Diagnosing Back Problems in Dogs: What to Expect
An examination by your vet will include a complete neurologic exam, which will help identify where in the spinal cord the injury is located. Because the spinal cord does not appear on X-rays, special imaging may be needed to locate the injury. 
“A procedure called myelogram injects a special dye into the spine, which surrounds the spinal cord and allows it to appear on X-rays. This test requires the animal to be put under anesthesia.
In some cases, further testing such as an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography) scan can also be used to locate where the nerves are being pinched, which is necessary for surgical repair.” 
Treating IVDD in Dogs:
“Depending on the severity of the damage to the spinal cord, treatment can range from conservative to surgical.” 
Conservative Treatment Method:
“Conservative care usually includes treatment with drugs such as steroids and an anti-inflammatory to reduce the swelling of the cord and reduce pain. The dog must also be kept confined in a crate or cage to prevent further damage.
Some vets may require strict crate rest for 6-8 weeks.
After a period of resting, he may gradually return to normal activity. If the dog still exhibits some sensation in the hind legs prior to surgery, it is highly likely that he will regain his ability to walk after successful surgery and rehabilitative care.” 
The conservative treatment includes lots of rest through crate confinement and reducing activities in order to recuperate.
The conservative method is not the “cure all” for IVDD.
It is a treatment for the current spinal problem in order to help the dog possibly regain his strength in order to walk again.
Surgical Treatment Method:
“If the damage is too severe and the dog is paralyzed or incontinent, conservative treatment may not be enough. In many cases, emergency surgery is needed to open up space. This is done by removing a portion of the bony vertebrae over the spinal cord (laminectomy).
Even after surgery, however, the dog may not recover fully.” 
If surgery is required, the sooner they have the operation the better chances they have to be able to walk again.
It is recommended that you have your dog’s surgery done by a trained neurologist, not a general veterinarian.
Note: If successful, this surgery may fix the injured discs, but with IVDD, it is possible that other discs can rupture in the future.
Some methods that can be used with the Conservative or Surgical Method include the following:
- Laser Therapy
- Physical Therapy Exercises
Read more about IVDD Therapy Options.
IVDD Back Brace For Dogs:
Alpha Paw has an orthopedic support back brace for dogs with IVDD issues. It is called the L’il Back Bracer. It helps keep your dog’s back supported when dealing with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and other painful back injuries.
The L’il Back Bracer is built for support and comfort to alleviate pressure on your dog’s spine. This dog back brace is recommended for both treatment of IVDD Symptoms and IVDD Prevention.
Use code DACHSHUNDSTATION20 for 20% off on Alpha Paw!