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Dog back pain

Canine Back Pain

Like human beings, dogs too are susceptible to severe back pain even though they do not walk upright like us or twist and bend as much.

Dogs can suffer from a series of ailments ranging from the common pulled muscle to fractured bones, dislocation of the vertebra, malformations of the vertebra and even vertebral cancer. Dog back pain can occur due to a condition called disk herniation in which the shock absorbing jelly between each vertebra loses this property, hardens and calcifies.

Any trauma caused or pressure applied to this region can then cause the calcified jelly to rupture leading to a variety of problems like acute pain, numbness, lameness and loss of the function of a limb. The signs of dog back problems include neck pain and a reluctance to eat as it would involve lowering its neck, walking about in a shaky or wobbly manner, whining, cringing and crying when touched, limping about and shivering from the pain.

As the condition progresses, the canine back pain can become severe and end in total or partial paralysis as well as suffer from incontinence. Dog back pain treatment involves being confined to a crate with minimal physical activity for weeks on end and being on medication for the pain, muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory medication. The medication may relieve the pain and bring back the pet’s old activity levels, but the injury may still remain and will have to be treated. On the home front, dog back pain treatment can include feeding them glucosamine and chondroitin containing dietary supplements which are believed to help greatly in repairing the cartilage. Dogs may be fed antioxidants through supplements of Vitamin A, C and E. Culinary antioxidants include parsley, thyme, ginger and oregano and can be sprinkled onto the food.

When out, walking your dog, do no attach the leash directly to the collar. Instead use a chest harness to avoid any sudden jerking motion that may cause pain or injure the dog. Being overweight can also lead to dog back problems. To check if your pet is overweight, place your hands under its ribcage and start counting the number of ribs it has. If you feel that the area is getting padded, it means that a weight loss plan is essential. The dog should not be allowed to jump up and down from beds or tables to prevent further injuries.

  Submitted on April 6, 2010  

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