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IVDD is a Garbage diagnosis here’s why.  

IVDD stands for intervertebral Disc Disease. It is diagnosed after a spinal x-ray reveals decreased intervertebral disc spaces and your dog has symptoms of low back pain and / or limb weakness.  According to this diagnosis, your dog is at risk of a herniated disc and a pinched nerve which may lead to paralysis.  Drugs, limited activity, cage rest and surgery are typically recommended.  Pretty scary stuff!  
Don’t be scared.  It’s not the discs. It’s the muscles that need to be treated.  Physical therapy is the solution not drugs or surgery.
Slipping, playing and jumping can lead to muscle sprains and strains. These sprains can remain and  build up over months or years. They may seem to come on suddenly because they can no longer compensate due to pain. Lack of movement leads to arthritis and decreased disc space. That’s what is seen on the x-ray. It’s the result not the cause. Therefore focusing on the disc is the wrong approach. 
At Arfit, we see many dogs diagnosed with IVDD.  They recover with therapy. They don’t need surgery. They rarely need drugs except for anti-inflammatory medication in the first few days. They most certainly don’t need cage rest. Cage Rest is the equivalent of Bed Rest for human beings. 30 years ago, Bed Rest was prescribed for low back and Disc injuries in people. We’ve progressed a lot since then. We know now that bed rest is not effective and actually slows recovery. Early intervention with physical therapy leads to the best recovery.  Treatments that reduce inflammation and pain such as massage, stretching and range of motion results in a quicker recovery for our furry friends too!

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