5 Actions to Take When Suspecting IVDD in Your Dog

by Victoria Runnoe April 16, 2024

5 Actions to Take When Suspecting IVDD in Your Dog

1. Contact Your Veterinarian and Bring Your Dog into the Vet for a Spinal Examination.

Your dog may be exhibiting symptoms of IVDD that may include back pain, dragging of the legs, inability to walk, or hunching of their back. If you notice your dog starting to have any of these signs, bring your dog to your vet to diagnose the condition and help to prevent any loss of function or further injuries.



2. If Your Doctor Diagnoses Your Dog with IVDD, Inquire What Type.

There are 2 types of IVDD that your dog can possibly have. Type 1 IVDD is characterized by the protrusion of the inner nucleus of the intervertebral disc being more common in smaller dogs like Dachshunds, Corgis, and French Bulldogs. Type 2 IVDD is characterized by the bulging of the intervertebral disc being more common in larger dogs and breeds like German Shepherds. Your vet will be able to determine if your dog is struggling with IVDD and how severe their condition is. 



3. Conservative Treatment Options Once Diagnosed with IVDD.

Your vet may recommend you see a veterinary neurologist that specializes in treating spinal issues. The most recommended treatment option is IVDD surgery. Considering this is the most invasive and expensive treatment, we recommend pet parents try more conservative options first, depending on their dog’s prognosis.    


Other conservative options included physical therapy, hydrotherapy, laser and bracing. Physical therapy, hydrotherapy and massage can help ease muscle spasms and discomfort due to pain, while strengthening the muscles around the spine. These treatment options can be used simultaneously to help improve mobility and decrease pain.


When looking at bracing look for a back brace that supports the thoracic, lumbar, and sacral regions. The L’il Back Bracer helps keep your dogs back supported with an orthopedic patented design when dealing with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) and other dog back pain. The L’il Back Bracer can also be paired with wearable PEMF (Pulsed Electromagnetic Field) therapy. 



4. Benefits of PEMF Therapy for IVDD.

PEMF therapy has been clinically proven to reduce swelling, increase circulation, and reduce pain associated with IVDD. PEMF therapy also can be used as a safe and comfortable pain treatment option for senior dogs. Our PEMF EMpower device allows for your dog to remain active while getting their 2-hour therapy session with no side effects. 


5. How to Accommodate Your Dog to a Life with IVDD. 

  • Make your space comfortable and more adaptable for your dog by adding warm cozy resting spots with a heated pet bed or a heating pad to help with their back pain. Also, putting pet stairs to make it acc furniture can help so they don’t further hurt themselves by jumping. 
  • Keep your dog’s diet and exercise maintained to keep a healthy back. Excess fat can cause more stress on the spine, since it has to support more weight than intended. 
  • Eliminate your dog’s back stress by using raised food and water bowls, avoid collars and head harnesses.
  • Ensure you are supporting your dog in the proper position by placing one hand on their chest and the other under their hind legs. 


Victoria Runnoe
Victoria Runnoe