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Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) from Day One
Your dog yelps, is in pain: shivering, doesn’t want to move, has an arched back or is walking drunk or limping, or any other symptoms that make you wonder if it could be having a back problem:
Based on the severity of your dog’s symptoms, you can either start conservative treatment (medicines and crate rest) or, in more severe cases, get a referral to a neuro or ortho surgeon and proceed with surgery.
A list of the common side effects and interactions of ALL medicines prescribed. Inform yourself about all of your dog’s medicines. Know what each is for, possible side effects, and what you can do to prevent or lessen the risk of developing side effects. An acid reducer such as Pepcid AC (famotidine) is recommended if your dog is given either a steroid (Prednisone/Prednisolone) or an NSAID (Rimadyl/Carprofen, Metacam, Deramaxx, Previcox)
If your dog’s pain is not fully under control 24/7, DO NOT WAIT - call your vet immediately and discuss it.
If at ANY POINT (from day one and all the time the dog is recovering) your
dog stops eating, drinking, has more pain or seems worse, contact the vet
immediately. ALL of those are signs of problems during recovery. The faster you
act, the quicker your vet can take action to help.
A hands-on demonstration to express your dog’s bladder if he/she does not have bladder control and leaks urine, urinates in the crate or when you pick them up.
How long to do crate rest? Start crate rest for the amount of time your vet or surgeon suggested. Usually, depending on the severity of the herniation and treatment option, it might be between 6 to 8 weeks of crate rest.During crate rest you will need a crate (a traditional wire crate, an exercise pen, puppy pen, or a pack 'n play can be used too).
You will also need a sling (a men’s neck tie, a rolled up woman’s scarf, or even just a thin, narrow piece of an old long beach towel, sheet or blanket), calming aids,and low-sodium broth to offer to drink as many dogs may not want to drink initially. The goal is to to make recovery as easy on your dog and YOU as possible.
You will also need to learn how to correctly pick them up by supporting the chest and the dog's rear end so the spine is straight and level.
Acupuncture and laser therapy are both very beneficial during recovery because they reduce inflammation and speed healing and help kick start the dog’s body to do all the repair jobs that need to be done. The sooner the therapies are started, the better.
After crate rest is over, you will GRADUALLY ease your dog back into activity. Talk to your vet/surgeon about it so you can both have a schedule that works for YOUR dog.Some dogs will walk out of the crate, and some dogs need to start with 5 minute breaks out of the crate. Your vet or physical therapist will advise you on what your dog needs for its particular level of recovery.
CONGRATULATIONS! Your dog has healed from its herniation. NOW WHAT? Don’t worry. It gets easier and no, you don’t have to live in fear and your dog will be HAPPY.
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©The K9BackPack, 2014.
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