Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Dauschand : Spinal issues

Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD)

The spine is composed of a series of overlapping bones called vertebrae. Located between each vertebra from the skull to the tail are intervertebral discs, which allow for flexibility and shock absorption. The spinal cord runs through the center of the overlapping vertebrae and over the top of the intervertebral discs where it stays protected.

Disc disease in the dog can be a very serious and urgent problem. There are two types of Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), Type I and Type II. Type I refers to a large tear or crack in the outer layer of the intervertebral disc allowing the inner gel-like material to spill out into the vertebral canal which applies pressure to the spinal cord. Small breed dogs are most susceptible to this type of disc disease. Dachshunds are the most common breed afflicted with Type I. As time goes by, the discs start to degenerate. The blood supply to the disc decreases and the soft, gel-like central material is replaced with harder calcified material. As this occurs the outer layer of the disc becomes more susceptible to cracks and tears. Normal activity or minor trauma such as running, jumping or twisting can initiate disc rupture.

Thoracolumbar: These disc injuries are the most common and often the most urgent cases because symptoms can progress rapidly. The animal usually starts with pain and reluctance to run or jump. The back may be arched and they may have weakness or inco-ordination in the hind legs. Animals often times lose their appetite due to the pain and may cry or shake. If the pressure being applied to the spine begins to increase the animal can lose all function in its limbs, and may lose the ability to feel pain. If the injury progresses to this point the spine may suffer permanent damage.

Lumbosacral : Pain may be the only symptom present, but often the hind legs, tail, urinary bladder and bowel are affected. Affected animals usually have decreased activity, may have difficulty rising, and are very painful over their lower back when they are touched. Hind limb lameness may be present, and often loss of bowel and/or bladder function will occur.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to have your dog evaluated for a rehab program please call 517-432-3289. Available hours for appointments are Mon- Sat. 8-5pm.


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