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UNDERSTAND YOUR DOG’S BACK PAIN Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Updated: Jan 9, 2022

Written by Linda Stowe, Founder of Dodgerslist and DEF guest blogger.

What is IVDD: IVDD causes discs to age earlier in life. Discs loose moisture and harden. The discs can no longer cushion the vertebrae along the spine. IVDD occurs in breeds such as dachshunds, poodles, corgis, beagles, but it is not limited to just those breeds.

If a dog has IVDD, a disc problem can happen at any age. When the disc has weakened to a certain degree, it will herniate. You may or may not be able to pinpoint a specific incident as causing the start of symptoms. Many dogs that have IVDD have their first episode typically between the ages of 3-7.

Disc disease may be an ongoing, progressive disease for the rest of the dog’s life. Some dogs have only one episode, others have multiple episodes over their life time.

When you first suspect a back problem (shivering/trembling, yelping, reluctant to move, arched back, head held high or low, wobbly walk), get him to a vet asap. Transport carefully using a crate padded out with rolled up towels on either side of the dog to prevent movement or jarring the spines. Crating will help keep the dog from further injuring the spinal cord that could potentially lead to paralysis and loss of bladder control.

A dog named Dodger was the inspiration for Dodgerslist. He had IVDD and was possibly prematurely euthanized because his owners were not aware of all the treatment options available for IVDD. Linda Stowe founded Dodgerslist in 2002 to try to prevent others from that same fate.

Today, Dodgerslist is a very busy online educational resource with an extensive website and support group helping others gain knowledge and getting emotional support with our forum. Dodgers helps spread the word about IVDD and the fact that IVDD dogs can live full happy lives. We use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for this. The members of Dodgerslist who are manning the message board and responding to calls for help are all volunteers.

Dodgerslist also prints brochures and business-type cards to pass out to owners of IVDD prone breeds and their veterinarians. We also have a quarterly newsletter called “Dodger’s Digest”. The Digest is a full-color publication with helpful articles on a wide range of topics about general health, IVDD, nutrition, and information for all breeds. We advertise in different dog magazines, breed club catalogs and newsletters, and at dog events educating about IVDD.

To learn more about IVDD and Dodgerslist check out our website and our forum at

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