that decrease in size moving down the column, almost indistinguishably until T7 and T8. One common ailment affecting canine spinal columns, particularly in the chondrodystrophic breed, is intervertebral disk (IVD) disease. Protrusions between vertebra cause compression of the spinal cord and nerve roots, producing symptoms that range from pain to sensorimotor paralysis. Rarely affecting T7, it is thought that an intercapital ligament running over IVDs interconnecting the second to tenth thoracic vertebra plays a major role in reducing the likelihood of the disease occurring in the dorsal region.
Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
In Depth: T7