IVDD in Dogs: What Should You Know About This Disease?

Thousands of dogs each year experience a devastating problem called intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). Chondrodystrophic dogs, such as the Dachshund and the Bassett hound, are more likely to develop IVDD than other dog breeds because of their short legs and long backs. Nevertheless, this disease can manifest in animals of any breed, including feline species.

What is intervertebral disc disease in dogs? 

The spinal condition referred to as intervertebral disc disease is much more typical in dogs but can additionally impact felines. Spinal surgery from a skilled vet at animal hospitals like Raintree Veterinary Center is the typical treatment for canine cases of intervertebral disc disease. A dog’s cartilage center of each intervertebral disc is surrounded by a fibrous ring, giving shock absorption to the spinal column.

You can discover one of these discs between every vertebra in your spine except your first and second. If your dog’s discs are in good shape, it can do high-impact tasks like running and jumping without experiencing any pain.

What causes intervertebral disc disease in dogs?

Because of intervertebral disc disease, your pet’s spine might gradually wear away. Dogs over ten are commonly the ones most impacted by the problem. Any dog breed is at risk for this disease, but some are more at risk than others. To name a few: Basset Hounds, Dachshunds, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, and Beagles.

The intervertebral discs become too complicated and no longer give sufficient cushioning between the vertebrae, which is the most widespread reason for IVDD. The toughening may arise from exposure to long periods of sluggishness or sudden external stimulation. Although there is currently no way to prevent the spread of this health problem, you can help ensure your dog’s health by offering pet vaccinations.

The Prevalent Signs of Intervertebral Disc Disease

Knowing about intervertebral disc disease is necessary if you have a dog. Sadly, numerous dog owners do not learn their companion is in danger for or already experiencing IVDD until it’s too late. Degenerative myelopathy (DM), one more crippling back problem, should not be confused with IVDD. Common symptoms and signs of this ailment include the following.

1. Sensitivity to Touching

When you touch your dog, it could react by yelping, crying out, and even becoming hostile toward you. They may even attempt to bite you. You might also observe that your dog is avoiding you to avoid having their fur picked on or patted by you.

2. Hunched Back

A hunch in the back is a widespread disc disease sign in a dog. This hunch can be rather obvious, with several vertebrae sticking out of place, or it can be a lot more subtle, with just a couple of vertebrae jutting out. Your dog might walk more slowly and hunch over, or its belly might show up tight.

3. Extremely Quiet and Retracted

If your dog is experiencing discomfort, it might spend extensive periods napping or reclining in an unusual place. It’s also possible that you’ll locate your dog sitting or hiding in a remote part of your house. If you see any one of these symptoms, it’s time to bring your dog to a veterinary diagnostic lab.


In the future, if you discover any of the signs and symptoms of intervertebral disc disease in your dog, you will be able to identify them quickly and get the treatment you need without having to take radical steps like surgery. Understanding this ailment is the first step toward safeguarding your dog’s health and stretching out its life.