Disk Disease


  The Standard Dog Wheelchair by K9 Carts™ is used for rear limb weakness or paralysis.

   Your dog must have normal strength in the front legs, without pain. Also, your dog must have the desire to be active. Cable leg rings are covered with contoured, dense foam padding to prevent pressure sores and give pelvic support.

 CLICK HERE

     Intervertebral Disk Disease, IVDD, (slipped disk) is the most common neurologic disorder diagnosed in dogs. Disk Disease is associated with disk degeneration with extrusion or protrusion causing spinal cord compression and/or nerve root entrapment.

     The spine is made up of bony segments called vertebrae. There are eight cervical vertebrae, thirteen thoracic vertebrae, seven lumbar vertebrae and three sections of the sacrum. The disks, which consist of a jelly-like material, are located between most vertebras and function as shock absorbers for the entire spinal column.

 Disk degeneration is divided into two distinct categories. Hansen Type I (extrusion) is characterized by chondroid degeneration of the nucleus pulposus and Hansen Type II (protrusion) is characterized by fibriniod degeneration of the nucleus pulposus. The nucleus pulposus undergoes degenerative changes and loses its ability to absorb shock.

   Both Hansen Type I and II occur when a disk becomes diseased, the weakened disk begins to slip out of place. Subsequently, the disk invades the spinal canal, which indents the spinal cord &/or entraps the nerve roots. Both types of degeneration cause varying degrees of neurologic deficits, as do the location and force of the extrusions or protrusions.


     



 










Normal Cervical Spine

Normal Thoracic Spine

Normal Lumbar Spine

Atlas-C1

Axis-C2

C3

C4

C5

C6

C7

T1

T2

T3

T4

T5

T6

T7

T8

T9

T10

T11

T12

T13

L1

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

Disk Material is between each disk

Disk Material is between each disk

Disk Material is between each disk

Intervertebral Disk Disease







Hansen Type I - Disk Extrusion

Hansen Type II- Disk Protrusion

Hansen Type I - Lumbar Spine Myelogram

Hansen Type II -Lumbar Spine Myelogram

WHITE MATTER SPINAL CORD

GREY MATTER SPINAL CORD

DURA MATTER

Nucleus Pulposus

Ilium (Hip)

L3

L4

Nucleus Pulposus

DURA MATTER

Spinal Cord Compression

L3

L4

Ilium (Hip)

L1

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

L1

L2

L3

L4

L5

L6

L7

Annulus of Vertebral Disk

Annulus of Vertebral Disk

L7-S1

Spinal Cord Compression from Disk Extrusion at L3-L4

Disk Extrusion from chondroid degeneration of the nucleus

Disk Extrusion from fibroid degeneration of the nucleus

Lumbar Spine

Lumbar Spine

Spinal Compression from Disk Protrusion at L3-L4

Calcified Disk Material




Medical management is commonly recommended for chronic disk disease dogs which are ambulatory (able to walk or move their hind legs), and involves strict cage confinement, exercise restriction and the administering of oral anti-inflammatory medication and/or NSAID’s.  SEE BELOW.

   Owners are encouraged to change their dog’s lifestyle by discouraging stairs and uphill climbs for the remainder of the dog’s life. Also, owners are encouraged to aid their dogs with an abdominal sling. Cervical disk disease patients are encouraged to use a harness, instead of a collar around their dog’s neck.

    Medical management will not cure this condition, but it will treat the current symptoms, such as pain and swelling, making your dog more comfortable. Surgical intervention should be considered if the patient fails to respond to appropriate medical management.

  If patients with mild neurological deficits show static or deteriorating signs or loss of urinary continents, early surgical intervention will promote a better prognosis.

Cervical Disk Disease dogs experience acute neck pain and are reluctant to move their head and neck. Some dogs may walk with a stiff gait, keep their head in a lower position or show incoordination of the front legs, (called deficits). 80% of cervical disk protrusions occur in heavily-skulled dogs, including but not limited to: various breeds of Mastiff, St.Bernards,Newfoundland's, and Rottweilers.

     Thoraco-Lumbar (T-L) and Lumbar Disk Disease dogs are presented with acute or chronic back pain only or back pain in addition to varying degrees of paralysis. These signs may remain the same, slowly progress or become progressively worse. T-L disk disease primarily occurs in chondrodytorphoid (long-backed) breeds such as but not limited to: Dachshunds, Pekingese, Beagles, Miniature and Toy Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Shih Tzus, Lhasa Apsos, and Welsh Corgis.

     Lumbro-Sacral Disease differs from Disk Disease. Dogs may have hind end weakness, have trouble getting up and are often unable to jump. There is also the possibility of these patients becoming urinary incontinent or unable to defecate.

  Lumbo-Sacral Disease is now thought to be the predominant problem that was often misdiagnosed (or shrugged-off) as Hip Dysplasia in previous years.   

 Neurologic deficits are diagnosed by performing a simple “knuckling” test. If you turn your dogs foot, so that his knuckles are on the floor, and he/she doesn’t ‘fix’ their foot to a standing position, deficits are present.






    Neurological deficits can also be found by looking at the top of your dog’s feet. Dogs with deficits will often scuff or drag their feet thus causing abrasions on top of foot.

More info on: Lumbo-Sacral Disease CLICK HERE!

    Surgical therapy is recommended immediately if a patient becomes non-ambulatory; a dog that cannot feel its hind legs is considered paralyzed. Dogs with deep pain have a higher percentage of regaining the use of their rear legs, but surgery must be done ASAP for the best results.

    Deep pain can be tested by simply pinching the dog’s toes on a rear leg. If the dog reacts by pulling their leg away from you, even slightly, it means that the dog has pain sensation and has deep pain.

    

   Surgical intervention may result in immediate pain relief and eventual restoration of normal motor function in non-ambulatory patients. Many dogs regain the use of their legs when the nerve regenerates, but can take up to a year for complete results.

 There are several spinal decompression techniques used, which include Ventral Slot, Fenestration, Dorsal Laminectomy and Spinal Stabilization.

  Post-op recovery from spinal surgery requires strict confinement and exercise restriction. It is also necessary to assist your dog to walk or go up and down stairs by using a sling under their abdomen.



Deramaxx

Rimadyl

Prednisone


  The GingerLead is a soft, padded belly sling with a leash & handle to help dogs with weak hind legs walk. This dog sling has a soft comfortable inner lining, and a durable washable exterior.

 CLICK HERE

This is a dog that has hind leg paralysis and is in the position to prove it. This dog cannot walk and has no feelings in his hind legs and should have surgery ASAP, if applicable.


   BiteNot Collars allow complete peripheral vision while stabilizing your dog’s neck. Made of flexible plastic and foam, and machine washable.

CLICK HERE


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Disk Disease

This is not a funny photo, as you may have seen in e-mails or on Facebook and sent thru e-mails.

8 Cervical Vertebrae

L-S

T-L

7 Lumbar Vertebrae

13 Thoracic Vertebrae

Radiograph Before Isovue (Myelogram Dye)

Radiograph After Isovue (Myelogram Dye)

Needle Placement to inject Isovue

White Highlight is the Isovue traveling down the Spinal Column.

Myelogram shows where Isovue stops.