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My 7 years old Shih Tzu has just been diagnosed with IVDD. He is still able to walk but he has pain and discomfort if he doesn't have his medication. His back legs appear to become weak and wobbly at times.

My 7 years old Shih Tzu has just been diagnosed with IVDD. He is still able to walk but he has pain and discomfort if he doesn't have his medication. His back legs appear to become weak and wobbly at times.

Do you know what level of IVDD your Shih Tzu has been diagnosed as having? This will let us give you the appropriate information. 

If the IVDD has only recently occurred, at the minimum, restricted activity is prescribed so that your dog can’t do anything risky to make it worse. IVDD can be very painful because the spinal nerves are being pressed by the disc material that’s herniated. The spinal cord may also be bruised from the disc herniation. Restricted activity also allows lessening of the inflammation and any bruising to subside. 

You could consider giving your Shih Tzu an Omega-3 supplement to help reduce inflammation and a pain relief supplement

You could also get a rear lift support harness for toilet breaks (until the symptoms have settled, these should be 5 minutes long and on a lead). As the name suggests, a rear lift harness allows you to help lift his rear end so that he’s not totally relying on his weak and wobbly legs. Rear lift harnesses also discourage your dog from learning to drag himself around on his front, which can be a hard habit to break.

If you have slippery or uncarpeted floors, non-slip socks help minimise the risk of your dog slipping or falling, and hurting his spine even more through twisting or wrenching it.

Otherwise you could speak to your vet or veterinarian physiotherapist about how a back brace might help your Shih Tzu, in terms of supporting and stabilising the spine. Back braces can be a helpful element in physical rehabilitation from IVDD.

Further reading

Read more about IVDD Causes, Prevention and Help at Home: https://zoomadog.co.uk/collections/dog-ivdd-or-intervertebral-disc-disease

Read further about Non-Surgical and Conservative Management IVDD treatments here: https://zoomadog.co.uk/collections/conservative-management-ivdd 

Find the best dog Back Braces here https://zoomadog.co.uk/collections/dog-back-brace

Previous article Cara is a 14 year old German Shepherd. She regularly sees the vet and has rear knuckling linked to the typical GSD weak hips / neuropathy and some osteoarthritis. What would you recommend?
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