The body has ability to self-heal a disc
Requires time and little movement
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:
- NO: laps, couches, baths, or sleeping with you
- Chiropractic therapy is not for IVDD dogs : https://dodgerslist.com/2020/04/22/chiropractic
- Post-op physical therapy as directed by surgeon.
- Conservative treated dogs wait for active PT until the disc has healed at end of 8 weeks of rest. Special note: conservative dogs with paralyzed legs
- Eat and drink inside of the suite with bowl attached at head height.
- Restricted movement at potty time. No dragging or meandering, just a few footsteps to take care of business
- Avoid dangerous detours during conservative treatment. Follow the Roadmap. Tape it to your fridge. D/L and print out: https://dodgerslist.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Roadmap-for-Fridge.pdf
- Ideas and tips for setting up your recovery suite including how to handle potty time safely for the healing disc: https://dodgerslist.com/2020/05/14/crate-rest-recovery-process/
- Additional information on conservative vs. surgery: https://dodgerslist.com/2020/02/10/surgery-vs-conservative/
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.