Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a relatively common disease that is described as when the discs in the spinal column bulge or burst into the spinal cord. Affected discs then press on nerves, causing pain, damage and potentially paralysis.
There are multiple symptoms of IVDD, some more severe than others. They range from unusually unwillingness to jump, crying out in pain, pain and weakness in rear legs, and muscle spasms.
If you know your dog’s breed are predisposed to IVDD, it is very important to take precautions, the most important being discouraging jumping, and keeping their weight down.
IVDD can be diagnosed by a full neurologic exam which will locate exactly which disc is damaged. Special X-Rays may also be suggested, but these don’t show the spinal cord, so a special dye is used. MRI or CT scans may also be necessary.
Treatment depends on the severity of the issue. If the spinal cord is badly damaged, surgery will be needed. For less serious cases, treatment can be purely conservative such as steroids and anti-inflammatories.