IVDD and the surgery to correct it affects each dog in a different way. Some dogs will walk out of hospital post surgery while some may not walk for a year. It is important to understand the variables at play and how best to help your dog.
N.B. This treatment plan is a guide only and may be altered as the treatment progresses. Speed of progression through each stage is different for every furry friend!
What to expect
- The initial appointment will discuss goals for your dog and plan how we will achieve this together
- Hydrotherapy Underwater Treadmill Sessions minimum 1x per week for 8x weeks. Sessions will vary in timing depending on dog’s ability
- Ideally 2+ times per week to fast track progress and rebuild atrophied muscle and reduce compensatory impact on dog’s other legs
- Soft Tissue massage to aid in pain and tightness as a result of compensatory and incorrect body use
- At-home Ice therapy to aid in swelling
- At home exercise program to help fast-track progress. This will be adjusted weekly depending on dog’s progress
How long is each program?
- Recovery will vary with each dog, depending on various factors.
- To see results, hydrotherapy underwater treadmill sessions are recommend to continue weekly for a minimum of 8 weeks, with reassessment on conclusion of the 8 weeks
- IVDD affects the spinal cord and because of this, recovery looks very different for every dog
- If no improvement is shown after a considerable amount of time and dog remains non-ambulatory than this may indicate that hydrotherapy is unsuitable for the patient
When to begin?
- Approximately 2 Weeks post surgery or as soon as the wound site has healed
- If treating conservatively than treatment should begin as soon as possible
- Soft tissue massage and passive range-of-motion (ROM) exercises may begin sooner depending on pain level of your dog
- This will be approximately 2x weeks post-surgery
- Underwater treadmill is a highly supported and low impact exercise which is why it is suitable to begin at this early stage