At the veterinary surgery clinic of the Free University of Berlin, located in Berlin-Mitte, radiographs taken of dogs with spondylosis deformans during a period from January 1, 1997 to June 6, 1996 were examined and categorized according to spondylosis levels I through IV. A total of 383 dogs were studied using data from clinical records as well as data from 78 evaluatable questionnaires returned from the 199 questionnaires sent out to dog owners. The 383 dogs were composed of 37 breeds and 52 mongrels. Twelve of the breeds were more frequently represented, comprising 296 of the total dogs, and were therefore evaluated in detail together with the 52 mongrels. The ratio of males (51.7%) to females (48.3%) was approximately equal. The results of this study verify the view of current literature that spondylosis deformans is a primary, degenerative disease of the spine which can result from spinal trauma. Proven tests in human medicine, however, do pose the challenge to revise old ideas about the pathogenesis of spondylosis deformans. These tests established a positive correlation between this spinal disease and metabolism malfunction (i.e. diabetes mellitus), nutrition, and endocrinal influences. Consequentially, veterinary medicine should likewise give stronger consideration to such correlations, as they could also possibly apply to animals. The most commonly observed spondylosis level was level III, followed by almost equal portions of level I and II, and finally level IV. The small dogs had primarily level I, the medium-sized and large dogs for the most part levels II and III. To summarize, especially larger-sized, but also some chondrodystrophic dog breeds are affected. Furthermore, primarily middle-aged and older dogs, and dogs of an advanced age are affected. However, among the 383 dogs, there were two seven-month old dogs, seven one-year-old dogs and 17 two-year-old dogs, indicating that a juvenile spondylosis can also be considered. Young female dogs became more severely ill with spondylosis deformans, and more often, than young male dogs. With advancing age, the males were more severely affected by the disease than the females. Due to its largely non-neurological symptoms, spondylosis deformans is usually detected by chance or as an additional finding. The portion of dogs with neurological symptoms had a higher percent of level IV. Of the 78 dogs with evaluated questionnaires, 57.7% were represented as having neurological symptoms. In 41 of these 78 dogs, spondylosis deformans was their sole radiographic finding. According to an evaluation of the 12 dog breeds and 52 mongrels, boxers, great danes and German shepherds exhibit a high risk of spondylosis even as young animals. The cocker spaniel and miniature poodle seem to carry an increased risk of disease, and the giant schnauzer and rottweiler a medium risk of spondylosis deformans. It is difficult to assign the mongrels and terriers to risk categories due to their numbers and the degree of their mixture. Results for them point to a medium-to-low risk of spondylosis. Dachshunds, collies, Doberman pinschers and Irish setters have a low risk of disease. Antiphlogistics in combination with cortisone preparations were administered therapeutically, also in analgesic doses, for treatment of symptoms. There are also reports of success with homeopathic preparations and accupuncture. Spondylosis deformans also occurs in wild animals kept in captivity (for example canines, felines and ursines).