Pet Talk: A Guide About IVDD in Dogs

Did you know that countless dogs each year struggle with a devastating condition called intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)? Chondrodystrophic dogs, such as the Dachshund and the Bassett hound, are more likely to establish IVDD than other dog breeds due to their short legs and long backs. Nevertheless, this illness can appear in animals of any breed, including feline species.

What is intervertebral disc disease in dogs? 

The spinal condition referred to as intervertebral disc disease is more common in canines but can likewise impact felines. Spinal surgery from a skilled orthopedic vet in Hoquiam, WA, is the standard treatment for dog cases of intervertebral disc disease. A dog’s cartilage center of each intervertebral disc is surrounded by a fibrous ring, offering shock absorption for the spinal column.

You can discover one of these discs between every vertebra in your spine except your first and second. If your dog’s discs are in good condition, it can do high-impact tasks like running and jumping without experiencing any discomfort.

What causes intervertebral disc disease in dogs?

Due to intervertebral disc disease, your pet’s spine may gradually deteriorate. Dogs over ten are usually the ones most affected by the problem. Any dog breed is prone to this disease, but some are more in jeopardy than others. To name a few: Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, and Beagles.

The intervertebral discs become too complex and no longer provide appropriate padding between the vertebrae, which is the most widespread cause of IVDD. The toughening might arise from exposure to long periods of inactivity or an unexpected external stimulation. Although there is currently no way to prevent the spread of this disease, you can help ensure your pet’s health by providing dog and cat vaccinations.

The Prevalent Signs of Intervertebral Disc Disease

Knowing about intervertebral disc disease is vital if you own a dog. Sadly, several dog owners do not learn their buddy is in danger or already suffering from IVDD until it’s too late. Degenerative myelopathy (DM), another crippling back problem, should not be perplexed with IVDD. Typical signs and symptoms of this ailment include the following.

1. Sensitivity to Touching

When you touch your dog, it might respond by yelping, crying out, or perhaps becoming hostile toward you. They could even attempt to bite you. You could also observe that your dog is avoiding you to prevent having their fur picked on or patted by you.

2. Hunched Back

A hunch in the back is a widespread disc disease sign in a dog. This hunch can be rather obvious, with numerous vertebrae sticking out of place, or it can be more subtle, with just one or two vertebrae jutting out. Your dog might walk slowly and hunch over, or its tummy may be tight.

3. Extremely Quiet and Retracted

If your dog is experiencing discomfort, it may spend prolonged periods napping or reclining in an unusual area. It’s also possible that you’ll find your dog resting or hiding in a remote part of the house. If you see any one of these signs, it’s time to bring your dog to a vet lab.


In the future, if you notice any one of the symptoms of intervertebral disc disease in your dog, you will be able to determine them swiftly and get the treatment you need without having radical actions like surgery. Understanding this disease is the first step toward protecting your dog’s health and prolonging its life.

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