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IVDD and Your Dog: The basics of caring for a "bad back"

Dec 11, 2014

Assisi Animal Health values other products that aid in your pet's well-being, and one of those products is the Wiggleless back brace. With stainless steel supports, the Wiggleless brace is a perfect aid to keeping your dog's spine steady, whether your dog needs extra support due to age, strenuous activity, or intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).

Here, Lisa Luckenbach, CEO of Wiggleless, discusses the basics of how you can help your dog with IVDD and back pain.


wiggleless1.jpegCanine Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) is the most common spinal cord disease in dogs.  It is caused when discs that normally cushion the space between the spine and spinal vertebrae (the bones that surround the spinal cord) begin to harden.  Over time, some discs can deteriorate and cause bulging or rupturing (slip or herniate) which in turn leads to damage of the spinal cord.  The two most common locations of IVDD are mid-spine and neck.  There are varying degrees of IVDD from mild to severe.  Dwarfed breeds like Corgis, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds, Beagles, Shih Tzus, etc. are highly vulnerable to IVDD.  Additionally, IVDD can affect larger breeds like German Shepherds, Labs and Dobermans.  Obese dogs are susceptible as well.

Sadly, I am very familiar with this disease as two of my dachshunds suffered from IVDD.  June and Henry have both passed on, but they were the inspiration behind my Wiggleless back brace.  I developed this brace when both of my dachshunds were diagnosed with IVDD.  June was only two years old when she injured herself while playing in the back yard.   Henry was four years old when he began showing symptoms of back pain and was promptly diagnosed with IVDD.  My most important goal for my pups became returning them to happy, pain-free life. 

Caring for your dog with IVDD can be emotionally tough. It was hard for me to watch my pups not be able to play and jump around like ‘normal’ dogs, hear them whimper in pain, and watch them have muscle spasms. No dog mom wants to see their pups not well.  

Here are a few things you can try to give your dog living with IVDD a better quality of life particularly when they are in recovery:

Diet – maintain your dog’s healthy weight to reduce stress on their backbone and neck. 

Food – moisten kibble or feed wet food.  Chewing can cause stress on the jaw and neck, which can result in pain.  Same goes for chew toys or treats.  Abstain from these during recovery period.

wiggleless2.jpgEliminate stress on back and neck – raise food and water bowls so that your dog doesn’t have to bend down to eat or drink; keep the crate your pup is recovering in at a higher level so that he doesn’t have to raise his head to look at you or his surroundings.

Acupuncture Therapy – this is particularly good for dogs that respond poorly to or cannot tolerate medication.  Surgery may not be an option due to health or finances.   Acupuncture may be one option to look into.  Acupuncture regenerates neurons mobilizing stem cell regrowth.

Laser Therapy – although costly, LT has been proven to reduce tenderness, pain and speed up the tissue healing process.

Holding – Make sure you know the proper way to pick your dog up in order to avoid further injury.  Do not pull your dog out of the crate, but instead gently lift him.  Support and lift the chest and hind end at the same time.  Keep his spine aligned by holding him against your chest.  Then, gently put him on the floor.

Walking -  it is important to remember to reduce stress on the neck and spine.  When walking your dog make sure NOT to walk your dog by collar or head harness.  Always use a harness to reduce neck stress.

Back support – after a period of recovery, it is important to keep your dog’s back stable and straight. Wearing a back brace such as the Wiggleless puts less pressure on your dog’s spine and may help her to have a more enjoyable and normal life.

Pain and Discomfort – The Assisi Loop has shown to be very effective in the reduction of pain and swelling, and using it over the affected area of your dog's back can greatly increase his comfort level and can reduce inflammation in the spine.  tPEMF™ technology enhances production of Nitric Oxide, which is the body's own way of healing itself when it is injured. For more information visit assisianimalhealth.com.

Environment - lots of love, comfort, warmth, encouragement, and a peaceful environment when recovering.  Dogs get stressed out just like us humans do. Stress makes it hard to heal.  Gentle touch … resting your hand lightly on your pup’s body sends healing energy and love.

lisa.jpgAUTHOR BIO: Lisa, a registered yoga instructor, licensed massage therapist, public speaker, ordained minister, and breast cancer survivor, is passionate about living a full and rewarding life. Lisa has developed Wiggleless back brace for dogs that are overweight and need extra support, elderly with aching backs, diagnosed with IVDD related back problems, or overly active who would benefit from a dog back brace. Lisa shares her home with her husband, two teen-aged daughters, seven chickens, and three spunky, adopted dogs, Ryder (Cocker Spaniel), LaVerne (Schnauzer/Doxie mix), and Chai (Doxie/Jack russell mix). Visit Wiggleless.com to learn more about Lisa and her product.

  



Category: Dogs

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