IVDD Post-Medical TI


IVDD Posttreatment Issues Following Medical Treatment

The treatment path following surgery is critical for the maximum return of functionality for dogs with IVDD. A well-thought-out schedule and attention to the needs of the recovering doxie are the minimal requirements for support. It is important to remember that although full recovery may not come for weeks or even months, the steps taken during those first days of the recovery process may make all the difference to you and your doxie.

Please read the case study below. The choice of treatment was medical or conservative. Our goal for outcome was maximum recovery of function.


Common Post-Injury Issues

The link below lists the most common issues for IVDD doxies following their injury. Your doxie may experience one, some, or none during their recovery. Additionally, DRBC's most commonly followed practices are listed as the beginning points for a discussion with your veterinarian about your concerns. Remember, keeping an open line of communication with your veterinarian or veterinary specialist is critical in the recovery of your doxie.

Issue Possible Cause[s] Things That Help
Immune System Issues
Urinary Tract Infections [UTIs]
  • Drifting urinary pH [not acidic]

  • Incomplete or infrequent emptying of the bladder
  • Methigel® [1 teaspoon twice daily] or Vitamin C [500 mg twice daily]
  • Increased frequency of bladder expression
  • Increased fluid intake
  • Reactions to medications including steroids and antibiotics

  • Parasitic Disease
  • A call to the veterinarian! This could be a reaction to medication or something more serious,

  • A bland diet and medications such as Flagyl® may follow.

  • DO NOT give your doxie over-the-counter drugs such as Pepto Bismol or similar as these medications have not been designed for animal use.

Loss of Appetite
  • Pain

  • Reactions to medications including steroids and antibiotics
  • A call to the veterinarian! Doxies are always hungry.

  • A bland diet may follow.
  • Loss of nerve sensation

  • Urinary Tract Infection [See Above]
  • Manual expression of bowel and/or bladder.

NOTE: Learn this from your veterinarian, veterinary surgeon, or qualified veterinary staff member. This is not a procedure to be learned over the internet.

  • Frequent bedding changes, baths, belly bands, and diapers as appropriate for your doxie.
Care Issues
Urine Scald
  • Infrequent bladder expression

  • Inadequate bedding changes
  • IVDD doxies cannot always urinate or defecate on their own. A schedule for assisting them should be prepared and adhered to prevent UTIs, urine scald, and other issues associated with loss of function.

  • Expressing bladder and even bowels are critical in preventing skin issues and UTIs. A minimum of four bladder expressions per day can help guard against this issue.

  • Bedding should be kept clean and changed frequently.
  • Products such as Desitin® can help guard against urine scald, and the use of commercial diapers can help to pull urine away from the doxie's skin.
Pressure Sores
  • Infrequent movement

  • Inadequate bedding
  • Although movement is frequently restricted during treatment, some movement is required to prevent the formation of pressure sores. Examine your doxie frequently to guard against this painful issue.
  • Bedding should be soft, abundant, and changed frequently to avoid both urine scald and the formation of pressure sores.

NOTE: Seek the attention of a veterinarian, veterinary surgeon, or qualified veterinary staff member at the first sign of skin irritation.

Skin Scrapes
  • Allowing the doxie to drag legs without protection or support such as a cart, sling, or custom sac.
  • IVDD doxies lack the limb sensation that would help them realize the harm they are causing by dragging their limb over rough surfaces. This will not stop their need to run so talk to members of your veterinary care team about:

    • A Sling Walking Program
    • K9 Carts and Custom Sacs

Need help? Call K9 Karts!

Click on the icon above to learn more.

NOTE: This section of the DRBC website is offered as a medical reference only. DRBC is not operated by veterinarians. Seek the attention of your veterinarian to obtain a complete understanding of any of the topics listed.