What Pet Insurance Covers IVDD?

If your pet is exhibiting symptoms of IVDD, you should contact your veterinarian right once.

Other diseases, such as fractures, spinal tumors, and infections, can share symptoms with IVDD. To rule out such causes and hunt down the injury’s location, your practitioner would most likely begin with a complete neurological exam. This examination may include diagnostic testing such as x-rays (X-ray). Because the spinal cord and discs are not visible on a normal X-ray, further tests may be necessary.

If IVDD is detected after the initial test, a myelogram will almost certainly be performed. Your dog will need to be sedated for the procedure, which involves injecting a specific dye into the spine to make the disc and spinal cord visible on X-rays. Additional tests, such as a CT scan or an MRI, may be required, especially if surgery is necessary. This precise imaging may be required by a surgeon in order to provide the finest surgical treatment.

The expense of spinal surgery for a dog can go into the thousands of dollars. If you have ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, you may be eligible for financial assistance to help pay for IVDD diagnostic testing and treatment, as well as a variety of other veterinary procedures. Learn more about the topics that are covered.

How much does IVDD surgery cost for dogs?

IVDD has very minor symptoms in its early phases. If the condition is detected early enough in your dog, non-invasive treatment alternatives such as prescribed exercises and pain medicines may be recommended instead of surgery. While this is occasionally sufficient, many people who acquire IVDD will require surgery in the future if their condition worsens.

Strict crate rest, sedatives to encourage calm, and pain medication are three essential components of non-invasive IVDD treatment.

If your dog’s lifestyle does not allow for crate rest, or if they are otherwise very active and rarely calm down, your veterinarian may prescribe drugs to help relax the dog and promote a more relaxed lifestyle.

We appreciate some dog owners’ apprehensions about medicating their pets in this way, but it is sometimes vital to prevent hyperactive canines from injuring themselves.

A dog with IVDD who does not get enough crate rest is at a far higher risk of causing more damage, which may necessitate emergency surgery or, in some situations, irreversible paralysis.

If your dog is in pain, pain medicine will be prescribed.

A slipping disk is excruciatingly painful.

If surgery is not the best option for resolving the issue, pain medication will almost certainly be required to keep the discomfort under control while the injury heals.

What is IVDD surgery’s success rate?

IVDD is scored on a scale of 1-5 based on the severity of its symptoms. In 90% of situations, a patient with a rating of 1-4 on that scale is likely to make a full recovery. When operating on a grade 5 instance of IVDD in dogs, this number reduces to 50 percent or even 60 percent. And that percentage is based on the assumption that surgery can be performed within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms.

While noninvasive treatments are favored for dogs with a good outlook, it’s equally crucial not to put off surgery if it’s the best option for your pet.

Your veterinarian will make a surgical suggestion based on the specific circumstances of each patient.

The bone overlaying the spinal cord, as well as the disc material compressing the spinal cord, will be removed during surgery. Following that, many days in the hospital, pain management, physical rehabilitation, and possibly bladder management will be required. After the pet is discharged from the hospital, owners must follow physical rehabilitation and exercise limitations for a set period of time.

How much does IVDD surgery cost?

The cost of IVDD surgery can range from $1500 to $4000, without including the costs of x-rays and other imaging procedures that will be required to properly prepare for the procedure. The cost of surgical treatment for IVDD might range from $3000-$8000 dollars all-in. If you have a dog breed that is particularly prone to IVDD, it may be a good idea to set up money or acquire pet care insurance in case they require surgery. Because IVDD is a highly treatable disease, it’s wise to be prepared for the financial burden it can impose in order to keep your canine companion living a long and happy life.

What is the prognosis for dogs with IVDD?

The success rate for IVDD surgery in most puppies is pretty high! With the exception of the most severe cases, most dogs who are treated with IVDD will recover completely. IVDD is just one of the many reasons it’s so important to see your veterinarian on a regular basis. Early detection of this illness will assist to limit the expenses and dangers of surgery. It could even eliminate the need for surgery.

Can a dog recover from IVDD without surgery?

The intervertebral discs are made up of a gelatinous core substance surrounded by a ring of fibrous tissue that sits between the vertebrae. When your dog performs actions such as running or jumping, intervertebral discs provide flexibility and serve to cushion the stress on the spine.

What is IVDD?

A bulging, slipping, ruptured, or herniated disc is also known as intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). This ailment most commonly affects Dachshunds, Pekingese, Beagles, Basset Hounds, and Shih Tzus, but it can affect dogs of any breed or size.

What causes IVDD in dogs?

This is a degenerative condition that develops over time as people get older. It affects a dog’s spinal cord over time and is frequently undiscovered until the disease has progressed.

The shock-absorbing discs between your dog’s vertebrae stiffen with time and finally become unable to adequately cushion the vertebrae. The compressed and bulging of the spinal cord caused by the hardened discs can limit a dog’s mobility and harm nerve impulses such as those controlling the bowel and bladder.

A bad landing or a simple jump can cause one or more of the hardened discs to burst and press against the nerves of the dog’s spinal cord, causing nerve damage, pain, and even paralysis.

Can a dog recover from IVDD without surgery?

Non-surgical therapy may be able to help your dog recover if he has been diagnosed with IVDD but is still able to walk. However, if your dog’s IVDD is severe and he or she is unable to walk, immediate emergency treatment is essential.

Conservative care or treatment for IVDD is another term for non-surgical treatment. The goal of nonsurgical treatment is to reduce pain and discomfort while also improving mobility and bladder/bowel control. Treatments for IVDD dogs that aren’t surgical include:

  • Strict Crate-Rest – In order to relieve your dog’s IVDD symptoms without surgery, you’ll need to give him a lot of rest. Patience is required because your dog will need to be confined to a tiny room or crate for at least four weeks in order for his body to attempt to repair the damage.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Drugs – Anti-inflammatory drugs can aid in the reduction of pain and swelling. These drugs are used in concert with crate rest and activity restrictions.
  • Dietary Care – To assist manage your pet’s weight and avoid putting additional pressure on his spine, your veterinarian will carefully calculate the exact number of calories he requires.
  • Physical Rehabilitation (Physical Therapy) – A rehabilitation practitioner will analyze your dog’s current condition and offer a treatment plan that includes both professional and at-home treatments. Pets with mild to moderate cases of IVDD, as well as those recovering from surgery, can benefit from rehabilitation.

Surgical Treatment of IVDD

For severe cases of IVDD in dogs, surgery is considered the best, and in some cases the only, treatment option. IVDD surgery relieves pressure on your dog’s spinal cord, restores normal blood flow and mobility, reduces pain, and prevents disc problems in the future by removing unhealthy intervertebral disc material. A variety of procedures may be required to attain this goal.

The type of surgery utilized to treat your dog’s IVDD will primarily rely on where the affected disc is located. Fenestration, hemilaminectomy, laminectomy, and ventral slot are some of the IVDD operations available. In some circumstances, especially in large breed dogs, a spinal stabilization (fusion) treatment may be recommended. The cost of IVDD surgery for your dog will vary depending on a variety of circumstances, but you should anticipate to pay anywhere from $1,500 to $4,000 for the procedure.

IVDD Surgery Success Rates

Surgery is frequently highly successful, with the best results in dogs who haven’t lost their ability to walk totally. Atrophy of the spinal cord can occur in dogs with severe IVDD who have been left untreated for a long time, resulting in fewer effective outcomes.

If IVDD surgery fails to restore your pet’s normal mobility, a dog wheelchair may be able to help your canine companion live an active and happy life despite suffering from intervertebral disc disease. Your dog will need to limit activity for 6 to 8 weeks after IVDD surgery, as well as take proper drugs to help with swelling and pain control. Physical therapy or physical rehabilitation may be recommended by your veterinarian to aid with recuperation.

Should I consider euthanasia for my dog with severe IVDD?

As a pet parent of a dog with severe IVDD, you’re probably asking yourself some tough concerns about how to treat your beloved pet. Your veterinarian will go over the various treatment options with you as well as the potential outcomes for each. Caring for a dog recuperating from IVDD, whether surgical or non-surgical treatment, can be costly and time-consuming.

Each pet is unique, and your dog’s prognosis will be determined by a variety of circumstances, including his age, the location and severity of the spinal damage, and the time between onset of symptoms and treatment. Your veterinarian will thoroughly and compassionately discuss your dog’s chances of recovery so that you may make an informed treatment decision. If you’re thinking about euthanasia for your dog after an IVDD diagnosis, talk to your vet about it. They’ve received special training to assist you in making the right option for you and your pet.

Note: The information in this page is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice for pets. Please schedule an appointment with your veterinarian for an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition.

Should I put my dog down with IVDD?

Dogs with severe IVDD might make it difficult for their owners to make decisions. If your dog is severely afflicted by IVDD and there is no appropriate, realistic, or effective treatment available, you may be forced to contemplate euthanasia as a last choice.

Does IVDD come on suddenly?

A ruptured, slipping, bulging, or herniated disk in dogs is known as intervertebral disk disease (IVDD). Beagles, dachshunds, Pekingese, Shih Tzus, basset hounds, and American cocker spaniels are the breeds most usually affected, but it can affect dogs of any breed.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is an age-related, progressive degenerative condition that affects the dog’s spinal cord over time, sometimes going unnoticed. Even with yearly health checkups, your veterinarian may miss signs of IVDD until your dog’s stiffened disc or discs rupture, causing painful symptoms. A simple hop up onto the sofa, which has been weakened by IVDD, could fracture a disc and cause rapid and painful symptoms of the disease.

The shock-absorbing discs between your dog’s vertebrae eventually harden until they can no longer cushion the vertebrae effectively, resulting in IVDD. The stiffened discs will usually bulge and compress the spinal cord, disrupting nerve signals that control bladder and bowel control in the dog. In other circumstances, a simple jump or a bad landing can cause one or more of the hardened discs to burst and press against the dog’s spinal nerves, causing pain, nerve damage, or even paralysis.

What are the symptoms of IVDD in dogs?

Intervertebral Disc Disease can affect any of your dog’s discs, and the symptoms vary depending on which portion of the spine is damaged and how severe the damage is. IVDD symptoms can arise quickly or develop over time. If your dog exhibits any of the signs listed below, get veterinary help as soon as possible. IVDD can be excruciatingly painful for dogs, so it’s critical to get treatment as soon as possible to avoid the problem worsening or causing lasting damage to your dog’s spine.

Symptoms of Neck Intervertebral Disc Disease (Cervical IVDD)

Cervical IVDD affects the discs in the neck of the dog. If you observe any of the following symptoms, which can affect the entire body and range from moderate to severe, contact your veterinarian right away for guidance or go to your nearest animal emergency hospital for treatment:

What are the stages of IVDD?

  • Moderate to severe pain in the neck or lumbar (lower back) area characterizes Stage 2.
  • Stage 3 culminates in partial paralysis (paresis), which causes the dog to walk in a staggered or disorganized manner.

The majority of cases are classified as Stages 1, 2, or 3. Anti-inflammatory therapy (NSAIDs or steroids, depending on the severity and specific patient needs), pain medication, and enforced rest are likely to be recommended by your veterinarian. With the right medical treatment, most lower-stage patients can return to normal or nearly normal function.

Excessive movement can promote more bulging of the disc and worsening of symptoms, thus strict rest for at least 2-3 weeks is an important element of medical therapy. The bulging disc material should stiffen and consolidate with time, relieving or diminishing spinal cord compression. For most pets, enforced rest entails being crated or confined to a tiny area with no furnishings while not monitored. Pets should never be permitted to jump on or off of furniture, and staircases should be avoided at all costs. Short (5 minute or less) leash walks should be taken purely for the purpose of eliminating the pet, and if the bulging disc is in the neck, a harness should be worn to eliminate any compression of the neck caused by a typical collar.

Alternative or complementary therapy may be recommended by your veterinarian to help you achieve better results with medical management. In numerous studies, alternative therapies have been proven to restore normal function and relieve pain faster than medication alone. Laser and acupuncture are two alternative therapies that relieve inflammation and pain through channels not accessible to regular medications. Electroacupuncture also uses modest electrical stimulation to activate the spine and nerves, decreasing the influence of IVDD on peripheral nerves and promoting normal nerve function.

Your veterinarian may recommend a surgical surgery to remove the bulging disc material and alleviate pressure on the spinal cord if your pet has Stage 4 or 5 IVDD with serious neurologic deficits (e.g., paralysis or inability to walk). When surgery is performed within 24 hours after the beginning of symptoms, the success rate is substantially greater, and recuperation takes several days to weeks. Your veterinarian will refer you to a professional (neurologist or surgeon) if surgery is recommended.

Can a dog recover from Stage 4 IVDD?

As neurologic state deteriorates, the prognosis deteriorates and the length of convalescence increases. On a case-by-case basis, the necessity and timing of surgery after business hours are established. Medical vs. surgical treatment prognosis varies, and there are always outliers, but here are some broad recommendations.

Stage 1 (pain just, no neurological abnormalities) – most cases are resolved with medical treatment.

Stage 2: (knuckling walking, incoordination, ataxia) – medicinal therapy resolves 50% of cases; the remaining instances will require surgery.

Stage 3: (incapable of walking but able to move the legs) – medicinal therapy is only successful un about half of the cases, while surgery is almost always successful.

Stage 4: (paralysis with profound pain) – medical therapy is successful in fewer than half of the cases, while surgery is successful in more than 90% of the cases.

The prognosis for recovery without surgery is uncertain, however surgery has a very good prognosis. Surgery is suggested for dogs that are unable to use their legs, and it is frequently performed as soon as feasible.

Medical therapy is only very infrequently successful in stage 5 (paralysis without significant pain).

The length of time between the loss of sensation (which is often unknown) and surgical decompression is inversely linked to the clinical prognosis in these individuals; the longer the negative sensory status has been present, the lower the chances of surgery resulting in recovery.

If the negative deep pain sensation lasts shorter than 24 hours, surgery is usually successful in 50% of cases.

Even after surgery, the chances of a good recovery drop to 0-10 percent if deep pain has been absent for more than 24 hours.

Surgery is carried out in an emergency situation. Surgery is still the best option for a negative sensory pet, but the severity of the disease should be discussed with the client.

Does IVDD return?

If I had to guess based on my personal experience and expertise, I’d say that about 1/3 – 1/2 of Dachshunds have had more than one IVDD-related injury.

Number one: A Dachshund’s first disk injury never heals correctly (usually due to insufficient cage rest to allow scar tissue to form), and the same disk degrades and causes discomfort over time.

Number 2: The faulty disk in a Dachshund heals, but another disk ruptures. Conservative treatment (meds and crate rest) or surgery are sometimes required for this second damaged spinal disk.

Even if a Dachshund’s bulging or ruptured disk heals fully, IVDD makes the rest of the disks in the spine fragile, and there’s a 20% risk that a different disk will have difficulties, according to a veterinarian.

Further investigation into this issue has revealed that my estimate may be rather close to the (limited available) science findings on this topic.

“Clinical symptoms linked with IVDD recurrence appeared in 44 (19.2%) dogs. Recurrences occurred in 96% of cases within 3 years of surgery. In 25% of Dachshunds, recurrence arose…”

Only dogs who needed surgery to decompress the disk and repair the disk rupture after the first episode were included in this study.

Within three years of having IVDD back surgery, a Dachshund may suffer another spinal damage.

As a result, it’s still feasible that the recurrence of ANY disk injury – in both dogs who had surgery and those who didn’t – is closer to 50%, as I observed.

How much does dog MRI cost?

The sole disadvantage of MRI, aside from the necessity for sedation, is that it is not inexpensive. A dog MRI can cost anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on the intricacy of the required pictures, your dog’s size, whether any extra tests are required, and a variety of other criteria such as those discussed earlier. The good news is that imaging is usually covered by most pet insurance policies.


The most important thing for an IVDD-affected animal is to maintain their quality of life! We want to get rid of as much pain and inflammation as possible. An NSAID like Rimadyl is usually recommended or prescribed by a veterinarian. Unfortunately, these medications are harsh on our pets’ bodies, causing stomach ulcers, kidney failure, and liver poisoning. CBD is a natural, side-effect-free way to relieve pain and inflammation in your pet.

CBD reduces inflammation by interacting with the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system has been found in practically every living entity for millions of years, from humans to animals and even insects. The overall function of this universal system is to maintain body homeostasis.

CBD uses receptors to communicate between different types of cells in our bodies. These signals control the actions of specific cells in the body’s defense. CBD, for example, aids in the instruction of cells on how to deal with a damage.

A pharmacokinetics study on cannabis for dogs was recently undertaken at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. This 8-month double-blind trial was Cornell’s first of its sort, and it looked at dogs with osteoarthritis. There was a considerable reduction in pain and an increase in activity in the dogs in the research, with no negative side effects. In reality, the investigation came to the following conclusion:

“At both doses, pharmacokinetics revealed an elimination half-life of 4.2 hours and no adverse effects. Clinically, the canine short pain inventory and Hudson activity scores revealed a significant reduction in pain and an increase in activity (p. Veterinary evaluations revealed that CBD therapy reduced pain (p).

Another research paper, titled “The study, “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs,” discovered that 2 mg/kg of CBD twice day can assist dogs with osteoarthritis feel more comfortable and active. CBD has therapeutic benefits for both people and pets suffering from chronic pain and acute chronic pain episodes, according to a study published in 2006 in Current Neuropharmacology.


Did you know that cannabis as a neuroprotectant is patented by the US government? CBD acts as a neuroprotectant, reducing brain and nervous system damage while also encouraging the growth and production of new neurons. A condition like IVDD can cause irreversible brain damage, however CBD has been demonstrated in tests to protect against this damage and speed recovery.

According to a recent study, “Endocannabinoids acting on CB1 and CB2 receptors are implicated in the spontaneous recovery after an incomplete lesion.”

Another study on mice came to the following conclusion: “Cannabidiol increased locomotor functional recovery and reduced damage severity, implying that it could be used to treat spinal cord lesions.”


For your cat or dog, IVDD can be a frightening and painful experience. Dealing with chronic discomfort and the possibility of losing the ability to walk is difficult and stressful for both your pet and you. If your animal has surgery for IVDD, they will be confined to a crate for a few weeks to keep them immobile, which can cause a lot of stress and anxiety for many pets who aren’t used to being crated. Using CBD to assist your animal relax during their recuperation and every day is a great method to help them sleep peacefully.


A typical side effect of IVDD is muscle spasms. Unfortunately, these spasms can be extremely uncomfortable for your pet, so it’s critical to keep them under control as much as possible. Full Spectrum CBD helps relieve muscle spasms and make your pet feel more at ease.


It may seem unusual, but CBD dose has very little to do with the size or weight of the animal and much more to do with the animal’s individual disease and needs. A small dog with cancer, for example, would require far more than a large dog with anxiety. CBD has been shown to be safe in studies, even at extremely high levels, so there’s no need to be concerned.

It may take some trial and error to get the right CBD dosage for IVDD. I recommend maintaining a daily record to track how much you’re feeding them and what dose makes them feel better. Remember, while CBD hasn’t been proven to treat the problem, the goal is to improve your pet’s QUALITY OF LIFE!

Decide on a starting daily dose (I’d start with roughly 20mg a day based on our experience) and check in after a few days. Have you seen any changes in their movement or level of comfort? Do you believe they require more? Are they doing well and you’d like to see if they could do the same thing with less money? Keep track of these information and you’ll be able to figure out the exact dosage you’ll need to achieve your goals. Because each pet is unique and varied, get used to making changes as needed. Consider Goldilocks and the nuances in her selection of the “just right” bed. Adjust the dosage until you discover the sweet spot that is ideal for your pet. Because IVDD is a chronic disease, we recommend that you continue to provide CBD to your pet on a regular basis to maintain him pain-free, relaxed, and comfortable.