Last Updated on September 6, 2023 by Dr. Alisha Barnes

Your dog may not need back surgeryHave you been told that your dog needs back surgery to help alleviate their constant back pain?

Many dog breeds are prone to back pain and discomfort not because of injury, but due to their genetic background—namely Beagles, Dachshunds, Corgis, Bulldogs, King Charles Spaniels, Bassett Hounds, Pugs, Pekingese, and Shih-Tzus.

While these breeds are some of the most likely to experience back problems and pain, they are not the only ones. Degeneration of the spine and spinal discs, injury, and imbalanced postural stance can happen to all dogs at various stages of their lives.

One of the most common reasons that a veterinarian may recommend surgery for your dog’s back is because of intervertebral disc disease, also known as IVDD. When Intervertebral disc disease occurs, this means that your dog’s spinal cord is being compressed by diseased discs which reside between the joints of their spine.

The discs harden over time, no longer serving their purpose to provide cushioning for the spine, but instead, creating pressure and as a result, discomfort and pain. Many dogs live with undetected intervertebral disc disease for years, exhibiting subtle signs of back pain and discomfort, like reduced mobility and hesitant movement, as they grow older.

IVDD requires immediate attention, however, once a spinal disc ruptures or tears in your beloved pet’s spine, causing severe and acute pain that may radiate all over their body. In instances where a disc has ruptured or is causing severe pain, veterinary interventions including surgery may be necessary, but barring those cases, you and your dog may have other options.

Treating Back Pain With Chiropractic Care

Whether the cause of your dog’s pain is IVDD, caused by an injury, or the result of normal deterioration that occurs with age, chiropractic care offers numerous solutions that may alleviate the need for surgery. To make your furry friend as comfortable as possible, it may be beneficial to combine traditional veterinary care with chiropractic care.

If appropriate, your dog’s vet might prescribe pain medication and inflammation-reducing medications to help the immediate discomfort occurring as the result of whatever condition or imbalance is occurring. Then, once your dog has acclimated to this step, they are ready for chiropractic care.

A combination of therapies may be used to best help your dog heal—this might include adjustments, laser therapy, acupuncture, or massage. The purpose of these treatments is to allow your dog’s body to come back into balance without surgical intervention, meaning there is no recovery time, no side-effects, significantly lower risk, and oftentimes, more noticeably positive results.

While each of these interventions boasts its own set of benefits, a custom-made, combined treatment plan designed by your dog’s spine expert will pack a powerful punch in reducing pain and helping your dog feel more like themself. The benefits of holistic chiropractic care for dogs are numerous.

Why do these treatments reduce pain, to begin with? Chiropractic care reduces pain because it is helping to treat disease and discomfort at the source. When a dog is experiencing back pain, it is usually the result of degeneration (which may or may not be age or breed related), injury, or a postural imbalance which is negatively affecting their stance and gait.

Chiropractic care addresses each of these causal factors in different ways, as its benefits are applicable to most origins of pain. Chiropractic care for dogs can help to reduce inflammation, relieve pinched and compressed nerves which cause pain, shift joints back toward their ideal alignment, and provide space for inflamed discs.

Regular chiropractic adjustments can aid your dog’s body in helping to repair itself, as well as maintain pain-relief that has already occurred as the result of prior adjustments. If you’re looking for another option to address your dog’s back pain, then pet chiropractic care may be exactly what you’re looking for, particularly if your dog is a senior.

Veterinarians recognize when dogs who are advanced in age are not ideal candidates for surgery, particularly if they have other underlying conditions. If your dog has been diagnosed with back disease, or is suffering visibly from back pain, but is not a candidate for surgery due to their age, expert dog chiropractors can help! Chiropractic care is quite gentle and completely non-invasive, making it a fantastic option for dogs of all ages.

Whether your dog is older or a young pup, if you’ve been told that surgery is the only option, consider investigating chiropractic care first. Either in collaboration with your veterinarian or as your dog’s primary wellness experts, we will do our best to return your dog to optimal comfort and well-being. Book your appointment today!

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