If your dog has intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), then you may be looking for information on how to improve recovery. In the weeks following spinal surgery, or during non-surgical treatment, he’ll need care and attention from you at home to keep him safe and comfortable.

For practical advice on keeping your recovering dog safe indoors and outdoors, click here. This link includes some general safety guidelines, advice on setting your dog up in a large crate or pen during recovery (sometimes called “crate rest”) and tips on keeping him safe when outside the crate or pen. 

Above: Tiggy recovering in a pen after surgery. This photo and the one at the top of the page are courtesy of M.Randall.

For information on how to nurse your recovering dog at home, click here. This link offers tips on handling your dog safely, keeping him clean, avoiding pressure sores and managing any incontinence. Dog owners are sometimes asked to express their dog’s bladder during early recovery. If your vet has asked you to do this and you need further information, then click here

If you’re wondering how best to get your recovering dog out to the toilet, then click here for advice. If your dog cannot walk unaided, then he may need support from a hindquarter sling. There’s advice on how to use these slings here.

Each recovering dog has different home care needs, so do follow your vet’s advice specific to your own dog. You may find the following links useful as further reference:

  • If your dog is able to walk either normally or with a wobble (grade 1 or 2) then click here
  • If your dog cannot walk without help (grade 3 or 4) then click here
  • If your dog is unable to walk and your vet has also told you that he is so severely-affected that he has “no deep pain” (grade 5) then click here.

The above three links include information on treatment options, more specific home care requirements, problems to watch out for, and a typical timescale of recovery. 

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