From the moment they came into your life, your dog has been a joyful and energetic friend. They’re always ready to chase a ball, jump at the door as you enter, and comfort you on tough days.
Now that intervertebral disc disease may be causing chronic pain and progressive damage in your furry friend’s spinal cord, it’s your turn to create the comfort and joy your dog desperately needs.
True relief from intervertebral disc disease is rarely achieved through surgery or medication. Instead, it’s stem cell therapy that delivers the dramatic results your pet deserves.
What Is Intervertebral Disc Disease in Dogs?
Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is a disease of a dog’s spinal cord. Most dogs develop IVDD slowly over time, but it doesn’t become apparent until a sudden injury ruptures a spinal disc or instantly causes paralysis.
Intervertebral disc disease affects the cushioning discs that sit between each vertebra of the spinal column. These discs are supposed to be soft and jelly-like, but IVDD causes them to become too fibrous and hard. Eventually, they become too solid to effectively cushion the spinal vertebrae.
This is a dangerous change, because it only takes one forceful jump or rough landing for a disc to burst in your dog’s back. A burst disc puts pressure on the nerves running through the spinal cord, causing severe pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis.
What Are the Symptoms of IVDD?
Like many diseases affecting dogs, intervertebral disc disease may cause intermittent or chronic symptoms:
- Stiffness of the back, neck, or limbs
- Weakness and pain
- Dragging the rear legs or impaired gait
- Unusual sensitivity to movement and touch
- Sudden paralysis
These symptoms are most common in Dachshunds, but many other breeds can be affected as well, including Basset Hounds, Beagles, Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, and Shih Tzus.
Two Possible Manifestations of IVDD
Preventing lasting damage from IVDD isn’t easy, so it’s all about beating the clock. Rapid response and aggressive medical treatment make all the difference in preserving your dog’s range of motion, ability to walk, and overall quality of life.
This is why it’s so important to recognize the most common manifestations of IVDD.
The less severe manifestation of IVDD involves the rubbing of the spinal cord disks. Hardened discs move like a saw against the spinal cord to cause slow and progressive damage. You may notice your dog gradually losing their coordination, range of motion, and interest in favorite activities. Other signs of this chronic manifestation may include the following:
- Criss-crossed legs
- Trouble going up and down the stairs
- Limited movement
When IVDD accelerates, it leads to an emergency situation. Your dog might be jumping off the couch or running to meet you at the door when a hardened spinal cord disc shoots through the spinal cord like a shotgun blast. This causes massive amounts of inflammation, cell death, bruising, and pain.
As the spinal cord becomes stuck in bone, it compresses until nerves die and nerve signals fail. This ultimately leads to paralysis of the legs, stripping your dog of their ability to walk and potentially their ability to feel pain sensations.
Traditional Treatments for Intervertebral Disc Disease
Traditional treatments for IVDD vary based on the severity of the disease. If your dog is in the earlier stages of intervertebral disc disease, your vet might recommend restricting their activity and using pain medications or anti-inflammatory agents to slow the progression of IVDD.
These measures may help scar tissue develop over the disc that is rubbing and sawing in the spinal cord, but that type of repair takes as long as two months to develop. During those two months, your pet is still vulnerable to damage. It only takes one wrong jump for the spinal cord to rupture and trigger paralysis.
Treatments for immediate paralysis are high-emergency situations. If spinal cord swelling isn’t immediately addressed, internal compression will cause accelerated cell death and the loss of essential spinal cord tissue. This causes further loss of your dog’s everyday functions and may strip your dog of their bladder control, range of motion, and more.
A combination of a massive dose of steroids, aggressive anti-inflammatories, and pain medication is the only non-invasive treatment for emergency IVDD and paralysis. Surgery may also be required to address intervertebral disc disease, but it’s an extreme and invasive surgery that requires cutting off a part of the spinal cord itself.
IVDD Prevention for Dogs
Given the extreme consequences of advanced IVDD and the risky nature of emergency surgery, prevention is absolutely essential. This is especially true if your dog’s breed is known to be more vulnerable to intervertebral disc disease.
Helping your dog maintain a healthy weight is a simple yet powerful form of prevention. The heavier your dog is, the more pressure his spinal cord endures. This accelerates damage and increases the likelihood of a severe injury or paralysis.
It’s also important to make sure your dog doesn’t become too excited or participate in vigorous activities. Most dogs jump off the back of the couch or leap out the door without a second thought, but training your dog to walk carefully, or building ramps and steps to prevent jumping, can make all the difference!
Can Stem Cell Therapy Treat Back Disease in Dogs?
Stem cell therapy (SCT) is a new and innovative regenerative medical therapy that harnesses the body’s natural healing processes to treat injured areas of the body with pure stem cells. Using stem cell therapy in the form of HUC-DT, a vet can inject millions of stem cells directly into the areas of inflammation and damage triggered by your dog’s IVDD.
Stem cell therapy is so powerful because it delivers millions of stem cells where only a few hundred would have naturally existed. This massive collaboration between stem cells expedites and enhances the healing process, decreases pain, and prevents future complications from intervertebral disc disease.
Dog Paralysis Treatment
Whether your dog is only showing the early signs of IVDD or has become paralyzed as a result of the disease, stem cell therapy offers a solution. Since stem cells release a massive quantity of anti-inflammatory agents, they directly combat all of the inflammation caused by IVDD. This reduces swelling, minimizes spinal cord compression, and even preserves or improves physical range of motion.
In addition to fighting inflammation, stem cells can help to rebuild damaged tissues within the hip joint.
Under normal circumstances, the rubbing and swelling caused by IVDD creates inflammation and tissue damage stronger than anything the body’s existing stem cells can combat alone. However, adding five million stem cells into the spinal cord makes it possible to exponentially support, regulate, and accelerate healing.
The Bottom Line
Most pet owners don’t recognize intervertebral disc disease as readily as they may notice arthritis or an ACL tear, but IVDD is nonetheless a severe condition that requires advanced medical attention.
Rather than taking your chances with traditional treatments or risky surgeries, you can use canine stem cell therapy to address your pet’s intervertebral disc disease. This is far from a simple Band-Aid solution that fades over weeks or months.
Quite the opposite! Stem cell therapy triggers deep and lasting healing that has the potential to improve your dog’s entire quality of life and prevent devastating problems like paralysis.
Learn more now by visiting Stem Cells for Dogs and connecting with a stem cell therapy vet expert in your local area.