Intermountain Pet Hospital Blog

Intermountain Pet Hospital's blog provides tips and ideas to help make life more enjoyable for you and your pet.

Back Pain in Dogs

I Think My Dog Has Back Pain

Posted by Nikki Wardle on November 18, 2020 at 9:00 AM
Nikki Wardle
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Back pain is the worst; we can all agree on that. Dogs most likely feel the same. It's also one of the most common conditions that dogs can suffer from. Since our furry friends can't let us know when their back is giving them some issues. 

Your canine can be experiencing back pain due to a number of causes. Here are some of the more common reasons for back pain.

Physical Injury – Muscle strains and fractures caused by anything from friendly play to accidents with cars.

IVDD – Intervertebral Disc Disease is a condition that can degrade and damage a dog's spinal cord over time, and could lead to ruptured or bulged discs. 

Spondylosis – Simply described as arthritis or bone spurs in the spine, most common in the lumbar vertebrae.

Infections – Both fungal and bacterial infections can attack the discs in a canine's back.

Cancer – Cancer can appear in the spinal cord, vertebrae, and even nerve roots in the back.

Signs Your Dog Is Experiencing Back Pain

  • Shaking or muscle spasms
  • A noticeable change in walking or posture
  • Whimpering when their back is petted or touched
  • Change in demeanor or personality
  • Can't seem to ever get comfortable
  • Reluctant to jump or navigate stairs

How to Help Your Pet Suffering from Back Pain 

  • Lose Extra Weight – Even a few extra pounds can put enough added strain on the back to start causing back pain. Your dog's veterinarian will be able to help him lose those pounds safely. 
  • Limit Exercise – If your dog is suffering from back pain but still likes to run, jump, and play with other dogs, she could be setting herself up for more back pain. Although exercise can help build up muscles to help alleviate back pain, limiting movement, and using a crate when necessary is best during the healing process. 
  • Avoid Slippery Flooring – When your dog is suffering from an injured back, hardwood and linoleum flooring can be a potential slipping hazard. It's best to keep your dog in a carpeted area of your house.  
  • Harnesses Can Be Helpful – Harnesses are a great way to help your pooch around the house while saving your back as well.  

What Your Veterinarian Can do to Help Your Dog

  • Traditional Medication – Managing your dog's back pain with medications is something your veterinarian needs to approve. Medications are also good to couple with other therapies.
  • Acupuncture Therapy – While you may think acupuncture is just for humans, it carries many benefits for dogs. Acupuncture relaxes muscles, improves blood flow, and allows more oxygen to reach tissues. 
  • Chiropractic Therapy – Just like for humans, chiropractic adjustments (a.k.a. orthopedic manipulation) help realign and re-establish nerve communication in the back. 
  • Laser Therapy – Laser therapy uses light-emitting diodes to help cell regeneration, which helps with pain and inflammation. 

If you suspect your pooch is experiencing back pain, it's best to get him to his veterinarian. They'll know the best way to get your pup feeling better and living their best life.

Topics: Pet Care, Vets Near Me, Animal Hospital Near Me