Intervertebral disks are made of cartilages surrounded by rings of fibrous tissues. These serve as cushions within the space that is between spinal vertebrae and provide flexibility of the spine. However, these disks could be subject to several forces and degenerative conditions that make them susceptible to rupture or bulge over time.
This bulge or rupture can lead to severe spinal cord damage, or what is known as Intervertebral disk disease (IVDD).
Causes of Intervertebral Disk Disease
Intervertebral Disk Disease in dogs is an age-related, gradual, and degenerative process that severely affects the spinal cord of dogs over a period. It occurs when the shock-absorbing disks between Fido’s vertebrae gradually harden until they can no longer cushion the vertebrae optimally.
The hardened disks will go on to rupture or bulge, thereby compressing the spinal cord. In most cases, the process damages the dog’s nerve impulses. This makes it somewhat difficult for the dog to control bladder and bowel movement.
Dogs are creatures that are often excited by many factors. But then, a simple jump or even a poor landing can make one or more of these hardened disks burst or rupture. And when that happens, the ruptured disks press into the nerves of the canine’s spinal cord. This causes extreme pain, nerve damage, and in some cases, complete paralysis.
The onset of intervertebral disk disease in dogs is usually accompanied by severe pain and a noticeable change in how your canine companion moves. The bulging disk presses against the spinal cords, thereby disrupting nerve signals to the bladder and limbs.
The following are intervertebral disk disease in dogs symptoms you should also watch out for:
- Mild pain
- Muscle spasms of the neck or back
- Arching of the back
- Noticeably reduced activity
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Weakness or pain in the rear of the legs
- Lack of coordination, i.e. wobbly, swaying, etc.
- Anxious behavior
- Holding the head in a stiff, upright position
- Sensitive to touch.
All dogs are vulnerable to IVDD; however, smaller dog breeds are much more prone to the disease. Basset-Hounds, Corgis, Dachshunds, and other ground-hugging canines are generally affected by cartilage growth. This is a genetic trait that makes them much more susceptible to IVDD.
How to Prevent Intervertebral Disk Disease in Dogs
It is highly crucial to learn how to prevent dog IVDD as a pet parent. But bear in mind that IVDD can sometimes just happen.
Nevertheless, here are a few safety measures you can carry out so that you can reduce the risk of intervertebral disk disease in dogs:
- Prevent obesity
- Significantly minimize high-impact activities such as going up and down steps, rough-housing with humans or other pets, jumping up and down furniture, playing Tug-of-war, etc.
- Always walk your pet with a harness
- Avoid breeding
Intervertebral Disk Disease in Dogs Treatment
Typical treatment protocol for IVDD includes:
- Crate rest
- Heat treatments
- Cold laser
- Acupuncture treatment
Some pet parents may opt for more conservative treatments until the swelling subsides significantly and function is restored. But more aggressive cases may require surgical intervention in order to eliminate all impediments.
Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy in Texas
If you reside in Texas, you may consider regenerative stem cell therapy if your canine companion has IVDD. Stem cells will efficiently regenerate the cartilage that the disks are composed of. And they can also draw moisture right back inside the disk.
The disks will become brand-new, and you don’t even have to constantly observe your dog for signs or IVDD symptoms. Physical rehabilitation may be required to bring the stem cell treatment full circle.
Intervertebral disk disease is a degenerative ailment that can affect different dog breeds. Although there is a standard treatment protocol, regenerative stem cell therapy in Texas – for Texas residents – can effectively heal your pooch.
Proper physical rehabilitation exercises may be recommended or illustrated for you. These will help to speed up recovery while improving the overall result of intervertebral disc disease in dogs treatment.