As a loving and caring dog owner, you never want to see your precious pup suffer from any type of discomfort or injury. Yet, you cannot always stop injuries from occurring. If your dog recently injured their back due to a fall or other issue, you may wonder what can be done to help get your dog back on their feet and back to health.
Get to know some of the different treatment options available from your veterinarian for canine back injuries. Then, you can be sure that you are prepared to help your dog through their recovery process as quickly and as easily as possible.
Crate Rest and Prescription Medications
Oftentimes, canine back injuries are due to strains or sprains in the back. One of the first courses of treatment for such back injuries and related issues in dogs is to put them on immediate crate rest. While crate rest does not necessarily refer to locking your pet in an actual cage or crate, it does mean that you need to limit their movement.
You will also need to try to keep them as calm as possible so that your dog will sleep and allow their back to heal itself. This task is not always easy to do, but one of the ways that your veterinarian can help with that problem is by prescribing medications for your dog to manage their pain and inflammation.
Pain medications such as tramadol and anti-inflammatory medications similar to ibuprofen or steroidal medications used in humans can be given to dogs to reduce pain and to assist the back in healing itself. These medications also have an added side effect of causing drowsiness and sleepiness in dogs. This effect will help you to keep your dog on crate rest.
Physiotherapy is another common step in the treatment of back injuries in dogs. This noninvasive treatment option is similar to physical therapy, and it involves stretches and other manipulations and movements of your dog's limbs and body.
Using physiotherapy for a canine back injury is often the course of treatment for assumed sciatic nerve damage and injury, and it can also be helpful in healing a ruptured disc and muscle injuries. Several sessions with a veterinarian or a canine physical therapist will be necessary, but you may also be able to work at home with your dog on their exercises.
Surgery is also an option to help you treat your dog's back injury. There are numerous spinal surgeries that may be useful in treating the injury, depending on the exact circumstances and causes of the injury.
If sciatica is the cause and the spine is narrowed or out of alignment, compressing the sciatic nerve, a decompression surgery may be the best option. This procedure can involve removing discs between vertebrae, stabilizing the spine, or simply shifting the nerve out of its current position to prevent compression on the sciatic nerve in the future.
Spinal fusion surgeries and other options can be used for canine spinal cord injuries that do not involve the sciatic nerve as well. Portions of vertebrae can be removed to reshape the spine and fix injuries if the spine is protruding into other nerves or tissues.
Surgery is often only recommended by veterinarians in emergency situations in which the dog is unable to move or is incontinent. Alternatively, surgery may be the best option if you have tried all noninvasive treatments and your dog is still in pain or unable to move around normally.
Knowing what to expect and what you can do for your dog when they suffer a back injury will help you to ensure that you are doing everything you can to help get your four-legged friend back on their feet and back to normal as soon as possible.