Devices & Supplements


Supplements and other things for the IVDD dog


Buyer be aware. Look further into supplements, back braces, CDB  oil, and other things to find out if a product is actually safe for your IVDD dog’s very particular needs.

When To Start Supplementing.

It is best not to add any supplements while a dog is on prescription medication and recovering in crate rest. If the dog has a reaction, it would be difficult to know which medication or supplement caused it, and what action you should take. 

Supplements can cause the same side effects of gastrointestinal problems as prescription medications can. These symptoms include vomiting, loose stools, diarrhea, or even gas. Those signs can be life threatening if caused by a prescription medication. It is important to be able to quickly and correctly narrow down the cause in order to take the right action to treat the problem.

After all IVDD medications have been stopped, some supplements might maximize healing during this critical period in recovery.

There isn’t much scientific evidence as to what is effective and what isn’t concerning intervertebral discs and Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). Supplements are something you’ll need to research in depth before making decisions.

Be Aware

Should you decide to supplement, you also need to be aware that not all supplements are created equal. Quality varies greatly. Purity is also another big concern. There is no regulation of supplements so each one can vary in the amount of the herb in the product. Many people think because herbs are “natural,” they have no possible bad side effects which is NOT true.

Always fully research any drug or herb. Herbs and natural remedies can have just as many side effects as prescription drugs. Every substance in a high enough dose is dangerous, even something as common as water.

Pet supplementation has become a big, lucrative money draw for many companies. Don’t fall for the marketing hype surrounding so many pet supplements today. There is a lot to know, and you really have to be willing to do the research yourself and learn as much as you can if you want to use supplements.

Look at the source of the information and try to get independent information rather than just from the company making or selling the products. They have an invested interest in making products sound good so you will buy them. Remember, nothing you give, whether prescription medications or nutritional supplements, is without possible side effects. Everything carries some risk.

Being aware of all of your pet’s health problems is crucial to knowing if you should or should not supplement with a particular product. Doing your research with an eye to negative side effects will alert you to possible contraindications between your pet’s health conditions, other drugs your dog may be on, other herbs, and that supplement you are considering.

Homeopathic remedies/herbs are also a possibility, but should only be used under the treatment of a skilled homeopath.

Please consult with your regular or holistic vet before beginning any type of supplement


.Other Things

CDB oil

Dodgerslist just doesn’t know enough about CBD oil to recommend it for an IVDD disc episode. Not enough scientific research has been done on it to determine how effective it would be on pain/inflammation for dogs or as a sedative and what the optimal dose would be. We know what does work (pain meds, anti-inflammatory drug, and Pepcid AC) and that’s all we can recommend. Make sure your vet is aware of all medications and supplements you are giving.

Herbs, supplements, potions can adversely interact with the necessary big gun medications your vet has prescribed for a disc episode.

Read about meds humans should not take with CDB oil. Research for dogs is on-going and may in the future line up with the meds for humans that are contraindicated with CDB oil.

Back Braces for the IVDD dog

Orthotics such as a back brace should require a prescription from a board certified neurologist (ACVIM) who is well educated in disc disease. An ill-fitting product that is not custom made can do more harm, and the prescription would be for a specific reason. Dodgerslist has consulted with several neuro and rehab specialists. The overriding concern is that owners may buy a brace on their own, thinking it will substitute for  strict crate rest or that it will prevent a future disc problem. 

During a disc episode these are the concerns:

  • ▪️Putting a brace on without causing more pain or damage to the spine is on top of the list. Too much movement to get the brace on is not good for a dog when you are trying to limit movement of the back.
  • ▪️Additional muscle atrophy in the spine is another big concern, as muscle strength is very important to maintaining spinal health.
  • ▪️Unnecessary discomfort, pain, and anxiety can be caused by having to wear this device tight enough to limit movement. Adequate limited movement is supplied with owner commitment to safe and effective 100% STRICT crate rest 24/7.
  • ▪️Braces would require monitoring for pressure (rub) sores. Also, if not properly fitted (not covering from thoracic down to tail) there is the potential to create a fulcrum. It is hard to immobilize the entire back and not end up creating a fulcrum that stresses out adjacent discs. A brace would not be a preventative measure.
  • ▪️Disc disease is the cause of prematurely aging discs. A disc problem happens at the point the disc has hardened too much. Any activity such as turning to lick a paw or putting on and off a brace could be the last straw for a disc that is no longer flexible.
  • ▪️At this time, there isn’t enough research on braces for Dodgerslist to support their use with an IVDD dog. What we do know is that strict crate rest is what works to heal a disc. Crate rest is proven and safe.
Stem Cell Therapy

Dodgerslist has been asked several times about Stem Cell Therapy for IVDD. At the present time, there has not been enough published research for us to support it. There is research going on now at Colorado State, and we are watching for their published results: As with any new treatments, therapies, or supplements, Dodgerslist advises you to research thoroughly before using on your dog.


This information is presented for educational purposes and as a resource for the dog IVDD community. The coordinators are not veterinarians or health care professionals. Nothing herein should be interpreted as medical advice and all should contact their pet care professionals for advice. The coordinators are not responsible for the substance and content contained herein and do not advocate any particular product, item or position contained herein.

©2020 Linda Stowe, founder of DODGERSLISTcom and