Herniated disc in dogs: recognize symptoms

A herniated disc in dogs can be an unpleasant and, above all, painful affair. But what symptoms are there that indicate a herniated disc in a dog?

A herniated disc in dogs is not easy for owners to recognize because the signs are diverse. The symptoms that occur depend on the severity of the herniated disc and the height of the spine. For which symptoms a herniated disc might be present and when you should consult the veterinarian with your four-legged friend, please read below.

What is a herniated disc actually?

In order to recognize the herniated disc symptoms in dogs, it is important to understand what this disease is. Between the individual vertebrae of the spine there is an intervertebral disc in dogs (and also in humans and other mammals). This consists of a soft, gelatinous mass surrounded by a firmer, cartilaginous ring. The disc serves as a kind of shock absorber between the bony vertebrae. If there is a herniated disc, the interior of an intervertebral disc - that is, the jelly core - falls down in front of or out of the surrounding ring. The intervertebral disc then presses on the spinal cord and nerve cords lying there.

Herniated discs in dogs: These are symptoms

The first sign of a herniated disc in dogs is pain. For example, if your dog is in pain, you may find that he does not enjoy frolicking or moves much less than he usually does.

Under certain circumstances, you may also notice a change in the movement of your dog or recognize a kind of restraint, such as a curved back. Another indication of pain in a herniated disc may be that your dog is hypersensitive to touch on the spine, perhaps even showing aggressive behavior.

Serious symptoms: paralysis

In more pronounced disc herniations, it can also lead to paralysis on the front or hind legs. You can recognize such a paralysis, for example, by the fact that your dog follows his leg. In dachshunds and breeds, which tend to the so-called "dachshund", the hind legs are often unable to move.

In some cases, it also comes to the so-called "dog sitting position" in which the hind legs are stretched backwards. Depending on the location and extent of the event, a herniated disc in dogs may also affect the function of the sphincter muscles of the bladder and bowel. Unplanned discontinuation of urine or feces is the result if the nerves are affected by the herniated disc.

What you can do in this case for your four-legged friend, you will find in the guide: "herniated disc in the dog: treatment".

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