Unmasking Canine Ruptured Disc: Symptoms to Treatments for Dogs


A ruptured disc in dogs, or IVDD, is when soft parts in the back push or burst into the spine area. This problem often shows as limping, imbalance, discomfort, or loss of bladder control in severe cases.

It can be due to old age or breed type, especially in Dachshunds, Beagles, and Shih Tzus. A vet may use tests like an MRI or blood test to make a diagnosis.

The best treatment is often surgery. The type of surgery depends on how bad the rupture is, where it is, and the dog’s health. After surgery, the vet will give the right medicine and exercises for healing.

Learn more to understand this health issue in dogs better.

Key Takeaways

  • Here’s how you spot a dog with a ruptured disc: limping, balance troubles, peeing accidents, or yelping when moving or touching.
  • A leading cause of this problem is IVDD. It’s often seen in older dogs, certain breeds, injured dogs, or those carrying extra weight.
  • To diagnose a ruptured disc, your vet will check your dog thoroughly. MRIs, CT scans, myelograms, and blood tests might be needed.
  • Surgery can help treat a ruptured disc. Depending on the disc’s location, its bad, and your dog’s overall health, your vet may suggest different types- decompressive, fenestration, or stabilization.
  • After surgery, your dog will need a quiet place to rest. Give them their medicine on time, see the vet regularly, and do the vet’s recommended exercises.

Identifying Ruptured Disc Symptoms

It’s key to know if your dog has a ruptured disc. Watch for signs of pain in your pet. Look out for a limp, a lack of balance, or tiredness. In bad cases, your dog may pee by accident. This can hint at a brain problem.

Pain is a big sign too. Your dog may cry or act upset when it moves or gets touched. But, these signs can change and may not always show up. This is why regular vet visits are so important. Spotting the problem early can stop it from getting worse. It also helps in treating the issue.

Knowing these signs can help keep your pet healthy and strengthen your bond.

Common Causes of Disc Rupture

Knowing why dogs get disc ruptures helps stop the pain. The main reason is a disease called IVDD. This happens when the soft discs in the spine bulge or burst into the spinal cord space. It can be because of old age, breed, or injury like a fall.

Breeds like Dachshunds, Beagles, and Shih Tzus can get IVDD more often. Extra weight can also cause disc rupture, adding more stress to the spine.

Knowing these reasons can help you protect your dog from this painful problem.

Steps in Diagnosing Canine Disc Rupture

Let’s discuss how vets determine if a dog has a disc rupture.

First, the vet does a careful check-up. They look for signs of hurt, trouble moving, or nerve issues. To be sure, more tests are needed. These often include an MRI or CT scan, which shows where the rupture is and how bad it is.

Sometimes, a special X-ray called a myelogram is used. They also test the dog’s blood to ensure no other health problems. All these tests give a clear view of the dog’s health.

Then, the vet can decide on the best treatment.

Veterinarian cuddling a happy dog outdoors.
Vet happy nurse with dog

Surgical Treatments for Disc Rupture

What are the ways to fix a ruptured disc in dogs?

There are two main types of surgeries. The first type is decompressive surgery. This is like a hemilaminectomy. It’s when a piece of bone on the spine is removed to ease pressure. The other type is a fenestration. Here, part of the disc’s outer layer is taken away. This helps to lower the chance of another rupture.

The second type of surgery is stabilization, which strengthens the spine. Which surgery to choose depends on how bad the rupture is and where it is. It also depends on the dog’s health and the surgeon’s skills. Every surgery has its risks and benefits. It’s important to talk about these with the vet.

Post-Surgery Care and Medication

After a dog has surgery for a busted disc, good care and the right medicine are key to getting better. The dog needs a quiet place to rest and heal. The dog must stay mostly in a crate to stop more hurt.

Giving the dog its medicine on time is a must. This helps with pain and swelling. The vet might prescribe painkillers, inflammation reducers, and muscle calmers. Regular check-ups with the vet are needed to monitor how the healing is going and to change treatment if needed.

The vet might suggest some exercises to help the dog regain its strength. Following these rules can help the dog recover well.

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In simple terms, a dog’s ruptured disc is a tough health problem that can hurt the dog’s fun, active life. Knowing the signs, causes, and cures helps dog owners take action.

After surgery, the right food and care also help keep a dog’s back healthy. In short, our dog’s health depends on how well we can understand and handle these hard health problems quickly.



Michelle is a knowledgeable content writer at Dogwondersworld, specializing in canine behavior and nutrition, and is responsible for creating informative and engaging articles for the site. Her expertise contributes significantly to the depth and quality of the content.

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