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Helping your dog with 
Spondylosis

Spondylosis is a degenerative, non-inflammatory condition of the spinal column, which sees the production of bone spurs along the bottom, sides, and upper aspects of the vertebrae of the spine (as shown by the purple arrows).

Spondylosis Overview

Signs of Spondylosis

Spondylosis is largely symptom-free but if you're coming to see us, chances are your dog is experiencing some level of discomfort.

Signs you may see are;

  • Loss of movement / rigidity in areas of the spine

  • Tension of muscles and / or twitching skin when touching areas of the back

  • Lameness and muscle loss 

  • Weakness of hind limbs

Cause of Spondylosis

The bony spurs are usually grown in response to aging, injury, or secondary to intervertebral disc disease, which are shown to de-stabilise the spinal column and cause unusual movement. It's the body's way of trying to re-stabilise the spinal column by bridging across where the disc should be. It is a progressive condition which worsens over time and can affect any dog.

Is Spondylosis Painful?

With more advanced Spondylosis the spine can become immobile in places, putting extra strain on the mobile segments close to it, causing pain. If the bony spurs are growing close to a nerve root (coming from the spinal cord) this can also cause constant nerve pain. There is plenty we do to help maintain spinal mobility as well as back and hind limb strength. A combination of modalities, including laser therapy, have been shown to be very effective to manage any pain.

What can we do about it?

Plenty! We have numerous modalities in clinic that we have at our finger tips to help your dog. These include massage, soft tissue mobilisation, stretching, joint mobilisations, targeted exercises, laser therapy, hydrotherapy... shall we continue? These have all been shown to reduce pain and improve your dog's quality of life. With each session they undergo constant review of their clinical signs and progression in order to gain maximum benefits at a pace that's comfortable for them.

 

Alongside what we do with your beloved pooch, there are a number of things outside of the clinic that can help them manage their condition. Please find information in the sections below!  

Home Modifications

Flooring

Wooden floors and stairs are a big slip hazard for your dog. Try using non-slip mats along the main routes of your house. Alternatively, some dogs may benefit from paw pads (please speak to us before trying this option in case of contraindication).

Feeding Stations

Raising their water and food bowls may seem like a insignificant change to us, but it can really help your dog to be in a more neutral position.

Access to Furniture

Jumping up and down from heights if often a cause of pain / difficulty for your dog. If they enjoy a cuddle on the sofa or the bed, make it easier for them with dog-friendly steps or ramps onto furniture. This also applies to getting in / out of cars! You may also find a sling to be useful.

Keeping Warm

Especially important in the colder months, your dog will benefit from staying warmer. Keep them in a jumper and walk them out with coats. Stay dry too!

Sleeping / Resting Areas

Great quality sleep is essential. Ensure their sleeping area is free from any drafts and in a warm spot. Their bedding should be supportive and not restrictive. Memory foam mattresses without rigid or tall sides are best. Make sure your dog can access the bed and can change position / stretch out easily.

Be Wary of Terrain

Different types of terrain in the garden and on walks can be hazardous, such as steep slopes, loose or uneven surfaces. Be mindful to where they are going.

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