Just like humans, dogs can experience back pain and injuries. Unlike humans, however, dogs don’t have the option of visiting their doctors or chiropractors to get treatment.
Dogs with back problems have to rely on their owners to fix them up. Watching out for the most common dog back injuries will help you protect your dog from serious injuries.
Common Back Injuries for Dogs
A dog’s vertebrae are quite different from those of humans. While the human spine has 24 separate vertebrae, each of which can move independently, the dog’s spine contains only seven vertebrae that are fused. Due to these anatomical differences, back injuries are more common in dogs than in humans. Read on for five of the most common dog injuries.
Pulled Muscles, Sprains, and Strains
Your dog may be subject to several common back injuries like pulled muscles, sprains, and strains. You should see your vet if your dog is struggling to walk or is experiencing pain or limited mobility. Your vet will want to examine your dog, determine where and how bad it hurts, and recommend treatment options that could include things like rest, a back brace for dogs, exercise restriction, anti-inflammatory medications, and bandaging.
Keep in mind that regardless of what kind of injury they’ve sustained, dogs with back problems shouldn’t jump up onto furniture or into cars. Keep an eye on whether they seem reluctant to do their normal activities as this may be a sign that they’re in some sort of pain.
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Another dog back injury to look out for is intervertebral disc disease The intervertebral disc is a shock absorber between vertebrae in your dog’s spine. When they degenerate and bulge, they can pinch your dog’s spinal cord or nearby nerves. This often causes paralysis in one or more limbs, weakness, and pain. Sometimes, there is no noticeable pain—the main symptoms may be dragging one limb behind another as your dog walks, lameness when running, unwillingness to jump up onto furniture, or inability to hold its tail erect.
Another degenerative issue your dog may experience is lumbosacral stenosis, which occurs when dogs develop arthritis in their lumbar (lower back) and sacral (pelvic) areas. This can be painful for them to move around, especially if there is damage to any of the surrounding ligaments or muscles. If your dog starts showing signs of stiffness in its back legs while walking, you should bring them in for a checkup right away. If they have been diagnosed with lumbosacral stenosis and require surgery, physical therapy will likely be recommended as part of the treatment plan.
Also called spondylitis, spondylosis is a general term for a degenerative spinal-cord disease that’s brought on by age or injury. The condition causes pressure on and damage to your dog’s spinal cord, which leads to loss of feeling in their legs and difficulty moving properly. While your dog can still lead a happy life with spondylosis, you’ll have to be especially careful about helping them avoid stairs and walk up hills.
Depending on how severe your dog’s symptoms are, they may need medication to ease pain and discomfort. As dogs are prone to chewing their fur if they feel poorly (an indication of stress), owners must keep an eye out for behavioral changes like licking or chewing.
Arthritis is another common issue dogs experience as they get older. Arthritis can be caused by aging, injuries, or genetics. As dogs age, they are more likely to develop arthritis because their bones harden and become stiffer as time goes on. Younger dogs that have sustained an injury or were born with weak joints are also at risk for developing arthritis. Symptoms of arthritis include decreased mobility and stiffness when your dog wakes up from a nap. Talk to your veterinarian about joint pain relief options available for your furry friend.
With a watchful eye and regular visits to the vet, you’ll be able to avoid common dog injuries.
Originally posted 2022-02-07 18:57:15. Republished by Blog Post Promoter