Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease

by Naomi Millburn
Neck discomfort is often a telling sign of this disease.

Neck discomfort is often a telling sign of this disease.

George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Canine intervertebral disk disease is a neurological condition that occasionally affects dogs. The orthopedic ailment takes place when the disk experiences a hernia, and then brings upon the squeezing and strain of the spinal nerve, its root or the spinal cord. The disease is also frequently referred to as a herniated disk, ruptured disk or slipped disk. Disk herniation generally occurs because of injury or the aging process.

Effects of Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease

The squeezing of the nerve, root and cords is a gradual operation. However, with time it can bring upon severe problems within the nerve cells. Not only can it reduce amounts of nerve cells, it can also bring upon their deterioration. This can, in turn, trigger negative neurological consequences in dogs. Physical issues can also arise due to the contact between cord and the disk -- think severe swelling. This contact can also cause decline in the nerve cells.

Symptoms of Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease

Some typical signs of this ailment are aching of the back and neck, rigidness of said body parts, difficulties with urination, issues in passing stools, falling down, feebleness, problems with walking and balance, crouched bodily stance, sore belly, leg tucking during walking and quivering. At the first indication of a possible canine intervertebral disk disease case, get your pooch to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Be prompt and do not wait around.

Vulnerable Dogs

Canine intervertebral disk disease is especially prevalent in certain types of dogs. Vulnerable breeds include Pekingese, Doberman pinschers, basset hounds, Labrador retrievers, cocker spaniels, Lhasa apsos, poodles, shih tzus, dachshunds and beagles. Genetic components could be the reason for this. Within these specific breeds, dogs who are excessively overweight also are more prone to canine intervertebral disk disease. Middle-aged and senior dogs also tend to develop the condition more frequently than the youngsters.

Management

If your precious pooch is living with canine intervertebral disk disease, your vet can help him get back on track to feeling better. By evaluating your pet's specific situation, a veterinarian can determine exactly which management options are suitable for him. A handful of different options exist, including the surgical extraction of materials that are jutting out. Surgical bone extraction is another common procedure for dogs with this disease -- specifically the sections of bone that envelope the cord. Not all dogs with this disease require surgery, however, as some also go through medical therapy and relaxation management, among other techniques. Surgery is often employed in severe cases with lots of pain. Since all dogs with this disease are different and have varying scenarios, only the veterinarian can tell you exactly what your cutie needs.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle & Ciaran Griffin/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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