Spondylosis in dogs is being diagnosed more and more often, but what does it even mean? Even in my practice days, many dog owners came to me with their dogs fresh from the vet with the diagnosis: spondylosis.
“But the vet said it’s not soooo bad. He can grow old with it just fine.”
What followed was that we first talked extensively about the clinical picture to create an understanding of what was happening in the dog’s body. I have summarized this information for you in this article.
Spondylosis in dogs is being diagnosed more and more often, but what does it even mean? Spondylosis dog
It is a progressive formation of bone spans between the individual vertebrae. Over time, it results in stiffening of the dog’s spine.
How and why does spondylosis develop?
The formation of bone braces is a self-help of the body to stabilize the spine. When ligaments, discs, muscles and tendons are weakened, the body acts. After elastic elements show weakness, bony elements are formed in the form of the bone braces. Quite a clever idea of our body. If there wasn’t a “BUT”. The bone clasps do not form in a “vacuum”. They work their way through tissues such as muscles and ligaments. Depending on the extent, they can also “pinch off” nerves. Incidentally, if the small vertebral joints are also involved in the process, it is referred to as spondyloarthritis.
The consequences of spondylosis
All this does not go unnoticed by our dogs. This event results in an inflammatory process in the acute episode. This also means pain for the dog. Once the brace is fully formed, your dog will no longer feel any pain from it. They do not break except when subjected to brute force. Frequently affected by spondylosis are the posterior thoracic spine, lumbar spine. But also the transition to the sacrum.
Spondylosis may be genetic. But also overweight, excessive load are factors that favor them. Sporting and service dogs, whose bodies are often subjected to severe stress, also suffer more frequently.
What are the symptoms of spondylosis?
The signs are many and varied. Some common and very typical ones are that your dog’s back is sensitive to touch in certain areas and you feel warm spots. Many dogs have a stiff, drawn up back. This usually occurs in episodes. In the course, many dogs lose muscle in the hind legs. They walk stiff and spindly. Climbing stairs and getting into the car is often difficult. The dogs start with not lifting their hind paws when walking. A sign of this are ground down claws. Many dogs then find it difficult to clean themselves or to lift their legs. Depending on the extent, neurological disorders may occur. In the course, the spine becomes increasingly stiff and loses flexibility.
What should you pay attention to?
The back is the weak point of your dog. Avoid riding other dogs at all costs. Patting and patting on the back is also uncomfortable for your dog. Adjust loads and walks to your dog’s condition. I recommend that you take shorter walks with your dog and do it more often. If your dog is overweight, weight reduction is inevitable. Competitive sports are taboo in spondylosis. However, there are now many offers that are aimed at dogs with handicaps. Degility would be an example of this.
What can you do?
Spondylosis is not operable. The formed bony braces cannot be reversed. In an acute episode, supportive treatment with analgesic and anti-inflammatory medications may help in consultation with your veterinarian. In addition, there are a variety of supplements that support your dog. The goal is to relieve your dog’s pain, especially in an acute episode.
Even though the condition is not curable, it is extremely important that you keep your dog well muscled and keep the spine elastic. In addition, nerve conduction should be trained. The first priority is to stop the progression of spondylosis. With active movement exercises you can make sure to stop the progression.
In my next article, I’ll show you two very effective exercises for spondylosis. You can do them yourself. You train coordination, agility and musculature of your dog.
Your dog has back problems and you want to strengthen his back muscles? His back often seems stiff, the walks become more and more difficult? Playing with dog buddies is no longer fun for your four-legged friend? Your dog should find everyday movements such as climbing stairs or lifting legs easier again. You want to break the vicious circle – strengthen the “weak point back”? Learn in the BACKFIT ONLINE COURSE how your dog becomes more mobile again, builds up muscles and gets a better coordination & balance!
Many greetings. your Tina
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