Understanding IVDD in Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

Countless dogs each year struggle with an incapacitating problem called intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Chondrodystrophic dogs, such as the Dachshund and the Bassett hound, are more likely to develop IVDD than other dog breeds because of their short legs and long backs. Nonetheless, this health problem can appear in animals of any breed, including feline species.

What is intervertebral disc disease in dogs? 

The spinal condition referred to as intervertebral disc disease is more common in canines but can likewise affect felines. Spinal surgery from a veterinary orthopedic surgeon is the standard treatment for canine cases of intervertebral disc disease. A dog’s cartilage center of each intervertebral disc is encircled by a fibrous ring, giving shock absorption to the spinal column.

You can find one of these discs between every vertebra in your spine except your first and second. If your dog’s discs are in good condition, it can execute high-impact activities like running and jumping without experiencing any pain.

What causes intervertebral disc disease in dogs?

Due to intervertebral disc disease, your pet’s spine might gradually wear away. Dogs over ten are typically the ones most influenced by the problem. Any dog breed is at risk for this disease, but some are more at risk than others. To name a few: Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, and Beagles.

The intervertebral discs become too complex and no longer give appropriate padding between the vertebrae, which is the most prevalent root cause of IVDD. The toughening might arise from exposure to long periods of sluggishness or an abrupt external stimulus. Although there is currently no way to stop the spread of this illness, you can help ensure your pet’s health by offering vaccinations and puppy shots.

The Prevalent Signs of Intervertebral Disc Disease

Finding out about intervertebral disc disease is crucial if you have a dog. Unfortunately, many dog owners do not learn their companion is at risk for or already struggling with IVDD until it’s too late. Degenerative myelopathy (DM), one more debilitating back problem, should not be confused with IVDD. Common signs and symptoms of this health problem include the following.

1. Sensitivity to Touching

When you touch your dog, it could respond by yelping, crying out, and even becoming hostile toward you. They might even try to bite you. You may even observe that your dog is avoiding you to prevent having their fur picked on or patted by you.

2. Hunched Back

A hunch in the back is a prevalent disc disease symptom in a dog. This hunch can be rather obvious, with numerous vertebrae standing out of place, or it can be more subtle, with just a couple of vertebrae jutting out. Your dog may walk much more slowly and hunch over, or its belly may show up tight.

3. Extremely Quiet and Retracted

If your dog is experiencing pain, it may spend prolonged periods sleeping or reclining in an uncommon location. It’s also possible that you’ll find your dog sitting or hiding in a remote part of your home. If you observe any of these indications, it’s time to bring your dog to a vet pharmacy or clinic that offers diagnostic services.


In the future, if you observe any of the signs of intervertebral disc disease in your dog, you will be able to determine them promptly and get the treatment you need without having drastic actions like surgery. Finding out about this health problem is the first step toward protecting your dog’s health and stretching out its life.


Learn More →