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Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) – Cervical Area

By: Dr. Nicholas Trout

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Following surgery, dogs are hospitalized for several days to assess their early improvement and to determine the level of bladder function.

Most dogs that receive cervical disc surgery to not have problems urinating but if necessary your vet will show you how to hold your dog to compress and empty the bladder. Medication may be used to help with bladder function.

You will need to check the incision on the underside of the neck daily for swelling redness or discharge. Stitches or staples must be removed in two weeks.

Most dogs continue to have control of their bowel movements but occasionally may need assistance to stand to defecate. If you can, support your dog to encourage a more normal bowel movement. Make sure their back end stays clean.

Passive range of motion may be encouraged if your dog is taking a little longer to recover. This involves shoulder, elbow, hip and stifle flexion and extension exercises to promote good muscle tone and joint mobility in order to offset muscle wasting.

For dogs that are unable to walk, soft padded bedding is very important, and turning him frequently from side to side, at least four times a day, can help prevent the development of pressure sores.

All dogs following spinal surgery need rest and confinement for a period of four to six weeks, even if they appear to be moving well. This allows the tissue around the surgical site to heal.

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