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Can My Dog Avoid IVDD Surgery With Non-Surgical / Conservative Management Treatments?

Can My Dog Avoid IVDD Surgery With Non-Surgical / Conservative Management Treatments?

Many dogs will recover from IVDD without surgery, but currently there are no robust criteria to distinguish dogs that unequivocally require surgery from those which will recover whilst receiving conservative medical management.

Your vet might have explained your dog has IVDD and will likely need surgery. Surgery is not always possible for some dogs. Perhaps your dog is too old, an operation is too risky, or you would prefer a non-surgical route. Talk through the options with your vet as they might recommend surgery is the only reasonable route however, if you decide to avoid IVDD surgery, there are conservative management treatments you can try.

Depends on stages

However Cambridge University tests Stage 5 dogs who could not have surgery. After 17.5 days, most of them were walking again.  

For rest, the aim is for the spinal inflammation to reduce. This reduces with no or low exercise

  • We can highlight the spinal cord swelling on MRI and measure it
  • The nature of the disc material (jam) causing the compression changes over time
  • And significant amounts are sometimes (but not always) removed by the body

Non-Surgical Treatments include:

  • Raise the bowls
  • Crate rest
  • Steps to sofa
  • Hydro
  • Physiotherapy

5y 4m MN Mini Dachshund

5y 4m MN Mini Dachshund

  • Despite pain relief and rest he progressed from
    being off colour to being paralysed over 2-3 days
  • When he came to the QVSH he was a severe Grade 3
  • After 12 weeks he was on walks again
4y 10m FN Mini Dachshund

4y 10m FN Mini Dachshund

  • Had a previous surgery for an intervertebral disc extrusion
    4 months before coming to the QVSH and had fully
    recovered
  • She started to have back pain and despite pain relief and
    rest over 24-48 hours she became paralysed with no pain sensation

Can My Dog Avoid IVDD Surgery With Non-Surgery and Conservative Management Treatments?

Many dogs will recover from IVDD without surgery. Surgery is not always possible for some dogs. Perhaps your dog is too old, an operation too risky, or you would prefer a non-surgical route. Non-surgical routes can include physiotherapy, crate rest, no or low activity and more. Read to see how you can help your dog with IVDD.

Have questions about your dog and carpal hyperextension?

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