If your dog has  IVDD (intervertebral disc disease), then their chances of getting better are affected by the severity of his disease. This is worked out mainly from the dog’s clinical signs (symptoms).

Some vets give IVDD patients a clinical grade. This can be useful in working out the dog’s prognosis (how likely they are to get better) and can also make it easier to record any improvement or deterioration. Various grading systems have been used worldwide. One that is often used in UK practice has grades from 1 to 5, with grade 1 dogs being most mildly affected, and grade 5 dogs being most severely affected. 

Of course, some vets do a great job of assessing, treating and monitoring IVDD dogs without giving them a grade or number. This section of the website has however been added in for those clinicians and owners who do wish to refer to a grading system. 

To take a look at the table above, please click here. This link opens up a clearer, printable version in a new window. 

If you are wondering what treatment options might be available for your IVDD-affected dog then please click 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. 


Further information to help your dog during IVDD recovery

This website contains plenty of information about caring for a dog with back or neck issues. Try going to IVDD and clicking on links on that page to start exploring this free resource.

For a complete and practical guide to home care, we recommend The IVDD Handbook. This is a comprehensive home care guide for dogs with IVDD (disc extrusion or ‘slipped disc’). It’s also suitable for those with certain other back or neck problems including FCE and traumatic disc. Use this book in conjunction with talking to your own vet. It contains:

  • clear practical guidelines for each stage of recovery
  • illustrated how-to guides for everything from sling-walking to home exercises
  • notes on when to contact your vet
  • an illustrated guide to understanding your dog’s surgical report
  • advice on keeping your recovering dog happy and content
  • a section on maintaining your own wellbeing while caring for your own dog
  • example daily routines suitable for dogs at each stage of recovery
  • hundreds of colour photos showing what to look for and how to help your dog
  • an index, glossary and colour-coded chapter to help you find information fast

How to get your copy

Click here to buy or look inside The IVDD Handbook.

The above link should redirect you to your country’s Amazon site.

Order the book to be delivered to you from the US if you live in Australia, New Zealand or Singapore. For further details, click here

Links to the book on this page are provided as part of the Amazon Associates program. Buying the book after clicking on one of these links will earn the author a small commission, thus contributing to the ongoing running of this website. 

Booking an appointment

For bespoke supervision of your own dog’s recovery, you are welcome to contact me to arrange a video consultation appointment. To book an appointment, use the contact form here or email me at [email protected]. I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Please note that these contact details are for appointments only. I offer home visit appointments, when appropriate, for dogs and cats living near me in North Herts, UK. Video consultations are available for both local and distant patients. 


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