How to Help a Dog with Back Problems
The most common cause of back problems in Dachshunds, and many other dog breeds, is a condition called Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD).
I previously wrote an article explaining what IVDD is and how to recognize the warning signs of a back problem, and what you can do to help prevent them.
However, IVDD is a genetic disease and it’s unlikely you can totally prevent your dog from having any back issues if they have the disease.
UPDATED: February 23, 2023
If you are looking for information on back injuries and IVDD, please check out my IVDD Resources page.
Dachshunds, the breed with the highest incidence of IVDD, aren’t the only breed prone to having it.
Other susceptible breeds include Beagles, Basset Hounds, Pugs, Pekingese, Chihuahuas, Shih Tzus, Jack Russel Terriers, Mini Poodles, Mini Pinchers, Bichons, and Cocker Spaniels.
If you dog fell victim to IVDD, your veterinarian has suggested treatment options – typically surgery, or pain and inflammatory medication, followed by strict crate rest – and you have followed the best plan of action for you and your family.
Hopefully your dog has regained most of their mobility or has made a full recovery.
Even if your dog has “returned to normal” the fight against IVDD is never over.
Dogs can have flare ups, re-injure themselves, or become paralyzed again.
So, what can you do after your Dachshund or other dog has developed back problems to maximize their enjoyment of life and minimize any future incidence?
Here are some things you can do to help prevent a flare-up (many of these can help prevent injury in the first place too).
10 Ways to Help Prevent Dog Back Problems
1) Learn all you can about the disease
Whether you only just learned about IVDD, or only know a little about the disease, one of the best things you can do to help prevent and appropriately treat back problems in dogs is to arm yourself with more information.
One way to do this is to join an IVDD support community.
The groups are typically run by Dachshund owners, who have knowledge and experience with IVDD, who offer support, education, and a safe place to ask questions.
A couple of good ones are the IVDD Support Facebook Group and the IVDD Dogs/IVDD Funds Facebook group.
Some great websites for learning more include:
2) Help your dog maintain a proper weight
Making sure your dog keeps off any extra pounds will prevent unnecessary strain on your dog’s spine or neck.
If you are unsure whether your dog is at the proper weight or not, consult your vet for advice or determine how much your Dachshund should weigh and perform your own assessment.
If your Dachshund is a little chunky, check out these weight loss tips.
Note: because a dog with back problems might have physical limits, watching the amount of food and treats they eat is key.
3) Lift and carry your dog properly
The most important thing when lifting and carrying a dog with a long back (or any dog really) is to support both the front and rear of their body to prevent undue strain on their neck and spine.
Here are great instructions with pictures.
The only thing I don’t agree with here is the photo depiction of #6 – it’s just as important to support both the front and rump of your dog when you are setting them back down.
4) Use a dog a harness
There is some debate around this but, generally, using a harness instead of a collar when walking your dog helps to put the pressure on their strong shoulders instead of their fragile necks.
Three of our favorite harnesses for Dachshunds are the VelPro Choke-free Mesh Harness, the Hurtta Casual Padded Y harness, and the mesh Hug-A-Dog Harness from Dachshund Delights.
Those three harnesses will work for other breeds too.
5) Keep your dog’s nails trimmed
Toenails that are too long can cause your dog to alter their gait and cause alignment issues such as back, hip, or knee pain.
Over the long term, it can also contribute to the development of arthritis.
I know cutting a Dachshund nails is a real challenge for many but this dog nail trimming hack can help.
However you do it, avoid these nail trimming mistakes.
6) Raise food and water bowls
Raising your dog’s bowls off of the ground a bit, so they can keep their neck closer to a neutral position while eating or drinking, can help alleviate pressure on the neck and spine.
7) Keep your Dachshund active
Some people are so fearful of a re-injury that they protect their Dachshund too much.
Not only can this have a negative impact on their quality of life and their behavior, but it can actually make them more susceptible to injuring their back again.
It’s important for your Dachshund to exercise regularly, even if they have been diagnosed with IVDD.
Regular exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight, helps keep muscles and joints strong, and helps to maintain cardiovascular health.
It’s even suspected that healthy, adult Dachshunds who are moderately to highly active have a lower incidence of IVDD.
8) Use a ramp or stairs for furniture
While it is important for your Dachshund to be active, that does not mean they should do unnecessary, repetitive, high impact activities.
The most common culprit of high impact on a dog’s spine is jumping on and off furniture.
Using stairs or a ramp to help your Dachshund get on and off furniture will reduce the chance of a back injury.
If you are unable to train your Dachshund to consistently use a ramp or stairs, consider blocking off all but the ramp like I did.
9) Ask your vet about alternative therapies
Acupuncture and cold laser therapy can help dogs heal from a back injury.
Acupuncture helps regenerate neurons and stimulate stem cell regrowth.
Laser therapy has been proven to reduce tenderness, pain, and speed up the tissue healing process.
But both of these alternative therapies can also help maintain spinal health, and manage flare-ups, and reduce discomfort after the initial recovery period.
You’ll have to get acupuncture treatments in a clinical setting but cold laser treatments can be done at the vet or at home if you purchase your own laser.
10) (CAUTIOUSLY) Use back support
Using a brace, like the L’il Back Bracer, which was designed with input from veterinarians and provides comfortable but firm support to help stabilize the dog’s spinal column, and may help in specific situations.
Primary features of the L’il Back Bracer dog brace are:
- Comfortable, ergonomic construction to alleviate pressure on spine
- Designed to support the back from above & below to truly stabilize the dog’s spinal column
- Recommended for both treatment and prevention
- Snug, adjustable fit provides gentle, constant pressure for calming effect on nervous system
- Incorporated D-ring to attach a leash
- Easy to take on and off
- Medical grade, moisture-wicking, Breathe-O-Prene® fabric
- No need to remove dog brace for dogs to “do their business”
Here is a video of the Lil’ Back Bracer in action.
It is important to note that you should ask your veterinarian about a back brace before you buy one for your Dachshund.
While a few veterinarians think a brace can protect the back during rigorous activities like hiking or rough play, many neurosurgeons, and rehab specialists, think they should not be used because a brace can actually weaken your dog’s spine-supporting muscles.
Approximately 25% of Dachshunds, at some point in their lives, suffer from IVDD.
Many other breeds are affected too, but to a lesser degree.
Luckily, my first Dachshund Chester never developed IVDD and was pain-free most of his life.
He did develop a little pain and tenderness in his spine his old age but was due to normal spinal aging and degeneration, not the type of IVDD most Dachshund owners think of.
My second Dachshund Gretel did suffer a back injury and was diagnosed with IVDD.
I’ve implemented most of the things above (except the back brace and elevating all of her bowls) to help prevent future flare ups.
She’s had 3 relatively minor episodes since 2016 but they have been easily managed with pain medication, crate rest, and cold laser therapy treatments.
You might also find these articles helpful:
Do You Need to Treat Your IVDD Dog Like Breakable Glass?
Exercises for Strengthening, Balance and Body Awareness in Dogs (Especially with IVDD)
IVDD Recovery Treatment – Things You Can Do at Home
Supplements for Active Dogs, Senior Dogs, and Dogs Recovering From IVDD
About the Author
Hi, I’m Jessica. I’ve been studying the Dachshund breed since 2007, owned 3 of my own, and shared in the lives of thousands of others through their owner’s stories. When I’m not sharing what I know on this blog, you can find me hiking, camping, and traveling with my adventurous wiener dogs.
Cappy is now over3 years old. He is a tweety of 16 lbs and I watch his weight since he had weight problems when I rescued him. I would love to win to give him extra bac support daily.
I have 2 dachshunds, Barney and Brody and Barney has had back problems.
I would love to win this contest! I have a mini dachshund named Roscoe who is beginning to experience back problems, I’m watching his weight as our vet has noticed he’s slightly overweight.
Hopefully Roscoe never experiences full-blown symptoms.
My little guy, Neos, started having back issues after jumping down from my sons bed about 3.5 years ago. He’s got most of his mobility back but still hurts a bit. His gait is different and sometimes he has flare ups. We used pain meds, anti-inflamitories, crate rest, and acupuncture. He went from not being able to walk and potty to getting around pretty good with a cute little swagger in his step and no potty problems. I think one of these braces would really help him when he has flare ups.
I think the brace might be helpful for flare-ups too. I am glad to hear Neos made a mostly full recovery. Once a dog is stricken with IVDD issues, it can be an ongoing challenge to balance activity and being a dog with not overdoing it. I’m glad to hear you had success with acupuncture too. I’ve heard good things from others and have been thinking of trying it for Chester.
My 3yr old beagle woke up yesterday an couldn’t move her back legs and the vet put her on steroids an crate rest but what’s the best way to get her to lay down? I’ve been getting her down but fear of hurting her. Will she lay down on her own you think?
Any help or ideas are greatly appreciated.
Please text me ? 315-570-0809. Amy
Hi Amy. I’m sorry to hear about your pup. I’m surprised that the pain medication and steroids is not making her sleepy. You may want to talk to your vet about giving her Xanex or Prozac to calm her. Alternately, you can try natural calming supplements. My favorite is Vetriscience Composure (the Pro if you can find it). You’ll probably find this article helpful too. https://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/dog-crate-rest-tips/
I noticed that preventing your dog from jumping up or down the stairs or couch were not part of how to prevent IVDD. Is this just an obvious NO-NO or is it ok to some extent to let a dog be a dog?
Hi Erika. I linked several times in this post to my previous post about IVDD. In that post, I explain that IVDD is genetic and it cannot be “prevented”. I also explain what can be done to help minimize the effects of it though and no jumping is one of the things I mentioned. Please go back and read that post for more information. The truth is though, it can be impossible to keep some dogs from every jumping. The only hope there is to minimize it when you can. So the answer to your question is “both” – It’s good to minimize jumping but it’s impossible to stop a dog from being a dog.
I have looked at the LiL back bracer for my Heidi. Would love to try it.
I have two minis who occasionally have back problems. When they do, I restrict their activity for at least two weeks, even if they’re acting “better.” At one point, I had one of them on a pain killer, anti inflammatory medication, and a steroid. He had lost coordination in his hind quarters. It was from overextending himself while digging on the beach. After six weeks of only leaving his crate to potty, he made a full recovery! The most important thing is to be consistent about restricting activity. I took him to see many specialists because I was in vet school at the time.
Exactly… being consistent. My previous post I liked to in this article about IVDD talks about that being one of the biggest factors of re-injury – not making them rest enough and long enough. Thanks for sharing your experience here.
My sister dachshund, Daisy, is in wheels after an unsuccessful IVDD surgery. I’m excited to learn about the back bracer and appreciate the good information your shared in this blog post. Thank you so much. Lots of doxie love, Sarah @ TheSmootheStore.com
Unfortunately, some Doxie’s do end up needing a wheelchair… but like Anderson Pooper (pictured), they can still lead a full and active life. I bet Sarah’s pup has just as much fun. Love the stuff in your store by the way 🙂
Owen is still a young 2 year old mix but i still worry about his back all the time. My previous dog i had was a dachshund rescue and had very bad back issues with multiple disc issues. It’s really terrible to see them in that state. Education is a good way to help owners and there pets. Your articles are doing just that and we thank you for writing them
Oh, I can only imagine what it must be like with a new Doxie after a previous one had such major back issues 🙁 Chester is past the IVDD window but is still susceptible to back pain due to aging disks. Even that bit of discomfort worries me so. At least you know all of the right things to do, and not do, and how to recognize the symptoms now.
Yes knowing the signs is a plus. Also i am careful about what I let him do though he is active he does do all the hikes we do.
(See his instagram account owen_chiweenie for hike photos. We are already pals on there:))
Owen! He’s such a cutie! I’ve seen some of the hikes you do and he seems to handle it fine and enjoy himself. Chester and Gretel have been hiking for years and it’s never worried me. I help them down but ledges when we hike but that’s about the only precaution I take. I swear that keeping Chester fit and his muscles supple is part of what has helped him avoid acute back injury over the years. He has taken a bad tumble down the stairs a few times in his 13 years 🙁 As we agreed, knowing the signs is the most important thing you can do. Not letting them be a dog can backfire. If you know the signs, you’ll know if you need to back off and rest for a while.
My doxie girl will be 10 in May. So far she hasn’t shown any signs of back trouble (knock on wood) but I think this would be a great thing to have on hand in case it does start. I think I’d start using it now to prevent future problems.
I’m thinking I might use it on Chester when we go hiking from now on. At least on the rougher trails. He still gets after it pretty good for an old man but some extra protection can’t hurt and he seems to not mind it.
We are on the down side of forced 2 week kennel rest. Our Fitz is not over weight, about 14 lbs, but seems to have on going issues with his back. This last episode was the worst, but he seems to be recovering with pain management, anti inflammatory, and keeping him from running. He has become my “purse” dog as I carry him from room to room and out side. I really hope to win this brace….it sounds like it will help him. Thanks for making us aware of the possibility.
Hi Debbie. I am sorry that Fritz keeps experiencing issues. I would think this brace would help him when he has flare-ups. I really liked how it supported Chester’s back.
We have a Dachshund who also have back issues.
My 5 year old had back surgery 5 weeks ago today. She is on the way to recovery. This back brace would be great for her. We like to take walks down our dirt road. Hoping she can start doing that a little in May.
She must be well on her way. I walk Dachshunds part-time and a few of them have had surgery (they all fully recovered thank goodness). I think it was around week 6 that their owners had me start taking them out for 5-10 minutes. I hope your sweetie continues to improve.
We had an 8 yr old mini that required surgery, she did make a full recovery.
That’s great news! I know many Dachshunds who have made a full recovery so all hope is certainly not lost if a dog is struck by IVDD.
My sweet Babalu has IVDD. When first struck we did 8 wks of crate rest. Now he is healed but I worry about reinjury. I limit his outdoor activities and don’t go on long walks anymore since that’s what triggered his last episode. I’d love to try this brace for him
I love that name. I’m glad Babalu made a full recovery. I am sure it’s hard not to be worried once something like that has happened to your pup. Just know that I’ve seen a lot of Dachshunds need a period of crate rest and then go on to walk, and even hike, for years to come.
My first dog ever, Lucy, suffered from back problems. She survived a back surgery but never walked quite the same. We ended up putting her down when it got extremely bad. She left behind her friend Sookie, who is now 13 years old and I believe could really benefit from a brace. I hope she gets a chance to try it. Thanks for the article and information.
Yeah, I’ve seen dogs have a little limp or hitch in their step after surgery. It never seems to slow them down much though. Dogs are very resilient and it’s amazing what they can recover from or compensate for.
My name is Crystal and I have a doxie named Weenie. She is now 9 years old and I have had her since she was 8 weeks, she is definitely my family -my kiddo! We are from Virginia and I’m a traveling therapist which is how we ended up in the area. When Weenie was 5 years old she jumped off my bed and was immediately paralyzed from her rib cage down. At that time, we lived within an hour of a major veterinary school in VA and after a thorough evaluation and MRI, surgery was our only option. We were very careful after that with diet, exercise, and no jumping! Unfortunately, as you stated, IVDD is a genetic disease and not something a doxie gets rid of. In February 2016 (6.5 weeks ago), we were going for our evening walk in Montana around the block with a harness. She didn’t jump or run or slip, she was simply walking and started favoring her right back leg just slightly. By the time we got back to the house, she could no longer walk. We went immediately to the emergency vet and he highly suggested conservative measures over night because the closest surgeon was 10 hours away at Washington State University. He said he would monitor her for any change at all and we could make a final decision in the morning. We waited 6 hours before he called and said she was worsening. By the time we made it to Washington State, she had lost deep pain sensation in her back right leg. Her surgery was a success but they had given her a 50% chance to walk again. After 6 weeks of very strict crate rest, she has began to walk again. However, she does have residual affects and nerve damage. She is still a little uncoordinated and looses control of her back right leg at times. She is a VERY active doxie and I’m struggling with what to try at this point. They are wanting to put her on more medication including keeping her on gabapentin for life but I worry so much about the side effects. We are looking into starting hydrotherapy now. We’ve spent so much money on vet bills and treatments but when your pet is your family, it’s very hard to draw the line. I also struggle at this point with how much I should keep her in a bubble because I’m terrified of her getting hurt again but what type of quality of life is that considering how active she is and always wants to go, go, go. I would LOVE to try this back brace! A giveaway is perfect for us because it’s very hard at this point to splurge on conservative measures that we’re not 100% sure will help!
Thanks for sharing so many details about your story. Gretel started favoring her back leg a month or so ago. I panicked and took her to a specialist. He couldn’t find anything wrong. However, since I’ve been writing more about Dachshund back problems, I noticed that she is favoring the leg a little more. I’m trying not to panic but stories like yours punctuate the importance of taking her back to the specialist. I’m hoping he’ll let me do x-rays this time.
When we adopted Gretel. I put both dogs on pet health insurance. I do have a significant deductible but it’s a relief to know I can go for surgery without hesitation if it’s ever recommended for either dog.
I have definitely been beating myself up about not enrolling her in pet insurance when I first considered it before she ever starting having problems. That’s a very smart decision! I think the scary thing for me is how slowly and gradually the onset was. I never really thought that it could happen with just walking and I have always assumed when she was favoring one of her back legs/acting painful that it was just that, she was in pain but that’s not always the case. I do firmly believe in crate rest and have stuck to it through both times she has hurt her back but it is definitely very worth it to have a specialist do a double check in case because like in her situation, the longer she waited (even on crate rest) the disc had already ruptured so fluid just continued to pour out and decompress the spinal cord causing lasting damage. I am dying to try the back brace though!!
And, by the way, I’m rooting for you to win the brace. It sounds like it would be a great thing to try with Weenie. I checked their site and, unfortunately, they can not guarantee effectiveness and take returns. I do understand that the cost of the brace may be too steep for a “maybe”. The testimonials are all very positive though and several people on our Facebook page have said they own one and love it.
Sparky had back surgery when he was 3.5 yo. I got rid of the pet steps and have ramps outside. When our home was being built, Sparky and I were checking the upstairs bedroom and he walked across some insulation. Before I could reach him he had dropped straight down 10 feet to the main floor. It was awful to hear him cry. I rushed him to the new vet. They checked him over carefully and said nothing was broken, that he might be stiff and to give him baby aspirin if needed. I was never so scared. I often wonder of this contributed to his disc problem. He’s great now, but I still watch him closely.
Oh, my! That’s so scary. I’m glad Sparky wasn’t severely injured. It sounds like a miracle that he wasn’t.
We put our mattress on the floor so Chester down’t have a high jump up or down. We’re considering a ramp for you couch too. Chester never really liked the stairs we tried in the past.
How has the mattress on the floor worked for you? My dog had back surgery and just got released from eight weeks of crate rest. I thought I could get used to sleeping on the floor, but after a few days of whimpering and whining I realize that’s not gonna happen. I put my mattress on the floor and have been sleeping on there with him, but wanted to make sure the step up and down from the mattress is not bad for him.
I’ve got two doxies, Reggie the Red and Newton the Black&Tan. Reggie has a habit of sleeping on the edge of something then falling off when he wakes up; it results in an achy back and slow walking. We’d love to try the Lil Back Bracer and see how that helps.
Yikes. I had a kitty that would do that when I was a kid. She was “rubbery” but never managed to land on her feet like most cats. Hopefully Reggie never goes beyond stiff and sore after a fall.
I also have two dachshunds. Though they don’t have back issues yet, this would help prevent the worst from happening.
Thank you for provide the dachshund community all of this useful information! We keep Jack active and do any preventative thing we can. He has no back issues, and hope he never does, but the Lil’Back Bracer seems like a fantastic preventative tool and walking harness. Thank you again for all you do!
My dog, Skipper, has a tendency to experience back pain. He has been on anti-inflammatory meds a couple of times. This back brace could be a game changer for him.
My pup Allie Marie is 10 yrs old, suddenly out of the blue a few days ago, she refused to jump and whimpered when I touched her. Straight to the vet we went and she has a slipped disc. She is on strict rest for a month. She stays in my bed unless she has to potty, which I pick her up (the proper way) abd bring her to her pad. It’s going to be a long recovery. I was looking at back braces to protect her back from real injury. Winning one would be super! Our other daschund misses her playing with him. 🙁
Poor Allie 🙁 Good luck in the contest.
Any recommendations on an elevated food bowl? I have not been able to locate any locally and honestly am not sure how high off the ground would be best.
Also, nail clipping — any recommendations on clippers and strategy. This is always a nightmare and even getting nearly impossible for vet staff to accomplish.
Own a lil back braver so please, if possible, omit me from drawing. It is a wonderful product! And thank you for always providing such interesting and informative content! Love your blog and Faceook posts.
I don’t have a recommendation for an elevated food bowl, sorry. I used one for a little bit years ago but stopped because I heard there are some negatives to using one too. Maybe something having to do with the possibility of blat? I can’t remember. I would ask your vet for recommendations.
As for the nails, I liked to a resourceful article in this blog post. It looks like you missed the link somehow so here it is again
I’m glad to hear you already own a brace. I assume it is working out well for your pup?
I have a standard dachshund with a very broad chest, it is difficult to find coats for him. I’m wondering if this brace is adjustable enough. That being said that looks like the perfect solution for my Chewbacca. He had a herniated disc a couple of years ago and while he is recovered I do worry about him. He is a senior who still thinks he is a puppy, like most doxies. 😉
As for coats, have you tried ordering a custom made one? We get a lot of our coats from The Cozy Hound. They are well made and affordable.
The L’il Back Bracer is sized on the length of your dog and is highly adjustable. The neoprene straps are stretchy too. I can’t make any guarantees but I would be surprised if it didn’t fit your pup.
I worry soooo much about my little weenie’s back. Will definitely be looking into the back bracer for her!
I have 3 dachshunds. 2 of which have back issues. Surprisingly though, my 13 year old is not one of the two! It is my 6 and 7 year old boys. Peter is actually on prednisone right now because he is having back problems right now. My house is littered with ramps and baby gates now to try and limit where they can go and how they can get there.
Same way here. Up until yesterday, Chester was the only one with very slight back pain. Now that Gretel was diagnosed with IVDD, his 13 year old little self looks pretty healthy and spry in comparison. We had been considering ramps for Chester but they will be important for Gretel after she is healed too. I guess a shopping me go 🙂
I have a 13 year old Dachshund named Peanut. My baby has been having back problems for a few months now when it all first started he wouldn’t get up or walk, he was showing all the signs for IVDD my father made him a wheelchair to get around and it really helps him out. Most of the day he is on bed rest. We started doing laser treatments and they have really been helping Peanut he gets them every other day for 8 treatments. Peanut is walking again but he is having a hard time staying up and walking so the only time we let him get up and walk around is when he need to go potty. I really think the back brace will help help my baby get back on his feet.
Sorry Peanut is having issues. Glad the cart helps him get around a little and hope he heals up after some bed rest.
My little guy is 6 years old and had back surgery about 6 months ago. His prognosis was pretty grim in that they gave him a 50/50 chance of walking again after his surgery. About 2 months after his surgery he did start to walk again (wooooo hooo). He’s not the best walker now, so I carry him a lot. He’s definitely my drunken walker. I can’t believe I haven’t heard about this back brace earlier!!
What a relief that he’s able to at least get around some on his own. Although it’s sad why he does it, I bet his drunken walk is endearing 🙂
I have a dachshund, Maverick, who has had back pain from time to time in his 12 years. It usually happens after minor injury, and gets better with kennel rest and antiinflammatories.
I have two doxie mixes. One is 4 yrs old and the other is around 8. The younger one hasn’t had any issues with her back thankfully but I am now seeing that my older dog is showing some signs of pain. I would love to try the L’il Back Bracer with my dog Ruby!
I would love to have a back brace for my Dixie, Scooter. I have 2 doxies, one, Snoopy, had a low back slipped disc and is paralyzed. The other one is starting to show signs of back pain. He really needs a brace! Hoping I’ll win! I love reading your blogs…they’re spot on and so helpful!
I have shelties. Neither have had back issues, but my big guy has had shoulder and neck issues. We do agility, so injuries are always a possibility. Would be great to have this on hand should the need arise.
My old guy Tipper (13 years) has had IVDD for about 3-4 years. While he does well most days, the brace would probably a life saver for him. My younger girl, 7 year old Bella hasn’t shown any signs and hope she won’t. Would love to be able to give Tipper some non-medical help with the L’il Back Bracer. Hope Gretel and Chester both improve with their back conditions. It is hard to see our weenie dogs in pain.
Thanks and good luck
I have 2 Doxies. One 13yr old and her Daughter Doxie Dollie who is 7. A couple of years ago without warning my Dollie went lame. It was horrifying. We did conservative grate rest and meds and that worked great. Then a yr later it happened again without warning but this time she didn’t come around. We took her to a Veternary Neurologist did an MRI as well as exam on her and gave her a great chance to walk again. We did back surgery and fortunately Dollies Dre. Is a world rebound Neurologist that wrote the original book about IVDD. We were blessed to have her. She also did what they call vise ration of the other discs which basically means she will never have any further problems! She’s my miracle, she runs, plays and is just a happy Wee-wee!
Her Momma Peanut has had a sort of hind leg weakness so to speak. I feel she is too old to go through the extensive back surgery, so I am working with her diligently with meds and I just purchased “The Lil Back Brace! She wears it and it supports her whole spine. She’s doing well. She does have an issue with going potty. Basically when she has to go she Has to go now! We all talked to get her outside safely. I carry her up and down any staid and she has soft Doxie stairs up to her favorite chair (my chair). So far with lots of TLC and great care we are getting there. I happened on this Lik Back Brace and am thankful it’s helping her be more steady and keep walking!
Dollie does have a website about her recovery and life. Check it out. “Dollies JourneyBack.
“Peanut” and ” Dollie”
Huh. I’ve never heard of that procedure. I’ve heard of laser ablation. Sounds like it might be similar? If Gretel has another episode that is more severe, I am going to ask them about the laser ablation. I’ll check out Dollie’s journey for sure. Thanks.
I have a dachshund IVDD story. CJ was 5 when he had his first herniated disc at T13/L1. Surgery was successful although he had a slight neurological deficit in the back legs but got around just fine. 7 weeks after that surgery just when he got off crate rest he woke me up at 6 a.m. screaming in pain. This time it was a cervical disc and after another surgery he recovered 100%. We have been very careful with him, no steps, no jumping, elevated bowls, acupuncture, laser, supplements, he is not overweight, and we keep him in good physical shape with walks. When he was 10 he was acting strange and after another MRI it was discovered he had another cervical rupture although it was a slow leak. They recommended crate rest and medication. It took months but he did recover. I then bought the back bracer and have used it consistently. A few months ago we noticed he was getting weaker and weaker in his back legs. Our vet doesn’t know if it’s another disc or just arthritis but we continue the acupuncture, laser and have added adequan injections. He wears the back brace regularly. I do think it helps but it is not easy to get on and off. Poor guy, 2 years ago he lost his vision to SARDS. He has been through so much in his 13 years but he is so sweet and loves his life. Of course we pamper him like crazy and there is nothing we wouldn’t do to keep him well and comfortable. We have had dachshunds for 40 years and he’s the first one to have these problems.
Gosh Bonnie, it sounds like you and your pup have been through a lot. I’m happy to hear that a back brace has been one of the helpful tools for you. Good luck with everything.
I noticed your supplement section. I give them the Vetri-Disc, wild salmon oil, turmeric, and a glucosamine/chondroitin supplement as well as fresh fruits and vegetables for added antioxidants. We don’t know if these things are really working or not but I am not willing to not give them just incase! We have 4, CJ has 3 girls he lives with but none of them have ever had a back issue.
Yeah… we really can’t know for sure I suppose. It can’t hurt though and it helps me to think that I am doing all that I can. I was lucky with Chester too. He was my first Doxie (now 14) and he never had back issues. That boy got good genes all around 🙂
Gotta say thanks for your posts. My jack russel hurt her back and talking to the vet I started to panic. Your posts calmed me down and helped me develop a plan to get her back to normal without the surgery. It’s been 3 weeks and she’s doing much better from the crate rest and meds from the vet. I dint see this post until today and immediately ordered one of those back braces as soon as I saw it. I’m sure that’ll help her get even better than she is now. The one thing I never see anybody mention is how to cleverly make their dog stay on the couch or bed. I started taking dog leashes and screwing them to walls and furniture so she can hang out and watch tv with me but can’t jump off the couch or bed. It’s proving to be very effective. She feels fine now and wants out of the cage so badly and this is a good middle ground. Good luck to anybody who has to deal with this. Just read up and follow their advice. It works.
Hi John. Thanks for sharing your solution with the leash thing. When I had Gretel on the bed or couch with a leash, *I* was the anchor. Ha, ha. I would wrap the leash around one of my legs or arms so I didn’t have to hold onto it but she still couldn’t go anywhere. The breaks outside of the crate (where movement was still minimized) was a great way for he to break up her “healing” routine. Good luck to you and your pup too.
My Neo has been on a strict crate rest for the last 2 weeks. He can no longer seem to keep his balance and looks like he’s starting to drag one of his hind legs. Vet upped his steroid meds and told me to continue crate rest. I purchase this brace for him last week, but his vet said it was best I wait to use it on him. He’s 5 years old, and my heart is broken seeing him in pain. My 10 year old Adora-Belle has never had any issues with her back (knock on wood). Any suggestions on how to let him out to handle his business. He seems to be having a very difficult time. I don’t know what to do. 🙁
Hi Angie. It sounds like Neo’s condition is progressing so I’m sorry. Still, very strict crate rest can reverse that trend. As for going potty outside, Gretel was able to go on her own so I just carried her outside and kept her on a short leash to restrict movement. If you are finding that Neo is unable to go on this own, or is struggling, you will want to look into “expressing him” yourself. Dodgerslist is a great resource for this but you can find a lot of information if you use a search term like “manually express my paralyzed dog”. Good luck to you guys.
While this post is old, it’s helped me greatly and I ordered a brace using your link. Thank you! We’re on day one after diagnosis, tips on surviving 6-8 weeks of kennel rest with a previously active 4 year old dog in a houseful of active boys???
I update my articles when information changes. Just because the date is “old” doesn’t mean information is irrelevant.
I’m glad the back brace is helping. Here is my article of crate rest tips: https://youdidwhatwithyourweiner.com/dog-crate-rest-tips/ Good luck to you guys. You can do it! 🙂
Question: Can dachshunds that recover from a slipped disk playfight with other dogs? My dachshund, Max, got a slipped disk a month ago, but has gotten so much better since! We can’t even keep him still, because he’s walking all over the place! He’s able to even get in and out of his crate (which has a little ledge he has to go over in order to get inside, if you know what i mean) and just attempted to kick up the grass with his legs after going to the bathroom! He’s been doing so much better!
However, I have another dog. He’s about the same size as Max. They LOVE to playfight, and attempted multiple times after Max got hurt. It’s been happening more often now, since Max is able to walk and physically able to wrestle. However, we don’t know if that’s good for him. We’re afraid that it’ll put too much pressure on his back, especially since they often roll around (well, the other dog does that most of the time. Max is usually the one who pins him!) and run around.
We have been breaking them up whenever they start to wrestle, but they keep doing it, even if we told them no a few seconds ago! I feel really bad for them because they probably miss their playfighting and having fun with each other… I would love for them to keep playing, but I don’t know if it will hurt Max.
We’ll probably discuss this with the vet, but I’m really anxious for an answer. I wanted to know your opinion. Can dachshunds, after they fully recover from a slipped disk, playfight?
Hi Tori. It’s my understanding that all dogs with disk problems due to IVDD can benefit from strict crate rest, which will allow the area to heal and for scar tissue to form over the bulging or ruptured disk. It acts kind of like a bandage to hold things in place. It takes a minimum of 5-6 weeks for that scar tissue to form. I’m not sure if you guys did a round of crate rest but, according to my research, the scar tissue wouldn’t be fully formed by only 4 weeks.
Therefore, I would say no, it’s not safe for your dog to rough play right now. Just because a dog can physically walk and wrestle, doesn’t mean they should. Dogs don’t understand medical technology and recommendations and will easily overdo it when they get excited. That’s another reason for a crate Max can’t get in and out of – to stop the rough play. He won’t do it on his own, obviously, so you will need to physically remove him from the situation.
We did crate rest for 8 weeks with Gretel when she had a bulging disk (it was stage 2 – minor). She seemed to feel better (acted normal) after a couple of weeks but our rehab vet instilled the importance in us that she stay in the crate to limit her movement, and risk of reinjury, for the full 6 weeks. We just threw in a couple extra to be cautious.
The good news is, Gretel fully recovered from that episode. The following year, she was able to start going for short hikes and now she is back to her regular distance. We just got a puppy and they play with each other rough with no issues. I partially attribute this “success” to the prolonged crate rest and the fact that she is physically fit from the hiking (and watching her diet).
I hope your vet is able to advise you properly. I am not a vet – I’ve just researched a lot and have some personal experience – and I don’t know your dog so your vet should be able to give more accurate advice based on your pup’s initial injury and current condition.
Can dachshunds who have recovered from a slipped disk still playfight? I have two dogs, both about the same size but different breeds. My dachshund, Max, got a slipped disk a month ago. He has been massively improving, and he’s been able to walk pretty well, even sort of running!
My two dogs LOVE to playfight, but we haven’t been letting them ever since the slipped disk incident. However, that doesn’t stop them from trying! Max has been able to fight my other dog pretty well. He’s able to, just like how he did before his injury. However, we’re afraid that it’ll put too much pressure on his back. We dont want him to hurt himself again.
We’ll probably talk about this with the vet, but I wanted to know the general case: Can dachshunds still playfight after recovering from a slipped disk? I feel really bad for them because they really want to playfight, but can’t.
Hi Tori. I responded to your other comment. I hope you saw it.
I had a dear pet 5 yrs old. She was part dachshund part chichuahua. Oudlaege bd as higher than usual
L and she always jumped off. I shame fully always gave her taste of people food with her dog food.she was overweight. I always have to live with the guilt of kiliilg her with kindness. By the time she was in pain with back issues it was too late. We tried to help her with unlimited vet care. She was too young to have to euthanized her. I loved Bonnie very much . I have to live with her pain and regret.
I’m so sorry Celia. Do remember that IVDD trouble is primarily caused by genetics. Unfortunately, jumping and being overweight can trigger problems in a dog that is genetically predisposed to it. However, doing those things wasn’t the sole cause of her back problems. I also know of some dogs that have “done all the wrong things” and not experienced a back issue. I’m just saying, don’t bee too hard on yourself. You know better now and would not do those things again but some of what happened was out of your control.