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Intervertebral Disc Disease

Back pain is an issue for both humans and dogs alike! No one likes to deal with back pain! Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is one of the most common causes of back pain in dogs. It can lead to a decrease in mobility and quality of life for our favorite canine friends. 

IVDD in Dogs

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a degenerative disease that affects the intervertebral discs, which are found between the bones of the spine. The discs act as cushions for the spine that work as shock absorbers with movement. IVDD causes the discs to become weak and can cause the disc to bulge, herniate, or completely rupture. Depending on the severity of the injury it could make it difficulty for your dog to get around or perform day to day activities.


There are certain signs and symptoms you should watch for if you suspect your dog is suffering from IVDD like: 

  • Struggling to walk

  • Hunched posture 

  • Back or neck pain (holding head lower than normal)

  • Sensitivity to touch

  • Hind limb weakness

  • Unsteadiness

  • Anxious behavior

  • Inability to stand

  • Impaired ability to control bowel and bladder

  • Inability to move/feel hind limbs. 

IVDD can be treated both conservatively and with surgical intervention. Treatment is decided by the severity of symptoms your pup is experiencing. If significant damage has occurred and your dog is struggling to walk, or can't walk, the most likely course of treatment is surgery in order to restore movement and create the possibility of a pain-free future. If the IVDD isn't severe, canine rehabilitation may be a beneficial next step for your pup. It is important to discuss both options with your veterinarian and canine rehabilitation therapist. It may also be beneficial to get a neurological consult with a veterinarian who is board certified in neurology. Contact Pawsitive Impact Rehabilitation today to see if canine rehabilitation is right for your dog!

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