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If your pet has been recently diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease, you may be asking yourself, how do I make a dog with a slipped disc comfortable? Luckily, there are a few small things you can do to help your pet’s IVDD recovery as their back heals. Here are a few simple ways you can care for your pet during their IVDD recovery:
Lifting a Dog with IVDD
During IVDD recovery, dogs deal with back pain and are most likely immobile. Whether IVDD has left a dog paralyzed or on strict crate rest during recovery, your dog is likely relying on you to carry them.
When lifting a dog with IVDD, it is important to be gentle and cautious in order to avoid exacerbating their condition. First, make sure the dog is calm and relaxed. Then, approach the dog slowly and kneel down beside them. Place one hand on their chest and the other hand underneath their hindquarters, just in front of their hind legs. Lift the dog slowly and steadily, keeping their spine as straight as possible. Avoid twisting or jerking the dog’s body, as this can cause further damage to their spine. If in doubt, seek the advice of a veterinarian or professional dog handler.
How to Pick Up a Dog with IVDD
You need to pick your dog up in a way that they are supported to avoid further injury. When taking your dog out of their crate, never pull them towards you. IVDD dogs should be gently lifted out of their crate. At the same time, you are lifting your dog to support both its chest and hind end at the same time. Lift your dog evenly and always keep their spine aligned. And gently place them back on their feet when putting them on the ground. If you support your dog with a lifting harness, the best harness for IVDD will provide total body support. Choose a harness that keeps your dog’s spine and rear legs evenly.
Walking a Dog with a Bad Back
Even dogs on crate rest still need to walk. Although an IVDD dog may have limited mobility, they still need to be able to stand and walk to maintain their strength. It’s okay for a dog with a back injury to go for a gentle walk. Your walks should be short, no longer than 5 minutes, and never strenuous. Always follow your veterinarian’s recommendations and avoid letting your dog guide or pull you as they walk.
It is okay to take your dog with IVDD for a walk with your veterinarian’s approval. Dogs recovering from IVDD need to be supported when they walk; that means wearing the right harness for IVDD. Pets with IVDD or at risk of reinjuring their back should avoid wearing collars. Collars can place too much stress on your pet’s neck. A harness helps reduce any additional stress placed on your dog’s neck and avoids the risk of your dog pulling in a way that could hurt their back any further. Raising your dog’s food and water bowls off the ground is another way to eliminate or at least significantly reduce the amount of stress on your dog’s neck. Raising their bowls off the ground allows a dog to stand more naturally without straining or bending over.
For dogs that are paralyzed or experiencing limited mobility, a special lifting harness allows you to support your pet from underneath so that your dog can continue to go outside to relieve themselves.
IVDD Back Support
When recovering from IVDD, it is important for dogs to maintain a straight back and provide support to their spine. A back brace designed specifically for dogs with IVDD can help align and support their back while they move. In addition to providing full support to their spine and surrounding muscles, the brace can also help ease back pain, which can make it easier for your furry friend to stay active.
When choosing the best back brace for your dog, make sure it’s specially designed for IVDD support and other spinal conditions. The vertebraVe back support is designed to stabilize the spine with medical-grade materials and is easy to wear all day. Here are a few tips on how to choose the right IVDD back support:
Back braces should support the entire back and spine, including the lumbar or lower back.
A high-quality back brace will feature removable support braces for an increased range of motion as your pet heals.
Feature breathable materials for all-day comfort.
Alleviates spinal pressure and conforms to the pet’s back.
Dog brace to stabilize the back from above and below.
Easy to take on and off.
Keeps your pet comfortable and mobile.
Dog breeds with long bodies are at a higher risk for IVDD, slipped discs, and other canine back conditions. The vertebraVe is designed with these breeds in mind. Look for a dachshund back brace, the small vertebraVe is the perfect fit. For a corgi back brace, choose a medium vertebraVe.
Physiotherapy for IVDD Recovery
It’s common for pets with IVDD to experience changes in their mobility. When the time is right, physical therapy can help your dog increase their strength and improve its coordination and balance. During physiotherapy, your dog can work on getting up, standing on their own, sitting, and even improving their gait. Some IVDD dogs may lose function of their back legs and require a wheelchair to stay active. Many IVDD dogs actively use a wheelchair as a part of their recovery. Their dog wheelchair can be incorporated into their physical therapy sessions and be a great rehab tool.
Every dog’s recovery will be different and depend greatly on the severity of their condition and their IVDD treatment plan. Your veterinarian will help you to make the right treatment choices for your dog. Improvements can be slow, so be patient and celebrate the small victories. Most dogs are comfortable after the first week and will often regain their mobility gradually over the course of one to two months. Although IVDD may be debilitating and painful, recovery is possible.