Rear sway and discomfort - Premier website for Dog Back Disease (IVDD)


Rear sway and discomfort

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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



My 8 year old French bulldog has been diagnosed with IVDD about 6 months ago.  He has always loved to walk around the block but these days by the end of the walk his backend is swaying from side to side like crazy and then he shows signs of discomfort later in evening.

My question is:  Would a backend cart be something I should consider that would allow him to take daily walks around the block or does the small dose of exercise (we live on a small block) do him good?  Thank you for your help-


This is a good question.  How was your Frenchie diagnosed with IVDD, were any medical or surgical treatments prescribed, and are there other times that you appreciate a sway and discomfort?

In general, I would be leaning towards trying to limit the walks to a length that does not lead to the sway and discomfort.  This would help with maintaining muscle tone and strength in his rear legs.  If this is not possible then a cart would be something to consider to help with his quality of life.  Either way it would be worth getting set up with a physical therapist to give you low impact activities to help with maintaining muscle strength.

Andrew Isaacs, DVM
Diplomate ACVIM (Neurology)

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