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The 15 most important symptoms of spondylosis in dogs

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More and more dog suffer from spondylosis

Even though spondylosis in dogs is often an incidental finding, it has become a true “common disease”. To make you more aware, I’ll tell you the most important signs. In this way, you can recognize in time if your dog could suffer from this disease of the spine. Spondylosis is a progressive formation of bone spans between the individual vertebrae. The spine of the dog stiffens over time. It can be genetic; however, obesity and excessive stress are also factors that promote spondylosis. Especially sport and service dogs, whose bodies are often exposed to heavy stress, often suffer from spondylosis.

How does spondylosis develop in dogs?

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. When elastic elements show weakness, bony components form in the form of the bone braces. Actually a good idea of the body!
However, the braces do not form in a “vacuum”. This is because they work their way through tissues such as muscles and ligaments and, depending on their extent, can also “pinch off” nerves. If the small vertebral joints are also involved in the process, it is referred to as spondyloarthritis. This event results in an inflammatory process in the acute episode. Thus, also pain for your dog. Once the bone brace is fully formed, it is stable and is an integral part of the spine. The dog no longer feels pain. The bone clasp can only break by external force.

This is how spondylosis becomes noticeable in dogs:

The symptoms are manifold. That means they don’t generally occur together and your dog doesn’t have to show all the symptoms.

  • Dogs with spondylosis have back pain especially in the acute episode.
  • A common and typical symptom is tenderness to touch on the back.
  • Especially in an acute episode, you may also feel warm spots.
  • Many dogs have a stiff tucked up back, like a cat hump.
  • In the course of the disease, the dogs lose muscle in the hind legs.
  • Affected dogs move in a stiff and spindly manner.
  • Everyday things like climbing stairs and getting into a car are difficult and avoided. This is often dismissed as petulant or stubborn behavior.

But that is not all. These symptoms may also occur:

  • Affected dogs no longer like to move. They lose the joy of playing with other dogs and people.
  • If they have to stand for a longer time, they like to lean somewhere, e.g. on the leg of the human.
  • A dog with spondylosis often shows difficulty standing up and lying down. Often associated with sighs and groans.
  • Limping and limping with the back paws can also be a symptom.
  • As the disease progresses, the dogs no longer lift their back paws properly. They let their claws drag across the ground as they walk. A sign of this are ground down claws.
  • Many dogs find it difficult to groom themselves, shake themselves or lift their little leg.
  • Depending on the extent, neurological problems and paralysis may occur.
  • In the course, the spine becomes increasingly stiff and loses flexibility.

Is your dog showing one or more of these symptoms? You should definitely have your vet check him out then. This is because they may be due to spondylosis, but various other musculoskeletal diseases may also show similar symptoms. Because it is very important to know: your dog is not faking! Therefore, these signs are always serious and you should definitely get your dog checked out.

PS: Here you can learn more about the disease SPONDYLOSE and how to support your dog with ACTIVE EXERCISES .


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