free shipping over $100 (USA & Canada)

1-877-937-4372 the pet expert hotline

free shipping over $100 (USA & Canada)

Petomega 3 for dogs

For Overall Health and Well-Being

USD $42.95
Petomega 3 for dogs USD $42.95 Add to Cart

Vet Talks: Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVD) in Dogs

Vet Talks 2 min read
Vet Talks: Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVD) in Dogs

Back problems and diseases in dogs are some of the top 5 diseases that we treat in our veterinary practice. It’s been our experience that using an integrative approach to treating IVD can be very rewarding. It is so heartwarming when our animal patients get up and walk, especially when their original prognosis was very poor.

Disc disease is common in dogs that have a long back such as Dachshunds, Corgis, Basset Hounds, Beagles, and Shih Tzu.

Disc disease is common in dogs that have a long back such as Dachshunds, Corgis, Basset Hounds, Beagles, and Shih Tzu. Typically, these dog breeds get intervertebral disc disease when they are between the ages of 3-6 years. The disease is also prevalent in bigger dogs such as Labradors and German Shepherds between the ages of 5- 12 years.

A ruptured disc is a condition where the cushioning discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column either bulge or burst (herniate) into the spinal cord space. The discs then press on the spinal cord causing discomfort, nerve damage, and even paralysis. The presenting signs for IVD include reluctance to jump, discomfort and weakness in rear legs or neck, uncomfortable, acting anxious, muscle spasms, and a hunched back with extreme signs of being unable to get up and walk.

A complete neurologic exam, x-rays, and bloodwork are the first steps in identifying the problem, but a myelogram (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography) locates the disc site. Not every disc rupture is surgical, but can be over time, or may even be indicated right away depending on the degree of rupture.

Treatment for dogs with Intervertebral Disc Disease

Typically, strict rest and discomfort control along with acupuncture or rehabilitation techniques and supplements work to avoid surgery. When surgery is recommended, we always encourage rehabilitation therapy post-op, including exercises, muscle stimulation techniques, and acupuncture, as well as herbal and supplemental therapy. Rehabilitation for owners is a big commitment with or without surgery, but well worth it.

Tips for avoiding back and disc problems

Some tips for avoiding back and disc problems include building core muscles with balance and proprioceptive exercises, avoiding obesity, and limiting jumping on furniture in smaller breeds. Often the cause of disc rupture is due to traumatic injury, so avoiding trauma is also recommended. Supplements early on such as glucosamine and chondroitin, antioxidants, fish oils are recommended. Regular chiropractic adjustments help strengthen the joints in the back (discs) to avoid injury as well especially if your dog is actively involved in sports.

NHV Supplements that are recommended for dogs with intervertebral disc disease are:

PetOmega 3: Fish oils have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, which help with the alleviation or discomfort.

NHV Old Timer, which helps ease inflammation and supports joint health.

NHV Yucca, which has shown that it may be beneficial for pets suffering from chronic discomfort and inflammation.

NHV Turmeric, which is extremely beneficial for pets due to its anti-inflammatory effects. It is also good overall support for general well-being.

Dr. Hillary Cook DVM

Dr. Hillary Cook DVM

Dr. Hillary Cook is a graduate of Virginia Maryland Regional Veterinary Medical school. She has been practicing holistic and integrative veterinary medicine for over 20 years. She certified in Veterinary acupuncture and is fully qualified in Western and Chinese herbalism. She is the owner of Animal Wellness Center, an integrative veterinary clinic in Crozet, VA. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of pets including dogs, cats, and chickens. When time allows, you can find her in the garden or on the tennis court!

Published: October 20, 2017

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like