Disc Disease in Dogs

Disc Disease in Dogs

Cost of Treatment: $2,950 to $9,200

What it is: Disc disease usually refers to the degenerative disorder of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). This condition involves bulging, slipped or herniated discs between the dog’s vertebrae. It occurs when the discs become hardened and eventually burst or bulge out in the spinal cord.


  • Crying out in pain
  • Reluctant or reduced movement
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hiding from others and other anxious behavior
  • Stumbling while walking
  • Inability to get up
  • Muscle spasms in neck or back area
  • Lameness in front or rear limbs, depending on herniated disc location
  • Urinary and fecal incontinence

Treatment: Treatment depends on the severity of the condition and if any damage has been done to the spinal cord. Steroids, anti-inflammatory medications and bed rest can help reduce pain and swelling in milder cases, with dogs eventually returning to normal activities. More severe cases may require costly surgery.

Many dog insurance plans cover the cost of surgery and other treatments related to IVDD. Since dogs can develop the disease at any age, it’s important to enroll your dog in health insurance as soon as possible, before he develops symptoms of any disease. Pre-existing conditions are not covered by any pet insurance plan.

Return to the Dog Health Problems glossary.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Phil C 05/27/2017 at 10:48 am

    Both of my wiener dogs at different times were shaky and had weak hind legs.One of my dogs could not jump on the couch,could not climb stairs and would lay under the bed shaking.I thought maybe she had really bad arthritis or a bad back injury.I gave her calcium pills in wet cat food and she got better for a little while.so later I gave my dog a calcium pill in meat and my dog got worse as the days went by.Every day I gave my dog a calcium pills and she didn’t get better.It later dawned on me that maybe the wet cat food is what helped the first time.I gave my dog wet cat food every day for a few days and my dog improved immediately back to normal.Later when my other dog got the same type of condition,I gave her wet cat food and it worked for her and she went back to normal…Sharing this story because I believe it will help a lot of dogs.

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