LUMBOSACRAL INTERVETEBRAL DISK DISEASE
For treatment of a slipped disk in the lower back
Some dogs with only mild symptoms will respond to medical treatment. Generally this involves several weeks to months of restricted exercise and intensive physiotherapy. Pain relief (several different forms) is given at the same time but this does not mean the dog can be more active. Complementary treatments such as laser therapy and hydrotherapy are often recommended. Dogs that do not improve or get worse with medical treatment are candidates for surgery.
To allow the spine to heal following the surgery, complete restriction of exercise is necessary for the first 6 weeks. Your dog can be walked on a lead for toileting. Light (5-15 minutes) lead walks can begin after 2 weeks.
BANDAGE AND SUTURE REMOVAL
A bandage is generally placed over the operated site for protection. This bandage should be removed 4-5 days after surgery. The skin stitches need to be removed 10-14 days following surgery. These tasks can be done by your regular veterinarian. Please call our hospital if there is any swelling, discharge or redness around the stitches.
Some dogs have lost the ability to control urination after surgery. If the bladder is not emptied completely, then infection can develop. You may need to assist your dog with urination. With your dog lying or standing place your hands in a "prayer-like" fashion behind the last ribs. Apply equal inward pressure and gently expel the urine. Several attempts may be necessary to be successful.
Most dogs are sent home with medication for additional pain relief. Sometimes, antibiotics are also dispensed. Give the medications as prescribed. Further pain relief can be prescribed if necessary. Please let us know two days before suture removal if you think more medication is required or you may be charged an urgent fee,
Physiotherapy is an important part of your dog's recovery. We strongly recommend a consultation with a recognised animal physiotherapist. Home-based physical therapy should consist of a warm compress applied to the region of the stitches for 15 minutes followed by gentle massage of the muscles. This can be followed by gentle flexing and extending of the legs.After the spine has healed, your dog can begin more active physiotherapy with regular controlled exercise. Running without leash control is recommended for only short periods. Regular swimming is an excellent way of providing active exercise without spinal stress.