Slipped Disc in Dogs: Signs, Causes, Treatment and Prevention (2022)

The most common reason for the appearance of paralysis in dogs is the intervertebral disc herniation or so-called slipped disc in dogs. Like people, some breeds are susceptible to this condition after a spinal injury or degeneration of the neck, mid-back, or low-back disc.

Table of Contents

  • Causes of Slipped Disc in Dogs
  • Symptoms of Slipped Disc in Dogs
  • Diagnosis of Slipped Disc in Dogs
  • Breeds Prone to Spinal Problems
  • How to Treat Slipped Disc in Dogs
  • Prevention of Slipped Discs in Dogs
  • Prognosis for Dogs with Slipped Disc
  • Related

There is no possible way to completely prevent slipped discs in dogs, but it is possible to reduce the risk of injuries. Also, proper care for a dog with an injured back may help relieve the symptoms and prevent the occurrence of the most severe consequences of this condition.

Causes of Slipped Disc in Dogs

A veterinary neurology problem in dogs, better known as slipped discs, is usually caused by one of two reasons:

Rupture of a healthy disc – It occurs as a result of the trauma or injury, including falling from height or car accidents, which are most common.

Disc degeneration – This condition appears as a result of a premature aging process in dogs, followed by progressive thickening of the annulus fibrosis. The degenerated disc presses the dog's spinal cord and causes further problems.

There are always two primary causes for damage of spinal disc in dogs:

(Video) Dog spinal disc problems: the initial consult

Compression component – In this case, a dog's slipped disc makes direct pressure on their spinal cord.

Concussion component – This happens when a dog's herniated disc causes so-called “bruises” of the spinal cord.

In most cases, a regular veterinary examination is not enough to determine precisely how much of either potential cause contributes to the existing symptoms and more testing may be needed.

Symptoms of Slipped Disc in Dogs

Symptoms of a slipped disc in dogs may vary significantly depending on its location and the level of compression on the dog's spinal cord.

Spinal Pain

In most cases, the dog will feel pain after their disc slips. The result will be:

  • Abnormal posture
  • Avoiding to move and refusing to exercise
  • “Crying” while moving

In a case when the disc slips suddenly, it is not rare that internal bleeding occurs in the spine. Since that creates high pressure on the dog's nerves, the animal will show additional symptoms:

  • An odd way of moving
  • Rounding and hunching its back
  • Tense muscles
  • Tiling the head down
  • Lameness
  • The occurrence of abnormal bumps and lumps along the spine
  • Loss of coordination
  • Weakness
  • Paralysis

Trouble Walking

While the dog feels a medium intensity pain, they will have difficulty using one or more of their legs. With the progress of spinal damage, the animal eventually won't be able to walk at all.

(Video) Intervertebral Disk Disease(IVDD) in Dogs - Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

For example, a neck's slipped disk in a dog will disable movements in both front and rear limbs. On the other hand, when the disc slips in the thorax or lumbar region, the dog won't be able to move their back legs. The most characteristic symptoms will be:

  • Lack of sensation in legs
  • Uneven, wobbly walking
  • The dog will avoid placing paws on the ground
  • Paws dragging

Body Language

In most cases, the owner can see that something is very wrong with the dog based on their pet's body language, such as:

  • Turning the head
  • Carrying the tail low
  • Breathlessness
  • Sweaty paws
  • Downed ears
  • Dilated pupils

Urinary or Fecal Incontinence

Since the slipped disk creates direct pressure on the dog's spinal cord, it will damage the nerves going to the internal organs. The result is uncontrolled urination and defecation.

Diagnosis of Slipped Disc in Dogs

Diagnosing a dog with slipped disc can be tricky since its precise location and degree of the damage affect the symptoms. That’s why having a good medical history and detailed examination are crucial in this particular case.

In most instances, a slipped disc is a consequence of recent trauma and severe hurt, including a fall from the height and a car accident. Also, the reason can be hitting the dog’s spine with a hard object.

Neurological Exam

A neurological exam may be necessary, and it includes tests such as an X-ray with dye contrast, myelography, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), and CT scan (computed tomography). These tests will determine the level of the dog's spinal cord damage.

In some cases, taking a sample of the dog's cerebral spinal fluid will be necessary to exclude an infection.

Breeds Prone to Spinal Problems

Every dog breed can have a problem with their spine, spinal disc or experience a spinal injury. However, certain dog breeds are slightly more prone to developing slipped disc condition, and their chance to suffer from this condition increases once they turn three to four years old.

(Video) Slipped Disc in Dogs (the complete guide)

The most vulnerable are chondrodystrophic breeds with short legs, including:

  • Dachshunds
  • Bulldogs
  • Shih Tzus
  • Basset hounds
  • Poodles
  • Pekingese
  • Corgis
  • Overweight dogs in any breed

How to Treat Slipped Disc in Dogs

Once a dog's disc slips, and the exam has been performed, your veterinarian will recommend one of three possible procedures that will alleviate your pet's pain or entirely resolve the issue.

Restricting movement – Depending on the severity of the dog's spinal injury, restricting their movement for at least four to six weeks is highly recommended. The best option is to keep the animal closed in a dog crate to reduce chances of sudden motions that can make their condition worse.

Medications – The vet will prescribe pain relievers to alleviate pain and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAIDs) drugs to cure the infection.

Surgery – When the dog suffers from more than one slipped disc, surgery is usually the only option to solve the issue. Since it is most effective within the first two days after the injury, it is crucial for an owner to notice the early signs of the problem and take the dog to the vet on time.

Prevention of Slipped Discs in Dogs

While it's generally impossible to completely prevent this condition, a few things may reduce the chances for your pooch.

Activity restriction – To avoid spinal injuries in chondrodystrophic dog breeds, owners should limit the playtime with other animals playing roughly, as well as high-impact activities and long runs, and similar.

Chest harness – Using a no-pull harness over a collar or a regular harness for small breeds will allow distributing the pressure to the dog's neck and upper back more properly once the owner pulls the leash.

(Video) Dog Slipped Disc Recovery Without Surgery – Is It Possible And How?

Travel safety – The dog in the vehicle needs to be secured at all times, either within a dog seat or using a car harness. It is one of the best ways to avoid injury in the case of a sudden vehicle stop or a car accident.

Prognosis for Dogs with Slipped Disc

There are two goals for a dog slipped disc treatment, including relieving the pain the animal feels and helping them to regain complete use of legs.

As soon as the veterinarian diagnoses the condition as being slipped disc, they will assess the severity of the injury. How intensive the treatment plan should be will primarily depend on the level of spinal damage.

If the dog feels deep pain or can’t walk at all, the vet will recommend surgery as the best option. The success rate of such operation is up to 90%, but the chances of a dog walking again will be noticeably less if more than 48 hours have passed since the injury.

The last option for dogs that have lost one or more leg function is using mobile carts (dog wheelchairs). This will be determined only after all exams and tests have been performed, and any potential treatments attempted a vet clinic. If nothing helped, the dog will likely have to use a wheelchair for the rest of their lives.

READ NEXT:6 Best Dog Sling Harnesses for Walking Support

FAQs

What can cause a slipped disc in a dog? ›

A slipped disc in dogs is a veterinary neurology issue that can happen in two ways: Rupture of a healthy disc can be caused by trauma (such as a road traffic accident, or a fall from height) with tearing of the annulus fibrosus. Degeneration of the disc as a result of a premature ageing process.

How can I help my dog with a slipped disc? ›

If your dog can still walk, your veterinarian may recommend conservative treatment. Usually, this means 3–4 weeks of strict cage rest, along with steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, muscle relaxants and potentially other pain medications.

Can a slipped discs heal itself in dogs? ›

Recovery from a slipped disc can take several weeks to months, but with the right treatment, most dogs with mild symptoms have a good outlook and after recovery, lead a relatively normal life.

What causes slipped disc? ›

Disk herniation is most often the result of a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disk degeneration. As people age, the disks become less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing with even a minor strain or twist. Most people can't pinpoint the cause of their herniated disk.

How do you prevent Intervertebral Disc Disease in dogs? ›

IVDD Prevention
  1. Keep your dog's weight down to reduce neck and back stress, especially for breeds predisposed to the disease.
  2. Use a harness when going on walks to reduce neck stress that can occur if using a neck leash. ...
  3. Minimize jumping on/off furniture.
Feb 18, 2022

Is a slipped disc in a dog painful? ›

This is commonly called a herniated disc or slipped disc. These discs then press on the nerves running through the spinal cord, causing pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis. Dog breeds that are predisposed to IVDD include the Dachshund, Basset Hound, Shih Tzu, and German Shepherd Dogs.

How do I know if my dog hurt his back? ›

Here's how to know if your dog has back pain:
  1. Having a stiff, hunched position.
  2. Experiencing mobility problems such as limping, dragging, and overall lack of control and coordination.
  3. Shaking legs or muscle spasms.
  4. Showing signs of pain (crying, barking) when back is touched.
  5. Displaying mood or behavioral changes.
May 16, 2021

How do I fix my dogs back pain? ›

Pain Management

Managing your dog's pain with medications that treat nerve pain, like gabapentin, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as Rimadyl or aspirin, can provide consistent relief for your dog.

How Long Can dogs live with disc disease? ›

How long do dogs live with Degenerative Myelopathy? Dogs generally live with DM for anywhere between six months and three years. Rehab therapy and regular exercise can help improve the quality of life for dogs with DM. Unfortunately, Degenerative Myelopathy has no cure at the moment.

How much does disc surgery cost for dogs? ›

$1,000 to $3,000 is a typical cost for the sophisticated imaging techniques required in these cases. Surgery is definitely a high-cost proposition in these cases. Individual surgical procedures themselves will typically cost anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000.

Can slip disc be cured? ›

Most people recover from a slipped disc within six weeks without treatment. Until then there are a number of treatment options that aim to help relieve the pain and improve mobility.

How can you prevent slipped discs? ›

Avoid bending, lifting and prolonged sitting during this period. If the slipped disc causes severe back pain, take one to two days of strict bed rest, lying on a firm surface or mattress. You can resume light physical activity thereafter to keep your spine flexible.

Can a slipped disc heal without surgery? ›

The good news is that the vast majority of herniated discs can be treated without surgery using manual therapy and exercise or with IDD Therapy disc treatment. It is only a small percentage of cases which go on to have surgery.

What are the first signs of IVDD in dogs? ›

Signs can include:
  • Holding the neck low.
  • Unable to fully lifted the head.
  • Neck or back pain.
  • Weak, uncoordinated movement within four limbs or hind limbs.
  • Limping on one or both front limbs.
  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Panting or shivering.
  • Paralysis in four limbs or difficulty breathing (severe cases that are surgical emergencies)
Jul 23, 2020

Will a heating pad help my dogs back? ›

It can be used on any part of your dog's body where muscle damage, strain or spasm occurs. For example, a dog with a disc problem in the spine (neck or back) may have muscle spasms, which heat therapy can relieve.

What is the best anti-inflammatory for dogs? ›

The most commonly used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS) for dogs are carprofen (Novox or Rimadyl), deracoxib (Deramaxx), meloxicam (Metacam ), deracoxib (Deramaxx), firocoxib (Previcox). Some vets will okay the use of aspirin for your pup for a short term injury.

What natural remedy can I give my dog for pain? ›

Natural Pain Relief for Dogs
  1. Hot and Cold Therapy.
  2. ​Ginger.
  3. Turmeric.
  4. Boswellia.
  5. Devil's Claw.
  6. CBD Oil.
  7. Acupuncture.
  8. Fish Oil.

How do you massage a dog with back pain? ›

Massage your dog's back using circular motions, going up and down on both sides of the spine. Keep gently massaging your pup until you get to his back legs and tail area. Once you finish, he should be totally calm and stress-free. A massage is a great way to get in tune with your dog so you know what's normal for her.

How do you treat a pinched nerve in a dog's back? ›

Medical Treatment Options for Canine Spinal Pain
  1. Anti-inflammatory Treatment. No studies have demonstrated an advantage of steroid vs non-steroidal anti-inflammatory therapy. ...
  2. C-fiber Modulation. ...
  3. Narcotic Therapy. ...
  4. Activity Restriction. ...
  5. Complimentary Therapy.
Aug 2, 2017

How long does it take for a dog's back injury to heal? ›

After surgery, the spinal cord only heals with time and rest. Recovery can take weeks to months and can vary from patient to patient. As for these three, Precious walked the first day after surgery.

Should I euthanize my dog with IVDD? ›

If your dog is badly affected by IVDD, and if there is no appropriate, realistic or effective treatment available, then you may unfortunately have to consider the last resort option of euthanasia. It can be a blessing to have the option of euthanasia available when needed.

Does Pet Insurance Cover spinal surgery? ›

A dog's spinal surgery can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. * If you've invested in ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, you may receive assistance for covering the costs of IVDD diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as the costs of many other veterinary services.

How much is surgery for a dog with a slipped disc? ›

IVDD surgery itself can cost anywhere from $1500 to $4000, and that does not include costs for x-rays and other imaging techniques that will be required to properly prepare for the surgery. All-inclusive, the cost of surgical treatment for IVDD can land anywhere within a range of $3000-$8000 dollars.

How Long Can dogs live with disc disease? ›

How long do dogs live with Degenerative Myelopathy? Dogs generally live with DM for anywhere between six months and three years. Rehab therapy and regular exercise can help improve the quality of life for dogs with DM. Unfortunately, Degenerative Myelopathy has no cure at the moment.

Can a dog recover from Ivdd without surgery? ›

Non-Surgical treatments for IVDD in dogs include:

IVDD is curable and recovery is possible without surgery, but it does require patience and a lot of guidance from a pet professional. Conservative management of IVDD is a multi-step process that combines a lot of different treatment options.

Should I euthanize my dog with IVDD? ›

If your dog is badly affected by IVDD, and if there is no appropriate, realistic or effective treatment available, then you may unfortunately have to consider the last resort option of euthanasia. It can be a blessing to have the option of euthanasia available when needed.

What are the first signs of IVDD in dogs? ›

Signs can include:
  • Holding the neck low.
  • Unable to fully lifted the head.
  • Neck or back pain.
  • Weak, uncoordinated movement within four limbs or hind limbs.
  • Limping on one or both front limbs.
  • Urinary incontinence.
  • Panting or shivering.
  • Paralysis in four limbs or difficulty breathing (severe cases that are surgical emergencies)
Jul 23, 2020

How do you know if your dog has back pain? ›

Signs and symptoms of back pain in dogs

Having a stiff, hunched position. Experiencing mobility problems such as limping, dragging, and overall lack of control and coordination. Shaking legs or muscle spasms. Showing signs of pain (crying, barking) when back is touched.

Does pet Insurance Cover spinal surgery? ›

A dog's spinal surgery can cost upwards of thousands of dollars. * If you've invested in ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, you may receive assistance for covering the costs of IVDD diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as the costs of many other veterinary services.

What causes sudden hind leg weakness in dogs? ›

The main orthopedic cause of hind-limb weakness in dogs is chronic joint inflammation/pain (osteoarthritis, degenerative joint disease). While the arthritis itself is obviously painful, it is frequently accompanied by muscle aches and pains, called compensatory pain.

Does Ivdd come on suddenly? ›

Intervertebral Disc Disease can occur in any of the discs in your dog's spine and symptoms of this condition will depend upon which part of the spine is affected, and how severe the damage is. Symptoms of IVDD may also appear suddenly or come on gradually.

Should I walk my dog with IVDD? ›

Although an IVDD dog may have limited mobility, they still need to be able to stand and walk to maintain their strength. It's ok for a dog with a back injury to go for a gentle walk. Your walks should be short, no longer than 5 minutes and never strenuous.

Does crate rest help with Ivdd? ›

We found that after completing crate rest, 85% of all dogs diagnosed with IVDD grades 1 to 4 recovered between 75% to 100% of their full function. The greatest recovery was typically reported by those who strictly enforced crate rest. Evidence that crate rest and tough love works!

Can a dog live a normal life with Ivdd? ›

All of these conditions reduce the dog's quality of life. While surgery is an option, some pet parents want to avoid putting their pup under the knife. This makes many pet owners ask “Can my dog live happily with IVDD?” Luckily, the answer is YES!

Is Ivdd a death sentence? ›

IVDD is brutal. It's such a shame when a previously active pup is reduced to crate rest and crucial care. But IVDD is not a death sentence—in fact, there are actually some fun approved activities you can do with your IVDD dog to make playtime more fun for both of you.

Does CBD oil help dogs with IVDD? ›

As a neuro-protectant, CBD helps reduce damage to the brain and nervous system and encourages the growth and development of new neurons. A condition such as IVDD can create permanent neural damage, but studies have shown that CBD is able to protect against this damage and improve recovery.

The most noticeable symptom of a slipped disc is a pain in your dog’s neck and back.. Low-back pain: If your dog has this symptom, it could be an early sign of a slipped disc or some other condition that affects the spine.. Hot Spots: Dog slipped disc symptoms in dogs can also include licking or scratching at the back.. Your veterinarian will look for other causes of your dog’s symptoms before diagnosing slipped disc.. Laser surgery: Laser surgery is an option for treating a slipped disc in some dogs, but it involves several risks and requires extensive training to perform correctly.. You have a lot of choices about the kind of dog that you adopt, and even if your dog slipped disc symptoms are serious enough that she cannot walk or stand on her own, there is still plenty you can do to make life easier for her.. Dog bed: Consider purchasing a dog bed for your pet to use instead of a regular pet bed, as she will need something that provides good back support.

When an intervertebral disc slips out of place (a slipped disc) it presses on the spinal cord, causes pain, nerve problems, and sometimes paralysis.. Be careful when moving your dog , especially if they are struggling to walk or get up.. If your dog only has mild symptoms of a slipped disc it may be best to treat them ‘medically’ (with pain relief, strict rest and physiotherapy), but if they have more severe symptoms (such as severe pain or being unable to walk) it’s likely that they will need surgery.. If your dog is in severe pain or is unable to walk it’s likely that they will need surgery.. If your dog can’t walk, is in uncontrollable pain, treatment isn’t possible or your vet thinks they are very unlikely to recover, it’s may be kindest to consider euthanasia (putting them to sleep) .. If your dog is incontinent, you will need to use an absorbent bedding (such as puppy training pads ) and give them regular bed baths with warm soapy water.. There are often several treatment options so if one doesn’t work for you and your pet then the vet may be able to offer another.

The most common reason for the appearance of paralysis in dogs is the intervertebral disc herniation or so-called slipped disc in dogs.. Compression component – In this case, a dog's slipped disc makes direct pressure on their spinal cord.. Symptoms of a slipped disc in dogs may vary significantly depending on its location and the level of compression on the dog's spinal cord.. Spinal Pain In most cases, the dog will feel pain after their disc slips.. Every dog breed can have a problem with their spine, spinal disc or experience a spinal injury.. There are two goals for a dog slipped disc treatment, including relieving the pain the animal feels and helping them to regain complete use of legs.

A slipped disc in dogs is a veterinary neurology issue that can happen in two ways: Rupture of a healthy disc can be caused by trauma (such as a road traffic accident, or a fall from height) with tearing of the annulus fibrosus.. Recovery from a slipped disc can take several weeks to months, but with the right treatment, most dogs with mild symptoms have a good outlook and after recovery, lead a relatively normal life.. While surgery isn’t always required for IVDD, for dogs suffering from Intervertebral Disc Disease which affects their ability to walk, surgery is often the best treatment option.. IVDD surgeries aim to restore mobility, reduce pain and prevent further disc problems.. IVDD surgery itself can cost anywhere from $1500 to $4000, and that does not include costs for x-rays and other imaging techniques that will be required to properly prepare for the surgery.. A slipped disc in dogs can put pressure on the spinal cord, this damages the nerves and causes the symptoms.. Around the country, a dog MRI can range from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on the complexity of the required images, the size of your dog, whether any other tests are needed, and several other factors like those mentioned earlier.. Intervertebral Disc Disease can occur in any of the discs in your dog’s spine and symptoms of this condition will depend upon which part of the spine is affected, and how severe the damage is.. Some dogs with chronic (type 2) disc disease take longer to recover.. Preventing IVDD and Back Problems in Dogs In dog breeds that are predisposed to IVDD, keeping them at a healthy, lean weight will help reduce the stress on their spine and other joints.. Walking your dog with a harness will keep stress off their neck, too, especially if your dog tends to pull on the leash.. Dr. Gladstein says she often tells pet parents to place a heating pad on low power on the dog’s back for 10 minutes every hour to help relieve pain.. A dog back brace supports a dog’s spine and surrounding muscles to provide spinal stability and relieve back pain.. Although a back brace will not cure IVDD or a disc condition it can provide comfort, protection, and help relieve your pet’s back pain.

When a dog owner is unable to pursue proper treatment for their dog with a slipped disc, this often leads them to the possibility of euthanasia.. Intervertebral disc disease in dogs is a condition that refers to the degeneration of the discs between the spinal vertebrae, causing the discs to either bulge or slip into the spinal cord space.. The symptoms of a slipped disc in dogs will often vary based on the type of disc herniation they are experiencing.. Type 1 and type 2 IVDD have different rates of progression, meaning the general symptoms of the disease can vary from dog to dog.. A slipped disc can also be an excruciating condition for a dog to endure, making it essential to seek immediate relief for the dog affected.. Disc disease can be managed or even treated in dogs, but treatment varies based on how severe your dog’s condition is.. Due to this, many dog owners ask the question of whether or not a slipped disc in dogs can heal without surgery.. This means bringing our dog to the vet the moment you notice symptoms, offering your dog the medications your vet prescribes, and adhering to the strict exercise restrictions your vet suggests.

As a result, the intervertebral disc in the dog’s spinal canal presses on the spinal cord and causes severe pain and more or less severe restriction of movement.. The intensity of the symptoms depends on how much the disc has protruded into the spinal canal.. Which treatment is necessary or useful depends on the type and severity of the herniated disc.. After the operation on the intervertebral disc, a careful build-up by means of physiotherapy is necessary, because on the one hand the dog has to be kept still, on the other hand the nerve activity has to be stimulated and the breakdown of muscles has to be prevented.. Avoiding a herniated disc in a dog is not always possible.. It is important that you identify the problem quickly and have it treated by a veterinarian.. Especially with breeds that often suffer from herniated discs, make sure they eat a balanced diet and get enough exercise without overloading your dog.

Slipped discs in dogs are no fun.. Slipped discs in dogs – as with people – are painful and sometimes difficult to treat.. Dogs with inter vertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a condition that allows the discs to bulge, and those bulges can press against nerves.. When the jelly-like, or pulpy material inside the disc bursts (or herniates) , the disc projects fluid into the spinal column.. If the herniated disc happens in the neck, it doesn’t cause any paralysis, but can leave the dog in a fair bit of pain.. If the herniated disc happens down the back, it could cause paralysis, but the dog will not feel a lot of (if any) pain.. This is very painful for the dog.. Another problem associated with IVDD is a thinning disc (seen above) in which the entire disc wears down.. Above, under the category of bulging discs, I briefly mentioned inter vertebral disc disease (IVDD).. With Hansen Type I, the disc rupture happens very fast due to weakness in the disc.. A sudden slipped disc in dogs is extremely painful and may require surgery.. As the dog ages, the discs weaken.. At this point, your dog could be facing surgery, depending on symptoms and location of the slipped disc.. Class 1: back pain only; there is a reluctance to move or jump and hunched posture, quiet behavior, and often a finicky appetite (a common reason for a veterinary visit) Class 2: back pain with a wobbly or incoordinated gait and mild weakness in the hind limbs; they are still able to walk Class 3: presence of “proprioceptive deficits” which basically means the brain doesn’t know where the feet are; if you turn your dog’s paw over on its knuckles, it will quickly flip it back over, but with spinal compromise, the brain doesn’t realize the paw is “upside down” and they leave it that way; other times, “scissoring” of the back legs when they attempt to walk is observed; in all of these classes, the front limbs generally remain normal Class 4: complete loss of function of the back legs (paralysis) but they can still feel their toes when you pinch them; pet owners will often observe their pets dragging themselves around. Slipped discs in dogs need to be seen by a veterinarian because of the extreme pain to the dog and the risk of paralysis.

A herniated disc in dogs is also known as discopathy or disc prolapse.. When the spine’s stability is no longer guaranteed, serious nervous disorders can occur as a result of spinal cord injury, for example, due to a herniated disc.. This type of herniated disc describes the increasing softening of the fibrous ring and inflammation of the gelatinous nucleus.. If you suspect that your dog has a herniated disc, you should take him to the vet for a general exam and then a neurological exam.. It is best to contact your vet if your dog is showing symptoms of a slipped disc or herniated disc.. If your dog has a slipped disc, you must be very careful when you move him, this is especially the case if he is in severe pain and is unable to stand or walk.. For your dog to completely recover from a slipped or herniated disc, it can take several weeks and even months, depending on the severity of the injury.. If your dog has suffered from a more severe herniated disc, the outlook may not be as good.. The spinal cord is surrounded by a bony canal, which is the vertebrae, meaning that it cannot move if there is additional pressure on the spinal column, causing spinal cord compression.

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) in dogs is a condition where the cushioning discs between the vertebrae (bones) of the spinal column either bulge or burst into the spinal cord space.. These discs then press on the nerves running through the spinal cord, causing pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis.. This is most common in small dog breeds with long backs and short legs.. With Type II herniation, the discs become hardened and fibrous over a long period of time and eventually break down, bulge out, and compress the spinal cord.. Depending on the location of the disc that is bulging, signs occur anywhere in the dog’s body, from the neck to the rear legs.

About a year ago, my cousin’s dog Tolei had a herniated disc, also known as a “slipped disc.” It wasn’t very dramatic at first.. Tolei had a herniated disc.. A herniated disc, or “slipped disc” is a spinal condition that is caused when one of the fluid-filled discs in the spine swells or ruptures and presses on the spinal cord.. Anxious attitude Crying out in pain Muscle spasms in or around the spinal area Urinary and/or fecal incontinence Changes in gait (walk), including Walking hunched over Limping (lameness) Sudden refusal to walk Partial or complete paralysis Lowered head Dragging a foot or “knuckling under” on one or more legs when walking. During this time, the dog should be confined to a crate except to go to the bathroom and for physical therapy.. Gentle massage can help your dog’s spinal cord “reconnect” with its nerves.. After surgery and/or crate rest, there will come a time when your dog is ready to get moving again.. At first, particularly if your dog was partially or completely paralyzed, your dog may walk oddly or not at all.. Your dog’s therapist may use hydrotherapy, which is where water supports the dog’s weight so that he/she can learn to walk again.. Sometimes, the cart is used simply to support the dog’s weight while he or she learns to walk again.. If your dog shows symptoms of a herniated disc, don’t panic.

While any dog can suffer from IVDD, especially as it ages, the disease most often occurs in breeds with long backs or short legs, such as dachshunds, corgis, beagles, chihuahuas, and basset hounds, but it can also strike large-breed dogs, including German shepherds, Labrador retrievers, and doberman pinschers.. A common malady seen in long-backed dogs, although other breeds can be affected as well, intervertebral disc disease (sometimes called IVD, IVDD, or just disc disease) is a degenerative disease that affects the spinal column, causing compression of the spinal cord or pinching of the nerves branching off this delicate structure.. The typical dog has seven cervical (neck) vertebrae, 13 thoracic (chest) vertebrae, seven lumbar (lower back) vertebrae, three fused sacral vertebrae in the hips/pelvic area, and a variable number of caudal (tail) vertebrae, depending on the length of the individual dog's tail .. The symptoms of disc disease in dogs can range from quite mild to very severe, depending on the part of the back that's affected and the severity of the spinal cord compression.. While you might choose to adopt a "wait and see" attitude with a dog that's only showing very mild symptoms, your dog needs immediate veterinary attention if it is in severe pain, unable to walk at all, having difficulty controlling its bowels or urination, or appears paralyzed.. Even if your dog is stoic at the vet and never cries out, any resistance your dog shows could mean it is having pain.. Which of these is right for your dog will depend on the severity of the disc disease, the level of your dog's pain and other symptoms, and your dog's overall health and age.. Dogs with symptoms that fall into grade 4 usually need surgery, and dogs with grade 5 symptoms require emergency surgery to prevent the risk of permanent paralysis.

So what exactly is IVDD?. What is IVDD in dogs?. Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a condition where intervertebral discs between a dog’s spinal vertebrae bulge or burst.. Sudden shock to a dog's back, especially from jumping down, will put extra stress on a dog's spine.. Dachshunds and other chondrodystrophic breeds are by no means fragile.

A Slipped Disc is also known as Intervertebral disc disease, which affects your dog’s spine and surrounding areas causing limited mobility.. In both dogs and cats, the intervertebral disc is a doughnut-shaped pad that provides a cushion between your dog’s joints.. Slipped discs can occur along the top, middle, or lower sections of your dog’s spinal cord, and their symptoms will look slightly different.. You will learn the proper techniques and beneficial effects of your dog’s physical therapy exercises regimen so that you can continue with home therapy after several weeks.. Continuing therapy at home will reduce the long-term damage done from the slipped disc and manage your dog’s pain and discomfort.. Warm Therapy Warm therapy will relax your dog’s muscles and improve blood flow.. Mobility Exercises Some exercises can be practiced at home, light stretches like the cookie stretch, where you guide your dog’s head using a dog treat , to tilt to the left and right toward their neck can help keep their muscle loose and mobile.. Isolation and Rest After a slipped disc, rest and relaxation will be your dog’s best friend.. A dog crate or kennel is recommended to ensure your dog’s movements are restricted.. If you prefer not to keep your dog confined to a crate, you can isolate your dog in a spare room or dog pen for smaller dogs.. Any great dog room starts with the best dog bed .. The Frisco Monkey plush dog toy is great for snuggling, and the Frisco line of puzzle toys is great for cognitive stimulation; dogs will love playing hide and seek with the plush squeaky dinosaurs and aliens.. A herniated disc can cause pain and discomfort in dogs.. Your dog’s back pain can be managed with anti-inflammatory medicine and steroids to reduce the tension and inflammation of your dog’s vertebrae along its spinal cord.. Seek the advice of your dog’s vet before walking a dog diagnosed with a slipped disc.

Although any dog (or person) can rupture an intervertebral disc by getting hit by a car, slipping on the ice and landing on their back, being obese and carrying too much weight on the spine, and many other causes, intervertebral disc disease is an inherited condition.. In fact, veterinarians often see calcified evidence of a previous disc rupture on x-ray in dogs who present for a newly ruptured disc (not immediately visible on x-ray).. Because the contents of the ruptured disc spill out and press on the spinal cord, spinal nerve, or nerve root, the dog is often neurologically affected.. MRI or CT is the best imaging modality with which to see a ruptured disc, as x-rays can only show a narrowed space between vertebrae, which is arguably subjective, or old ruptured discs that have already calcified.. As the spinal cord gets compressed, the first thing to go is proprioception (placing paw appropriately), then motor (moving the limb), then superficial pain (ability to feel light touch), and finally deep pain (ability to feel painful stimulus).. If your pet can’t place their paw correctly, can’t even move their leg, and doesn’t respond to light touch/petting the limb, your vet will test for deep pain, using a hemostat to gently and then more firmly pinch your dog’s toe.. Dogs whose signs worsen rapidly within the first 24 hours often need surgery to remove the spilled-out contents of the ruptured disc, thereby removing the cause of the pressure on the spinal cord.. If the cord has not been damaged, the dog will likely fully recover, especially if the dog can still feel pain.. In dogs prone to IVDD (see below), discs begin degenerating as young as 1-2 months of age and have been seen to rupture as young as 1-2 years old.. In older, large breed dogs, degeneration tends to cause disc rupture after 5 years of age on average.. Remember, any dog with IVDD can rupture a disc at any time, so it’s wise to keep these dogs exercised on a leash and to limit high-impact activity (like jumping to catch a frisbee).. When dogs suddenly don’t want to lift their head, cry out when their back is touched, knuckle on their paws, or drag their legs, this can be a sign that they ruptured an intervertebral disc.

On one end of the spectrum is mild pain, paralysis on the other, and most dogs with the diagnosis falling somewhere in-between.. This can be painful and cause nerve damage and/or eventual paralysis.. While any dog breed can experience IVDD, some breeds are more prone to the disease.. An orthopedic back brace can help support your dog’s back and spine as they prepare for surgery or pets looking for a non-surgical option.. IVDD back braces support the spine and stabilize the back to promote movement and eliminate back pain.. Along with rest, mobility assistance and back support are crucial IVDD solutions to help your dog recover.. Minimize jumping on/off furniture High-risk dog breeds with long backs, such as dachshunds, need to be supported when picked up.

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) in dogs is a condition in which the cushioning discs between the spinal column bones (vertebrae) move or bulge into the spinal canal .. Here’s what you need to know about IVDD and how you can help your dog.. Type II disc herniations, also known as protrusions, are where the fibrous ring outside of the disc thickens and compresses the spinal cord or the nerves around the spinal cord .. The symptoms dogs show with intervertebral disc disease vary depending on the damaged spinal cord area and the severity of the condition.. Dogs may appear wobbly on their legs , have neck or back pain , or lose the ability to move one or more legs .. Paralysis – Dogs may lose the ability to use their legs or drag their legs when trying to move if the nerve damage is severe.. Treatment of IVDD in dogs depends on the severity of the damage to your dog’s spinal cord or how likely the damage is to progress.. If there’s more severe nerve damage or risk of paralysis or incontinence, conservative treatment may not be enough.. After surgery, dogs will need time to recover and rehab, which likely includes stringent exercise restrictions.. The prognosis of IVDD varies greatly depending on the type of disc disease, the severity of nerve damage, the dog’s age, and response to treatment .. We recommend that if your dog’s breed is predisposed to IVDD, you consider purchasing pet insurance .. Some pet insurance companies have additional waiting periods for orthopedic conditions (including IVDD), typically around six months, but once the six months have passed, any potential IVDD concerns should be covered.

This condition can be very serious in dogs, causing extreme pain and can lead to paralysis .. It can be due to a spinal injury or another issue, and while there is no way to prevent it, you can reduce the risk and know how to best care for your injured dog.. The symptoms of IVDD will vary and range from mild pain, severe pain, to partial or complete paralysis.. If the affected disc(s) are in the lower back/lumbar area, then the dog may appear fully functional in the front limbs but be wobbly in the back limbs.. The inability to move means that the condition is severe and likely a cervical problem.. When a disc rupture occurs in the neck area, it affects all four legs.. If your dog shows any signs of IVDD, it is essential to get it to the vet as soon as possible.. The vet will also watch the dog walk (or attempt to walk, depending on the severity of the dog's signs).. If the signs are mild and the dog has not lost motor function, then the vet may initially treat with anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants, and rest.. Pain after surgery is often less severe than the pain before.. However, a dog that cannot feel pain in its legs may not be able to walk again.

Here are the things that can tell you that your Frenchie may have problems with its spine:. This condition is extremely painful, and it can affect some areas of the dog’s body.. Also, slipped disc can be caused simply by careless movements, such as jumping the wrong way.. If you suspect that your Frenchie has slipped disc, then the best thing that you should do is to take it to the vet immediately.. In case surgery is needed, you have to prepare yourself for the healing or recovery process as this will test your patience as the parent.. The surgery will be conducted by cutting through the skin as well as muscles in order to reach the vertebrae.. Yes, a French bulldog may recover from slipped disc even without surgery.. This depends, though, on your dog’s overall condition.. The usual treatment for slipped disc includes some medications that will be prescribed by your veterinarian.. If the condition is so severe, you won’t have a choice but to keep your dog in its crate and allow it to rest for a while.. Monitor your pet’s activities

Intervertebral Discs Disease (IVDD) is a painful condition that involves the deterioration of the discs within the bones of the spine.. When discussing IVDD in dogs, your vet may either diagnose your pup with type 1 or type 2 IVDD.. Most cases of type 2 IVDD will not involve a sudden injury, but rather a slow progression of symptoms over time.. To help you better understand the 5 stages of IVDD in dogs, let’s offer a brief description of each stage below.. This is when dog owners will begin to notice obvious signs of discomfort, ranging from crying out in pain to weakness of the limbs.. This stage involves significant deterioration of the discs and protrusion of a disc into the spinal cord space.. These dogs will either present in severe pain, or will be experiencing the beginning stages of paralysis.. Spinal Surgery : Spinal surgery is necessary for dogs with late stage IVDD, or those who are experiencing forms of paralysis.. To help you make the best decision for your pup, let’s list a few of the most common symptoms a dog may display when suffering from their IVDD.. If your dog is experiencing any of the above symptoms after being diagnosed with IVDD, it may be time to have a quality of life discussion with your vet.

Degenerative disc disease causes spontaneous degeneration of the outer part of the disc, resulting in sudden disc rupture or herniation.. When the disc degenerates and ruptures, it crushes the spinal cord and the nerves that leave the spinal cord over the discs (i.e., spinal nerves).. Pressure on the spinal nerves result in pain.. Dogs with stage V disease should have surgery immediately.. Surgery will not help these dogs because there is no pressure on the spinal cord.

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a spinal disease commonly diagnosed in dogs that can also sometimes impact cats.. There are three types of IVDD you should know about:. Also called a slipped disc, this type of disc disease can happen anywhere along the spine.. Symptoms may include a sudden inability to walk.. This type of IVDD is painful.. Severe cases are classified as emergencies that should be immediately assessed by your veterinarian.. Though this type of IVDD does not lead to chronic compression of the spinal cord, it is a painful condition that can cause your dog to have difficulty walking and controlling his hind limbs.. Symptoms will vary depending on which type of IVDD your dog has.

In the veterinary world, the technical term is Intervertebral Disc Disease or IVDD.. Still, with early detection, IVDD can be treated, which makes understanding the signs and symptoms a helpful tool for any pet parent.. At the same time, the inner portion of the disc may begin to harden.. This is commonly called a “slipped disc.". The rupturing process can happen over a period of weeks or in a moment.. The bulging disc pressing against the spinal cord disrupts nerve signals to the limbs and bladder.. The more the disc presses into the spinal cord, the more aggressive the symptoms can become.. This exam may include diagnostic tests like a radiograph (X-ray).. It should be noted that the spinal cord and discs are invisible on a standard X-ray, so other tests may be required.. Many pet parents may wonder, “Can a dog recover from IVDD without surgery?” There are several treatment options for IVDD that can help your dog recover.. In more severe cases of IVDD, a veterinary surgeon may need to operate on your pooch in order to remove the material damaging the spinal cord.. The most common form of surgery is called a laminectomy.. There are still ways to manage pain in these cases and allow the pooch to move around freely.

Degenerative disc disease causes spontaneous degeneration of the outer part of the disc, resulting in sudden disc rupture or herniation (also called a "slipped disc").. Since the disc is thinnest near the spinal cord, disc material that escapes through the tear usually goes upward, putting pressure on the spinal cord.. When the disc degenerates and ruptures, it crushes the spinal cord and the nerves that leave the spinal cord over the discs (i.e., spinal nerves).. Disc degeneration occurs relatively slowly, and a rupture may occur slowly and gradually, so that degenerated disc material slowly escapes from the disc over several days or weeks.. "A normal myelogram in a dog with slowly progressive paralysis is very frustrating..." A normal myelogram in a dog with slowly progressive paralysis is very frustrating because the two most likely diseases, Fibrocartilaginous Embolism and Degenerative Myelopathy, cannot be confirmed without a necropsy (an autopsy on an animal).

Videos

1. Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) in dogs and cats - Animation
(The Ralph Veterinary Referral Centre)
2. German Shepherd slipped disc recovery, with no surgery!
(Frajton Mašina)
3. How to prevent and treat back problems in dogs
(Pet Advice Channel)
4. Slipped Disc In Dogs And When To Euthanize
(Emergency Vets USA)
5. What are the chances of a dog getting better from intervertebral disk disease?
(Southeast Veterinary Neurology)
6. What Does a Dog with a Slipped Disc Look Like, and How Can You Help Your Hurting Pet?
(Complete Wellness Chiropractic Center)

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