We depend the vet's exact diagnosis. With a current diagnosis we can share lots of information that match Holly's needs. Would you fill us in a bit more? -- What country do you live in? -- What are the credentials of the vet who diagnosed IVDD and what date was that diagnosis?
• Local general DVM vet?
• Specialist neuro (ACVIM or other country acronym) or an ortho surgeon (AVCS or other country acronym)?Get a nice perspective on the disease of IVDD in just a few minutes here: dodgerslist.com/2020/05/14/strict-rest-recovery-process/
With small breed short legged dogs
and with some large breeds, it is easy to determine if the dog was born with the progressive premature aging of discs. The premature disc aging starts at age one. However it is not usually until the dog is 3-7 years old the vet and the owner first become aware the dog was born with IVDD. The typical signs are acute (fast/immedate) pain and can be diminishment of neuro functions also.
The care is immediately crating to prevent worse disc damage and worse nerve damage. Get to a vet asap for a confirming diagnosis and starting the treatment of meds/very strict rest.Large breed dogs
, sometimes appear here with what is called IVDD, but we’ve learned that this term in large breed dogs may relate to a larger list of disorders. The treatment of which may be different
than for the dwarfed legged dogs.
Your senior Holly, also may be suffering not only the arthritis in the back she is being treated for with Zydax® shots (polysulfated glycosaminoglygan (PSGAG)
, it could be she is suffering with typical signs of natural old age chronic (slowly increasing) intervertebral disc disease
(IVDD) that plague older people.
We've surveyed several Neuros who work with Dodgerslist about old age disc problems. The thought is strict rest would be warranted when there are signs of not just painfulness but diminished neuro functions (such as paws knuckling under, legs dragging, legs not able to move at all) at the first signs. It takes 8 weeks to heal a disc with limited movement of strict rest. The idea is to heal the disc so it does not further increase damage to the spinal cord. • Do Holly's back paws knuckle under (both paws or only back left paw? Can she right the paw even if it takes a few seconds?
There are a number of other diseases which mimic the signs of disc disease. These other diseases may get included with the umbrella term "IVDD." It’s important to know specifically what Holly has, as the best treatment may be different than the standard of care on this Forum for acute
disc damage: strict crating at once, anti-inflammatory drug, pain meds and stomach protection).
It is the job of the vet to examine, use their training to zero in on the 2-3 diseases it may be. Perform tests and advanced imaging if a high suspicion of another disease that mimics IVDD. Finally ranking the diseases as to which one is the most likely. That diagnosis then dictates prescription of the treatment and the care.
There is no way to slow down the natural wear and tear process of old aging of discs. There are meds such as the Zydax® shots that can help give comfort from painful arthritic FACET JOINT
disease in the back. With arthritis, movement also helps to ease stiffness.
Learning the exact name of the disease Holly has, would help you to understand her care needs:
• Hansen's I: IVDD of prematurely aging discs typical in short legged small breeds but can be in some large breeds.
• Hansen's II: IVDD due to the normal and natural wear and tear aging of discs often in large breed dogs.
• Another disease that mimics disc disease?