General information on Ruptured Disc
Ruptured Discs can come on slowly or rapidly. This condition is very painful for the dog.
The disc is a cushion made of cartilage (fibrous connective tissue) that sits between the vertebrae.
There are two types of ruptured disc. The Hansen type 1 is when the disc ruptures on the inside causing it to impinge on the spinal cord. The Hansen type 2 is when the disc bulges outward. Type 1 occurs more in smaller dogs, especially the dachshund. Type 2 occurs more in larger breeds including Labrador Retrievers and German Shepherds.
Symptoms of Ruptured Disc
Symptoms of the type 1 Ruptured Disc may include gradual pain and the dog may cry when handled or touched in the affected area. The dog may also have an unsteady gate, lameness, weakness and may refuse to walk up or down stairs. The symptoms may appear suddenly after a mild trauma and the dog may have complete hindquarter paralysis. If the rupture is in the neck, this will be very painful and the dog may refuse to lower its head to eat. The dog may cry when patted on the head and front leg lameness or paralysis can also occur.
Symptoms of type 2 usually appear gradually over time as the dog ages.
Treatments for Ruptured Disc
Treatment of Ruptured Discs may include corticosteroids. There can be partial recovery with this method. Surgery may also be an option.
See your vet as soon as possible for an evaluation.
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