There’s no treatment that guarantees recovery from IVDD and, unfortunately, a few dogs are left permanently unable to walk. With their low centre of gravity, some dachshunds can go on to to live quite a happy life using wheels to get about. Once the goal of four-legged walking has been abandoned, these dogs can also be allowed to drag themselves about a bit indoors so long as they are kept safe from accidental injury or skin damage.
Think carefully before making a decision to manage your dog as permanently disabled. Once you start to allow your dog to drag himself about, it becomes extremely difficult to reverse the decision so as to work towards learning to walk again. If possible, it’s therefore best to give your dog a reasonable opportunity to learn to walk before considering giving up and treating them as permanently disabled.
For permanently disabled dogs, it’s essential that any pain is well-controlled. Some dogs eventually seem to become quite comfortable off painkillers, while others need long term medication. Other issues must also be considered. Long-term IVDD-affected dogs may have poor bladder and bowel control, meaning frequent indoor clean-ups, the use of dog nappies (diapers) or, for male dogs, belly bands. You may also need to protect your dog’s paws and other areas of skin from damage due to being dragged over the floor. Depending on your dog’s personality and on how much long term one-to-one care you can offer them, this lifestyle may or may not be appropriate. If you’re wondering whether or not to manage your dog as permanently disabled, you may find it useful to talk things through with family and with one or two good friends who know both you and your dog. Regular check-ups with your vet are a good idea, both to help with any medical issues and to discuss how your dog is coping and their quality of life.
For dogs with IVDD: further information
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
- notes on decision-making, to help you make choices when your vet asks you to do so
- illustrated how-to guides for everything from sling-walking to home exercises
- notes on when to contact your vet
- advice on what to do before switching to wheels, and how to get started with wheels
- advice on keeping your recovering dog happy and content
- a section on maintaining your own wellbeing and getting the support you need
- 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.
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 Marianne@ajdorn.plus.com. 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.