Disc healing


The body has ability to self-heal a disc

Requires time and little movement

Terms used for a disc episode: slipped, herniated or bulging disc, or pinched nerve.

What to expect during healing of the disc

Conservative Treatment:

DAMAGED DISCS take about 8 weeks to heal and form secure scar tissue during conservative treatment. The critically important job of the owner is nursing care.

Crate rest is not your dog in a cage.

It’s a “recovery suite” with room service!

There are no medications that help the disc to heal —only time and limited movement of the back and neck with 100% STRICT 24/7 STRICT rest. When a dog walks and moves, the result is vertebrae move. The boney spine moving and pushing on an early healing disc thus can disrupt the important scar tissue that is forming to stabilize the disc rupture. In other words, time out of the recovery suite is a danger for a healing disc. Potty time and vet appointments are a necessity to be out of the crate. Be diligent about nursing care rest. Cheating on crate rest promotes damage to the disc.

Keep the recovery suite in the middle of family activity. Of importance is your dog does not feel lonely, isolated or depressed. Most dogs want the visibility a wire crate or an ex-pen provides. This allows them to keep tabs on everything that is going in their home!

Very STRICT rest means:


Owners who provide the correct principals of limited movement to allow the disc  to heal (aka: herniated, slipped or pinched nerve), can very often avoid an expensive surgery.


Followed by 4-6 weeks of surgeon-directed crate rest (including the PT directives)

When offending disc material has been surgically removed, then often water therapy or water treadmill can be started during the post-op rest period.  On the other hand, conservative treated dogs wait til 8 weeks of STRICT disc healing rest have been completed.


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 https://www.facebook.com/Dodgerslist/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.

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