Intervertebral Disc Disease In Dogs

Intervertebral Disc Disease, also known as IVDD or slip disc, is a disease that affects the intervertebral disc. The disc sits just below the spinal cord. It can rupture, pushing upwards and compressing the spinal cord. The following breeds of dogs are more prone to this disease:

Bassett Hounds, Beagles, Bulldogs, Corgis, Cocker Spaniels, Dachshunds (most common), Pekingese, Poodles, Shih Tzu


- Stiffness of neck, limbs, or back
- Dragging rear leg(s)
- Knuckling when walking
- Obvious weakness or pain
- Lowered head when standing
- Increased sensitivity to movement or touch
- Impaired gait
- Paralysis
- Incontinence
- Back/muscle spasms


IVDD can be acute, chronic or a combination of both. In some dogs the disc is degenerated and weakened. Compounding this, a sudden impact such as jumping off the bed or sofa can result in the rupture of a disc. In other pets, a disc rupture can occur spontaneously.


In most cases, sensation of the leg is retained. Early treatment carries a good chance of recovery. Progression of the disease or delayed treatment may lead to permanent damage of the nerves, causing permanent paralysis, constipation and problems urinating. IVDD is usually diagnosed with CT and/or X-rays. Treatment includes medications and/or surgery in some cases.

Ventral Extradural Compression at C2-3

1. Ventral extradural compression at C2-3.


Left-ventral extradural compression at C2-3

2. Left-ventral extradural compression at C2-3


Post contributed by Nurse Song