Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Alternative to surgery is medical treatment with pain killers, physiotherapy, acupuncture. There are conditions of spinal cord where medical treatment can be as successful as surgery but there are spinal problems when surgery is the only options. I would suggest you to get back to your vets to discuss available treatments and ask if medical treatment is an option for your dog.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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In some cases with mild back pain, painkillers and other medications given to help a dog rest may be all that`s needed to resolve a back issue, Tracy says. The key is to only expect painkillers to cure mild pain. Severe pain may require laser procedures or surgery, he says.
If you cannot afford an MRI or surgery, try to afford stem cells for your pet. Neural stem cells can be the best thing for their spinal cord to get through the episode of IVDD without permanent damage.
Dachshunds are very prone to a problem called intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). In fact, one paper estimated that 1 in 5 dachshunds will be affected by IVDD in their lifetime. IVDD is more commonly known as a “slipped disc”. You have probably heard this term before, because humans get them too.
Some of the common activities that many Dachshunds take part in every day and ideally should avoid include: Jumping up onto or down off the bed, couch, chair, car seat, etc.; Going up and down steps, even at slow speeds! Standard stair cases are not well-suited proportionally to Dachshunds.
While the chance of a full recovery increases when the disk rupture is mild (below grade 3), and surgery is performed right away, ideally within 48 hours, the chance of surgery totally fixing your Dachshund is approximately 50% to 90%.
In severe cases, a Dachshund might need a wheelchair to get around, and have some special needs, but will still live life to the fullest. A lot of Dachshunds moderately or fully recover after treatment and can go back to their normal activities (with a few precautions, of course).
Although surgical treatment is often preferred, 4 out of 5 dogs that are weak or paralysed in their back legs will make a good recovery without surgery provided that they have good sensation in the affected limbs. However, these dogs may take a long time to recover – from 6 to 12 weeks before they can walk.
This means if your dog gets IVDD when there is a previous vet record of back problems you should be covered. Make sure you are covered at an absolute minimum for £8k and preferably over £10k. The average cost of surgery and rehabilitation for IVDD is around £4-£5k, but some will cost a lot more.
As a breed, Dachshunds are extremely prone to injuring their backs. In fact, experts estimate that one in four Dachshunds will develop some form of disc disease or injury in its lifetime. Although spinal injuries happen most often to dogs with long backs, any breed is at risk of this kind of injury occurring.
A dachshund can live between 12 and 14 years on average. The average dachshund lives between 12 and 14 years of age. These dogs weigh between 15 and 32 pounds as adults, and they typically measure about 9 inches tall.
When a dachshund is in pain, their defense mechanism may kick in. If someone tries to pet or handle the dog, the dachshund may bite, snap, or growl at the person. In some cases, their main owner may even become the focus of their aggression.
Intervertebral Disc Disease is a painful back condition that causes herniated discs in the spinal column. When a dachshund`s spinal disc bursts, it can compress the spinal cord to cause severe back pain along with significant mobility loss. Many dachshunds diagnosed with IVDD will abruptly hind leg function.
Holistic treatments such as physiotherapy, hydrotherapy, and acupuncture can also be good to assist your dog in recovering from spinal surgeries or injuries. Spinal rehabilitation is a slow process and may last for months, but physical therapy can help pets to heal and lessen back pain.
Spinal cord tissue does not regenerate effectively and therefore the consequences of an injury can be devastating. Dogs can make an excellent recovery after injury if the damage to the spinal cord is partial (incomplete) because the surviving nerves are able to take over the function of the nerves that have been lost.
Number of animals affected

Around 25% of all Dachshunds will develop this condition to the extent that they require veterinary treatment. At any time, a greater percentage may be suffering from less severe back pain that does not get recognised and treated.

IVDD surgery success rates are around 90% when a dog is in the early stages of the disease. In dogs who have severe or progressed IVDD, the success rate of surgery in restoring leg function is about 50-60% if surgery occurs within 24 hours of the acute disc herniation.
Many dogs make a full recovery, particularly if given suitable rehabilitation to rebuild their strength. Some dogs make a partial recovery and may be left without full mobility, but can usually continue to lead an active life. Your dog may also develop involuntary motor function, called Spinal Walking.
Type I disease – A dog who has spinal pain with no paralysis can be managed with strict cage rest and pain relief for at least 2-4 weeks.
If detected early IVDD can be treated without surgery especially when IVDD has not compromised your dog`s ability to walk, but if it has progressed and affected your dog`s ability to walk or control its bowel and bladder, surgery is the only available treatment for IVDD.
The easiest and safest way to move an injured large dog is to use a stretcher of some sort. Any firm, flat object, even a wide wood board, can be used if the dog can be secured safely. Avoid twisting the dog`s neck and/or back. The head should ideally be held approximately 30 percent higher than the rear.
Recovery from IVDD surgery requires 6 – 8 weeks of restricted activity combined with appropriate medications to help with pain management and swelling. Your vet may also recommend physical rehabilitation (physical therapy for dogs) to help your pet recover.
Symptoms of Spinal Injury in Dogs

Obvious pain affecting the dog`s back, neck, limbs, or tail. A change in your dog`s gait, such as the sudden development of a limp or the impression that your dog is dragging its back legs when walking. Yelping or other unhappy vocalizations when you try to pick up your dog.

Dachshunds that have IVDD Type 1 can generally heal over time and are able to resume their normal daily routines, including walking and playing. Dachshunds with IVDD Type 1 may need some IVDD Physical Therapy to recover but are less likely to require surgery.
With support from orthopedic braces, a healthy diet, regular exercise, as well as homeopathic support, your older dog may have many happy and healthy years ahead, free of back leg collapse. Talk to your vet and ask if a hip brace may alleviate your older dog`s hind leg weakness.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. My Dachshund is in a lot of pain. She has back problems and I can’t afford surgery for her. Is there something I can do other than the surgery.
ANSWER : A. Alternative to surgery is medical treatment with pain killers, physiotherapy, acupuncture. There are conditions of spinal cord where medical treatment can be as successful as surgery but there are spinal problems when surgery is the only options. I would suggest you to get back to your vets to discuss available treatments and ask if medical treatment is an option for your dog.

Q. Shiba Inu. He periodically shakes and trembles, usually unrpovoked and seeming for no reason. Usually cuddling helps but not always. Becomes reclusive
ANSWER : A. I do find that Shiba Inu’s are a really sensitive breed. I think the first thing to rule out is pain. That could be pain from a muscle injury or even gastrointestinal pain. Try to pinpoint whether it occurs after a meal or not. He might be painful due to something going on in his GI tract, and the pain is at its worse after he eats.

I’ve also seen a lot of small breeds like Shibas get back pain, and shaking can definitely accompany that as well. If you haven’t see your vet who can perform a good physical exam and look for any signs of muscular pain along the spine or elsewhere. It’s not a bad idea at this point to consider doing some blood work just to screen for any problems that could be affecting organ function, for example.

If he’s healthy otherwise, I think it’s likely that there’s something that’s scaring him at home. These things can be really difficult to identify, and you have to be really aware and note exactly when the shaking occurs, how long it lasts, etc, and look for patterns. Dogs can hear things we can’t, and he may be hearing things you’re missing, and the noise is disturbing to him. Cuddling is a good idea, also working to distract him and desensitize him with toys and treats might help. But like I said above – definitely rule out pain first.

Q. Have a dachshund who is over weight but this past couple of days she refuses to go up steps and her left back leg is not being used, and she is guntin
ANSWER : A. This particular breed is very susceptible to back problems. Your dog is showing some classic symptoms of back pain- reluctance to climb stairs, weakness or inability to use a rear leg and grunting. Your dog should be examined and have radiographs of her back as soon as possible. Hopefully, she can be treated medically, but sometimes back problems progress quickly to something surgical. The quicker you get an accurate assessment of the extent of her problem, the quicker you dan get her some pain relief.

Read Full Q/A … : Theories of gravitation

Q. What is the disease that affects vertebra on Boxer dogs?
ANSWER : A. There are lots of problems with the back that can go wrong , however one common one is Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVD). This involves a gradual degeneration of the pads between vertebrae that are used to help pad impact and protect the nerves inside the spinal cord. This can cause pain, trouble walking, paralysis and more. Many other back problems can include Wobbler’s Syndrome- a problem where the neck and back meet, or even just plain injury to the back itself. Boxers that have docked tails may also have nerve issues in the cauda equina- a group of nerves that meet at the base of the back and tail and are important in proper function of the lower organs, tail and legs.

Q. My Bulldog puppy growls, barks and even tries to bite me when I say “no” to him. What can I do?
ANSWER : A. First, avoid scolding him and acting aggressively towards him if you don’t want him to be acting aggressively towards you. There are other methods you can use to communicate to your dog that you don’t want him to continue doing what he is doing. I recommend you stop telling him “no”, scolding him, or raising your voice at him. Everything coming from you should be 100% positive and 100% calm.

Try to figure out ways to clearly communicate what you want to your dog. If you want your dog to leave something or someone alone, I strongly suggest teaching your dog commands like “leave it”. Here is a link to a video in which I explain how to do it:


Another thing I suggest you use is a no-reward marker. This clearly communicates when your dog has done something wrong. No-reward markers have to be introduced during your training sessions. You should be doing at least three training sessions per day, that are something like 3-10 minutes long (working on different things each training session). If you are teaching your dog something BRAND NEW, do not use the no-reward marker, as you do not want to discourage your dog from performing behaviors for you. Use the no-reward marker for known behaviors only. Here is another helpful video about this:


Lure each new behavior (as shown in the video) using high value treats. Let’s say you’re working on “down” which is a behavior your dog knows fairly well. Present the treat to your dog. Ask your dog to “down” (only ask once). If he does not go “down” immediately, say, “uh-oh” or “eh-eh” in a gentle tone, and then place the treat behind your back. This communicates to your dog that they did something to make the treat go away.

After you place the treat behind your back to show your pup “that was wrong” you need to communicate to your pup “let’s try again” by getting your pup to walk around for a second, and then start the behavior all over again. If your puppy is very young, chances are you haven’t taught him a solid “down” behavior yet. So, as I said, do not use this method until you have lured each new behavior as shown in the video.

This is the order in which you should teach behaviors: Lure using a high value treat as shown in the video. After a few successful food lures, lure with an empty hand. If the pup is successful with the empty hand lure, reward with lots of treats. If the pup is unsuccessful, then go back to food-luring a couple more times. After a few successful empty-hand lures, you can begin to add the cue. Say “sit”, then lure with an empty hand, and then reward. Once your pup understands the cue, begin to work on the no-reward marker.

Q. My dog has hip problems. Can I give him Aleve or other aspirin to help with the pain?
ANSWER : A. Do NOT give your dog over the counter pain medications such as Aleve, Ibuprofen or Aspirin unless specifically instructed by your vet. These medications can cause serious problems such as ulceration of the stomach, or kidney/liver dysfunction if given in the wrong dosage or too often.

If your dog is experiencing painful hips, your vet can provide you with pain medications that are designed for use in dogs. These medications are much safer to give and have fewer side effects. Additionally, supplements with glucosamine and chondroitin may help to relieve pain and soreness associated with hip problems.

Q. My Lab has a torn cruciate. He is around 10 years old, he seems to become tired because of the pain. He is stilling eating and drinking.
ANSWER : A. If you haven’t seen your vet then you need an appointment to get appropriate pain relief. If you have been to the vet and the pain meds you have already been given aren’t working you need to go back for something stronger. Your vet will be able to advise if surgery or strict rest is the best option for your dog. Usually larger breed dogs require surgery.

ANSWER : A. From what you’re describing I think 2 things are likely. Either your dog has pain in her neck, which is causing her to not want to move her head, or she’s feeling generalized weakness.

Neck pain in small dogs is usually due to disk problems. They get a form of disk disease known as Hansen’s type II chronic disease, where the disk gradually moves upward and presses slowly on the spinal cord, causing pain and weakness.

Generalized weakness can be due to a number of conditions, starting with just not feeling well due to a GI problem (nausea, for example) to something like anemia (low red blood cell count) or heart disease. It sounds very much like your girl isn’t feeling well, and likely need some diagnostics in order to figure out what’s going on. You vet will start with a physical examination and rule out possible neck pain, and then will likely recommend blood work or other tests. If you want to talk to us further we can probably provide more information on a consult, where we can get more details about exactly what’s going on.