Intervertebral Disc Disease 

  • Intervertebral disc disease is a painful condition where the disc in a dogs spine becomes less spongy, slips out of position and presses on the nerves 

  • Daschunds are particularly prone to intervertebral disc disease due to the shape of their spine 

  • Animals can experience neurological deficits such paralysis 

 

Symptoms can be acute or develop more slowly, they include severe back pain, neurological deficits or weakness. 

 

Always contact your vet immediately if your pet is in any pain or you think they have any of these symptoms. 

 

Your vet may suspect intervertebral disc disease when they examine your pet but for a diagnosis your pet may need referral to a specialist centre for MRI to see the spine, disc and nerves. 

 

Treatment will depend on various factors, including the severity of pain your pet is in. 

 

The main two options for managing intervertebral disc disease are conservative treatment: 

 

  • Conservative treatment means strict rest, generally your vet will advise cage rest and only very short lead trips outside for toileting. 

  • Pain relief, your veterinarian will provide you with a suitable combination of pain relief. 

  • If you pet has neurological deficits, they may not be able to urinate by themselves. Your vet will advise you on the best way to manage this, it may involve helping them empty the bladder. 

 

Or your pet may require surgery 

 

  • Spinal surgery is very intensive and will require referral to a specialist practice 

  • Spinal surgery can have very good success rates but requires lots of post operative care