Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) symptoms can occur rapidly, potentially causing irreversible damage to your dog’s back and limiting its mobility. The care and treatment of IVDD goes beyond just surgical options. Consult your Veterinarian immediately at the first sign of back pain or change in your dog’s gait. Seeking immediate help increases the odds of your dog regaining its mobility.
Depending on the severity of your dog’s IVDD and the treatment they receive, their mobility limitations may be temporary. And luckily, there are some great mobility tools to help your dog throughout the healing process and prevent further spinal damage.
Mobility Solutions for IVDD Recovery
When a dog is diagnosed with IVDD, likely, they are also dealing with mobility struggles. So here are a few mobility solutions to help your dog recover from IVDD:
Back Braces for IVDD
Even with surgery and crate rest, a dog with IVDD will continue to be vulnerable. It’s impossible to be constantly vigilant and prevent your dog from never jumping on or off the furniture again. By wearing a back brace, you can help prevent future injuries.
Wearing a back brace or back support dramatically reduces the stress on a dog’s spine while stabilizing and supporting the back. A canine back brace will limit range of motion allowing an injured back to heal.
Benefits of a Dog Back Support for IVDD:
- Help to avoid further spinal damage or injury
- Stabilize your dog’s spine from above and below
- Alleviate spinal pressure and back pain
- Prevent your dog from overextending their back
- Provides overall spinal support
- Recommended for treatment and prevention
The best dog back brace will feature more than one tier of support such as removeable support spines as well as memory foam layers. This allows you to adjust the level of back support as a pet’s back heals.
Tip: For optimal support, your dog’s back brace should conform to your dog’s back, and the support should be placed over the spine and its surrounding muscles. A brace that only supports the sides of a dog’s body will limit range of motion, but not provide any actual support to the spine.
If your dog is in the early stages of degenerative disc disease or recovery post-surgery, a dog wheelchair can be beneficial during rehabilitation.
For pets with more severe IVDD damage or if your dog has become paralyzed, a wheelchair will help them to maintain their daily activities. Wheelchairs allow dogs with spinal conditions to maintain mobility and independence.
Benefits of a Dog Wheelchair for IVDD
- Keeps your dog mobile
- Reduces weight and eliminates pressure on the spine
- When combined with a neoprene belly support, it provides mid-body support for the abdomen and spine to maintain proper alignment
- Can be used for rehab training or to get the dog outside for bathroom breaks
- Give your dog back their independence
- Available in both Rear Support and Full Support, depending on the level of support needed
Pets with Intervertebral Disc Disease will need to have the center of their body and spine supported while in the wheelchair. A neoprene belly support can be attached to the wheelchair frame to gently support a pet’s spine while in their Walkin’ Wheels dog wheelchair.
For IVDD dogs and cats with hind leg weakness, paralysis, or mobility issues a wheelchair plays a critical role in their recovery. For most pets an IVDD wheelchair can be used after the period of crate rear is over. Work with your veterinarian to decide the right time to introduce a wheelchair to your IVDD pet.
Walkin’ Wheels and IVDD Success Stories
“Since Airlie had IVDD spinal surgery, he has been getting stronger and stronger. He’s exactly the same dog as before, he still loves chasing sticks and going for walks, only now he’s on wheels! His wheelchair has enabled him to have an amazing quality of life.”
– Sean Hooton
“Alfie is an 8 year old Maltese X Cavalier who was diagnosed with IVDD 2 years ago after a slipped disc left him paralyzed from the waist down. Alfie hasn’t let this hold him back, and with the help of his Walkin’ Wheels, he enjoys daily walks, runs at the park and beach, and lives an active, fun and playful life.”
– Samantha O’Brien
“When Odie was struck down with IVDD, he was rushed in for emergency surgery. Everything went well, but he wasn’t showing signs of improvement. His wheelchair has changed his quality of life. We are forever thankful and blessed for the Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair.”
– Talisha Young
“Bandit, because suddenly paralyzed in his rear legs and was diagnosed with degenerative disc disease, we were devastated. What a difference his Walkin’ Wheels have made! It’s amazing to see him walking around again!”
– Tammy Pugh
Check out our resource guide for IVDD in Dogs to learn more about causes, symptoms, and prevention methods.