What is a slipped Disc Disease in Dogs
Every movement of his body is dependent upon the structural alignment and strength of the spinal cord and the vertebrae and discs that protect it. Also every time dog runs, jumps, or plays, these fluid-filled discs act as shock absorbers by helping to displace the weight load on the spine.
Disc disease is a common problem in dogs and relatively uncommon in cats. There are two major categories of disc disease, Type I and Type II. Type I disc disease is characterized by disc herniation ("slipped disc") and a sudden onset of signs. This type of disc disease occurs in dogs and cats of any age or breed, but is seen most commonly in short-legged breeds (e.g., dachshund, bulldog, basset hound, shih tzu, lhasa apso, corgi, beagle, pekingese), and some other small breeds such as the poodle and cocker spaniel.
Recognizing the signs : What are the symptoms?
Disc disease can be very painful and should be attended to immediately. If left untreated, serious secondary issues including permanent paralysis can result.
Symptoms will vary depending on which part of your dog’s spine is impacted, but can include:
- Stiffness of the neck
- Pain when touched on the back
- No longer jumps on the sofa
- Crying when handled or picked up
- Reluctance to walk, run or play
- Inability to walk or a peculiar gait
- Inability to control elimination, etc.
- Paresis (partial loss of movement or weakness)
What are the causes?
There are two main causes of disc herniation.
It is important to look out for little signs of change in your dog's body as it changes from young adult to senior around the age of around 6-7 years old. It is also important to take care of the dog's diet and the harness used for daily walks.
Gradually you will be able to start preparing your dog for a more meaningful life with you in senior years.