Hemp Oil For Dogs Intervertebral Disc Disease
One of the worst ailments dogs can possibly experience are diseases of the spine. These diseases tend to be chronic in nature and can cause debilitating effects to your pet. Some breeds are more prone to spinal problems than others, but any dog can experience this. Intervertebral disease in dogs can occasionally cause death and disability. The good thing is that this disease is preventable and can be managed with different treatment methods. Here are some of the things you should know about IVDD.
What is intervertebral disc disease?
Intervertebral disc disease, also known as IVDD, is a disease that affects the discs of the spine. The disc is a fibrous structure found in the space between 2 adjacent vertebrae. The role of these discs is to provide cushioning for the spinal joint, preventing the 2 vertebrae from rubbing into each other. It also prevents the spinal nerves from being compressed.
The problem is that in cases of IVDD, the disc degenerates to such a point that it doesn’t perform its normal functions anymore. Vertebrae can rub into each other and spinal nerves can get compressed, leading to symptoms such as pain, inability to move, and incontinence.
Different types of intervertebral disc disease
IVDD is classified according to the type of herniation involved. Type I disc disease is characterized by the outward herniation of the internal contents of the disc (nucleus pulposus). Type II disc disease is characterized by the outward protrusion of the annulus, the outer portion of the disc. Type III disc disease is caused by a tear in the annulus, which then leads to the extrusion of an otherwise normal disc. Also, IVDD can be described as acute or chronic, depending on the length of onset of your dog’s symptoms.
Regardless of the type of IVDD involved, the severity of the injury is usually directly proportional to the degree of herniation and how much it compresses the adjacent spinal nerves. Some dogs are more prone to developing specific types of disc disease than others. It may or may not also be precipitated by a traumatic injury. A review of your dog’s medical history, the symptoms they are exhibiting, and the use of diagnostic techniques such as x-rays and CT scans can help in arriving at a diagnosis.
How to prevent intervertebral disc disease?
Given the potentially serious complications and long course of treatment for those dealing with IVDD, the best course of action is prevention. Pet owners play a major role in helping dogs avoid this disease. Even though some breeds are naturally prone to developing IVDD, there are still some steps owners can take to be able to avoid it, regardless of what breed of dog they have. Even better, these preventive tips work regardless of what breed or age your dog is.
One way to reduce the risk of developing IVDD is to reduce excess weight, especially as your dog advances in age. This will significantly reduce the strain on your dog’s spine and minimizes the risk of injury. Another preventive method is to use harnesses instead of leashes, as they put less pressure on your dogs’ spinal column, especially at the neck.
A balanced diet can also help with bone and muscle health, and can subsequently reduce the risk of disc damage. Lastly, avoiding extremely strenuous physical activity is recommended for dogs advancing in age.
Symptoms of intervertebral disc disease
The symptoms of intervertebral disc disease depends on many factors such as the location of the injury, the severity of the damage sustained by the disc, and the degree in which the disc injury compromises the surrounding structures in the spine. Here is a short list of symptoms that can increase your suspicion that your dog might be dealing with IVDD.
Weakness in the legs - If your dog shows weakness even if they seem otherwise healthy, it might be a sign that they are dealing with a spinal disorder. A loss of strength and mobility may be a sign of weakened legs, which is caused by the compression of nerves that control the muscles of the affected legs. Depending on where the affected disc is, any or all of your dog’s legs may be rendered lame by IVDD.
Incontinence - A loss of control of urinary or bowel movement is considered a danger sign of IVDD. This could mean that the nerves that are controlling bowel movement and urination are compromised, which prevents dogs from controlling either. If your dog has a sudden difficulty of controlling urination or defecation, you might need to have their spine checked.
Intervertebral disease in dogs survival rate
The survival rate in general for dogs with IVDD is good. While it’s extremely rare for dogs to die from this disease, it can greatly compromise their quality of life if this condition is not treated in a timely manner. However, with prompt treatment, a lot of dogs are able to live a highly productive life free from pain and disability associated with this disease.
Pain management is one of the hallmarks of treatment in IVDD cases. Physical therapy and carefully monitored exercise help in retaining functionality and managing pain. In extreme cases, surgery can provide definitive relief to this condition.
Natural home remedies for dogs with intervertebral disc disease
There are multiple home remedies that you can give to your dog if they are dealing with intervertebral disc disease. Pain medications and muscle relaxants may be given in controlled doses to provide immediate and long-term relief from pain associated with disc damage. Low-impact exercise and stimulation such as physical therapy and swimming can also help in pain management and for strengthening the surrounding structures in the spine. Alternative medications such as hemp are now also becoming highly popular for pain management and should be considered for treatment.
How much hemp should I give to dogs with intervertebral disc disease?
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to giving hemp for intervertebral disc disease. Just like with traditional pain medications, the amount of hemp you can give for your dogs depends on factors such as age, body weight, and overall condition of their vital organs.
Make sure to consult your veterinarian first to see if they can take hemp safely. Otherwise, using hemp as pain medication is generally considered safe and with minimal adverse effects compared to traditional pain medications.