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IVDD stands for intervertebral disc disease just like us, dogs are susceptible to problems with the discs in their spine, it is the most common spinal disease in dogs and is also seen occasionally in cats.

It can be a chronic issue that gradually worsens. Or, it can be an acute problem that requires emergency care. IVDD can occur anywhere along the vertebral column, from the neck to the lower back.

This condition can be very serious in dogs, causing extreme pain and leading to paralysis.

Intervertebral disc disease refers to a herniated disc in the spine or ruptured disc(s). When one of these discs becomes irritated, displaced or ruptured it can cause damage to the spinal cord. If you think of the disc as a jelly donut If something damages it, the jelly may squeeze out. When a disc ruptures, the material inside can compress the spinal cord, causing extreme back pain and abnormal nerve conduction.

IVDD is an age-related, degenerative condition. However there are certain, breeds that are predisposed to this disease such as Dachshund, Basset and Corgis. These breeds can suffer from an early age it doesn’t mean they will get this disease, but they tend to be more of the common breeds that unfortunately suffer from this.

The symptoms of IVDD will vary and range from mild pain, severe pain, to partial or complete paralysis. Signs of pain can be a dog yelping or an abnormal position posture such as head down and hunched over. Other common signs could be Lameness or Drunken gait (ataxia), Reluctance or inability to move, sensitive to touch, trembling, inability to stand, inability to control urine or defecation and dragging one or more limbs.

It is paramount that you seek veterinary advise if you think that your pet could have or shows signs of IVDD.

Hainault hydrotherapy have treated a lot of dogs and have many years of experience with this condition. We have treated pets that vets have recommended conservative management, there are many dogs diagnosed with intervertebral disc disease that do not require surgery many cases will do well when managed conservatively however in cases this is normally only indicated for patients with mild pain only or for those with mild deficits. Dogs which have lost pain sensation and that are unable to function are a surgical emergency and are unlikely to respond to conservative management without surgical intervention with paralysis, the prognosis can be better with surgery.

Our aim for rehabilitating a patient with IVDD would be to achieve and improve muscle tone and core stability, increase sensory awareness, reduce inflammation, reduce pain and spasm and gait reduction where the water treadmill is very good for improving proprioceptive input and gait reeducation every dog is different and the best treatment plan will be made for the individual needs.

Contact us to discuss your treatment