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.


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