Disc disease is a relatively common ailment in dogs and occurs in the vertebral discs of the spine. These discs help to cushion the spinal column, just like they do in humans. (In fact, we can suffer from disc disease, too.) Below, your vet Lakewood Ranch, FL tells you more about disc disease in dogs and what you can do to help Fido feel more comfortable.
What causes disc disease?
Disc disease occurs when the material of a vertebral disc is displaced or damaged. This can happen for a variety of reasons. One possibility is physical trauma, caused by a fall or rough play, for example. It’s also likely in older dogs, simply because the back’s discs tend to wear down as a pet age. And in dogs with long backs, like Dachshunds and Basset hounds, disc disease is particularly likely. Talk to your veterinarian Lakewood Ranch, FL if you have one of these dogs.
Obesity is also thought to be a contributing factor to disc disease. That’s because the excess weight your dog carries around puts further pressure on the discs. If your dog is overweight, it’s time to talk to your vet clinic Lakewood Ranch, FL about a diet and exercise program.
What are the symptoms of disc disease?
The symptoms of disc disease can vary depending on which particular disc or discs are affected. If a disc closer to Fido’s rear end is affected, your dog could lose motor control in the back legs. Incontinence could also occur as your dog loses control of its bowel and bladder. Let your veterinarian Lakewood Ranch, FL know if you spot these symptoms.
When a disc in the lower neck or upper back is affected, a dog might not hold his head up normally. Lethargy and weakness will be seen in most cases of disc disease. You might also spot obvious signs of pain, like wincing, yelping, or reluctance to move. Talk to your vets Lakewood Ranch, FL if you see these signs.
If a case of disc disease isn’t dealt with, it could lead to paralysis, perhaps on a permanent basis. That’s why it’s so important to contact your veterinary clinic Lakewood Ranch, FL if you see the above signs.
How is disc disease treated?
After your veterinarians Lakewood Ranch, FL diagnoses disc disease through X-rays and a physical exam, treatment will begin. Medications like painkillers, anti-inflammatories, and muscle relaxers might be prescribed. Physical therapy, such as massage and water therapy, could help some dogs. In most cases, physical activity will need to be tightly managed or restricted.
If your pet is overweight and that is determined to be contributing to disc disease, your pet will need to lose weight. Your pet clinic Lakewood Ranch, FL will help you create a tailored diet and exercise plan.
Can disc disease be prevented?
You might not be able to prevent every case of disc disease. But you can make it less likely by keeping your pet at a healthy weight. Talk to the professionals at your animal hospital Lakewood Ranch, FL for a recommendation on good nutrition and healthy exercise for Fido.
If you have a breed with a long back, like a Dachshund, keep in touch with your vet Lakewood Ranch, FL. He or she can advise you on keeping your dog safe and healthy as time goes on.