MRI: potential surgery vs conservative - Premier website for Dog Back Disease (IVDD)


MRI: potential surgery vs conservative

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Neuro Corner Answers

Dr. Andrew Isaacs
DVM Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology)
Dogwood Veterinary Referral Center

Primary interests include intervertebral disc disease, seizure management, luxations/fractures of the spine, and surgery for brain tumors



Due to cost we must treat our dachshund’s back problem conservatively. My husband is wondering if an MRI can show whether conservative treatment is enough, or conversely if surgery is the only option?


An MRI lets us know the degree of compression that is present. If there is severe compression the chance that medical management will work is less than if the compression is mild. So, a broad general response is yes, the MRI lets us know more about the cause and potential response to medical versus surgical management. That being said, I have seen some Dachshunds respond to medical management when ideally surgery was warranted due to severe compression.

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