Understanding Canine Back Pain: Causes, Conditions, and Care 

When a dog experiences back pain, numerous potential causes exist, including muscle strain, herniated discs, and degenerative spinal disease

This article has compiled information about common back injuries and diseases in dogs. By familiarising yourself with these conditions, you can better understand their symptoms, treatment options, and your dog’s recovery prognosis. 

Common Back Injuries and Diseases in Dogs: 

Herniated Disc in Dogs: 

A herniated disc occurs when the back ruptures or damage occurs. Understanding the symptoms, treatment methods, and the dog’s prognosis for recovery is crucial when dealing with this condition.

Spondylosis in Ageing Dogs: 

Spondylosis is a spinal disease often associated with ageing dogs. It can contribute to stiffness in the dog’s back and is characterized by degenerative changes in the spine. 

Degenerative Lumbosacral Stenosis (L7-S1): 

Degenerative Lumbosacral Stenosis, also known as DLSS or L7-S1, is a spinal disease that affects dogs. It involves pressure on the nerve fibres between the last lumbar vertebra (L7) and the first sacral vertebra (S1). 

Muscle Strain in Dogs: 

In some cases, a dog may experience a muscle strain that requires time to heal. The dog must rest during the healing period, which is often longer than the symptomatic period. However, rest doesn’t imply complete inactivity but controlled exercise in the form of leashed walks. Failing to allow proper healing can lead to chronic muscle injuries. 

Identifying Signs of Dog Back Pain: Hind Limb Ataxia 

Back pain in dogs can manifest in various ways. Common symptoms include difficulty jumping onto furniture, struggling to stand up, avoiding lying down on certain surfaces, or limping. Issues with the musculoskeletal system tend to develop gradually. 

Maintaining a Healthy Spine in Your Dog through Warm-ups and Exercise: 

Ensuring your dog maintains a healthy weight and overall condition is essential for their well-being. Additionally, incorporate warm-up exercises before activities such as hunting, obedience training, or agility to prevent potential back problems. 

When to Seek Veterinary Care for Dog Back Pain: 

If your dog exhibits signs of back pain, it is crucial to consult a veterinarian, as several conditions could be responsible. In cases where symptoms of a herniated disc appear suddenly, such as difficulty walking or signs of paralysis, urgent veterinary attention is necessary for the best prognosis, potentially requiring emergency surgery. 

Many back injuries and diseases in dogs can be treated through surgery and other interventions. However, it’s important to note that the rehabilitation process following treatment can be lengthy. As a responsible pet owner, being aware of these conditions and seeking timely veterinary care will contribute to your dog’s overall well-being and recovery.