Find a Specialist


A second opinion vet is always an option

Finding an IVDD general DVM veterinarian, an ortho or neuro surgeon


You can find board-certified neuro (ACVIM) and ortho (ACVS) surgical specialists at university vet teaching hospitals and in private hospitals. Find Veterinary surgeons (ACVS) and neuro surgeons (ACVIM) here:


Look into Care Credit now just in case things go into crisis mode and surgery is needed.It is best to know all your options, financially and where surgery would be done, ahead of time rather than scrambling for that information in an emergency. No- or low-interest credit for veterinary costs can be obtained from Credit Care.
You find out online if you qualify

Reported Forum member surgical costs:


If legs should become paralyzed, the existence of the last neuro function,deep pain sensation (DPS), is an indicator that surgery could STILL be successful. That window of time is 12-24 hours from losing DPS. Even after that window of time, surgery is often successful. The spinal cord is very fragile, the more hours after the window, the less chance of a complete recovery.

General vets may not see enough cases of IVDD daily to become really proficient in giving the neuro exam and correctly interpreting what they see. Therefore precious time can be lost in wrongly identifying if deep pain sensation still exists Only take the word of a board certified neuro (ACVIM) or ortho  (ACVS) about DPS.


Surgery near the spinal cord takes a well-trained surgeon for this most delicate and tricky of surgeries. In the video clip below, Dr. Wong, a board-certified neurologist from Southeast Veterinary Neurology, performs spinal surgery to remove a slipped disk that was pressing on a dog’s spinal cord. This type of surgery is known as a Hemilaminectomy and is commonly performed on dogs with more severe signs of IVDD. These signs include recurrent or persistent back pain that does not respond to Conservative Treatment (crate rest & medications).

Direct YouTube Link:

A consult with a specialist is not just for surgery. If your local vet is uncomfortable in treating pain aggressively, a specialist consult can get the meds corrected so your dog can heal in comfort under conservative treatment. If a surgery is just not a consideration for your family, then know that conservative treatment is the best option.<br>

Five minute review on disc disease

by Dr. Horsche, DVM:

Note: Ramps are always preferable to steps in preventing impact to discs.


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 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.

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