IVDD (Intervertebral disc disease) is a common cause of back pain, hind end weakness, paralysis and a host of other neurologic problems in dogs. IVDD is often referred to as a ruptured, herniated or slipped disc, but it is actually a disease of the spinal cord that causes the discs to prematurely lose moisture, harden and degenerate. Healthy discs act as cushions between the bones of each vertebra, but in dogs with IVDD these discs compress and become painful. If you have one of the 10 breeds prone to IVDD, it is important to learn the warning signs of this condition.
There are two forms of IVDD: Hansen Type I and Hansen Type II. Hansen Type I is the most common form of the disease and its victims are generally young or middle-aged (3-6 years old) chondrodystrophoid breeds. These are dogs that have short, stubby legs and long backs. These breeds have a predisposition to develop IVDD in part because of their genetic makeup and in part because their bodies are top-heavy and carry a disproportionate amount of weight on a small frame. [Read more…]