Intervertebral Disk Disease in Dogs

I/V disk disease, herniated disk Today, Maestro was officially diagnosed with Intervertebral Disk Disease and osteoarthritis. It sounds terrifying, and no doubt, was what caused me to feel faint upon getting the news and examining the x-rays.

I brought him in because I thought he had pulled a shoulder muscle and it just wasn't healing. Good thing I did bring him in - herniated disks are as painful to our furry friends as they are to us!

Our vet says that I/V Disk Disease is extremely common in dogs - just as it is in people (and cats)! As far as treatment goes, there are several options for pet owners and their furry loved ones:

  • Surgery: From what I've read and heard from the vet, this is reserved for pets in severe pain.
  • Medication: A combination of anti-inflammatory, pain relief and muscle relaxants are given.
  • Alternative Therapies: Three treatments that I've heard about include chiropractic treatments, aqua-therapy and acupuncture.

Maestro is currently on medication and seeing as he's still fairly mobile, we will explore the alternative therapies prior to exploring surgery. Having said that, from the looks of the x-rays, I have to consider surgery as a viable option.

In the meantime, rest, level surfaces, gentle walks are on the roster. That, and losing the winter fat to ease the pressure on his joints.

No running, jumping, stairs or shaking his favourite toy to bits. I'm going out on a limb to say no bongo drum practice either.

For more information, visit:

Intervertebral Disk article on Veterinary Surgical Centers

Intervertebral Disk Disease

Dog Arthritis: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

P.S. I can't stress enough the importance of getting pet health insurance!