Back problems are both common and unfortunate in breeds like the dachshund. So, dog slipped disc recovery without surgery – is it possible and how? How would you know for sure if your dog needs surgery or if a non-surgical recovery is an option? Why would you try it even if it’s a good option – are herniated disc surgeries that costly? What are the risks of going with or without surgery too?
These questions are all key if you want the best for your dog. Naturally, the smartest way to go about it is always to just find a good vet and trust them in everything they recommend. If you have any doubts, however, or you’re a Doxie owner and you’re just curious, here’s what we’d recommend.
Is Dog Slipped Disc Recovery Without Surgery Possible?
Getting through dachshund herniated disc recovery without surgery is possible but complicated. In many cases, your vet will be adamant against it, and rightly so. However, there are situations where non-surgery recovery is possible and even recommended. Which category your dog falls in will largely depend on how much its Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) has progressed. Additional factors include age and overall health.
When Is Dog Slipped Disc Recovery Without Surgery Possible?
The rule of thumb is that lighter cases of slipped discs don’t necessarily require surgery. However, that doesn’t mean that they are not a major problem nor that you can ignore them or take them lightly. On the contrary – even the lightest case of a damaged spinal disc is a glowing red light that your dog is in serious trouble and you need to act fast.
The way most vets summarize it is that you can treat a slipped disc without surgery in the following cases:
- Your dog has a medical condition that makes general anesthesia very ill-advised or outright impossible
- This is the first time your dog has had back problems
- The signs of spinal cord compression are still relatively minor and are believed to be due to a “simple” spinal bruising
- Your dog is still young
In almost any other case, however, your vet will recommend immediate spinal surgery. This is especially true if your dog is older or if this is the second time it’s exhibited spinal problems.
Read more about: Dog Spinal Surgery Recovery Time – What To Expect And What To Do?
How Should You Approach Your Dog’s Recovery Without Surgery?
Whether you choose to go with or without surgery, you should always follow all your vet’s instructions to the letter. If you suspect that your vet isn’t giving you the best advice, what you should do is look for a second and third opinion – not just ignore your vet’s recommendations out of hand. Slipped discs are treatable both with and without surgery and your dog can have a good and happy life for years to come, but only if you do everything right.
So, even if you are going for dog slipped disc recovery without surgery, you should still be prepared for a prolonged and complicated process. This will often mean taking some time off work or finding a way to work from home. Additionally, there are going to be quite a few tools, medications, and other items you’ll need to get.
What Does Recovery Without Surgery Involve?
The exact specifics of what you’ll need to do will vary on a case-by-case basis. However, non-surgical recovery will typically include:
- Several weeks or several months of bed rest. With dogs, this means keeping your dog in a confined place such as a dog crate – not so small that your dog is prevented from moving at all but small enough to prevent walking around, jumping, etc.
- A long course of drug treatments that are aimed at reducing the spinal inflammations as well as the dog’s pain.
- Routine vet check-ups so that the expert can make sure the treatment is progressing adequately and the condition isn’t worsening. In the case of the latter, immediate surgery will often be recommended.
- Regular help with going to the toilet as your dog may not be able to just go out normally. Making sure that your dog’s bladder isn’t too full is essential.
- You’ll also need to help your dog eat and drink well every day.
- Keeping your dog’s mental health and stability is crucial too. Many dogs are quite understandably prone to falling into depression in such situations. This is not just unfortunate, it can also further complicate your dog’s recovery. It’s not uncommon for dogs to refuse to eat in some cases.
Why Would You Try The Dog Slipped Disc Recovery Without Surgery Method?
If recovery without surgery is so time-consuming and complicated, why even attempt it? Does dog slipped disc surgery cost that much?
Indeed it does. Depending on where you live, such a surgery can cost anywhere between $1,500 and $4,000. And that’s without counting all the x-rays, additional medications, therapy, and more. With those, the whole process can cost anywhere up to $3,000 to $8,000.
This is why it’s often recommended to get pet insurance if you have a dachshund or another breed that’s prone to back problems. The insurance for such breeds is costlier than it is for other dogs but it can also save you much more money in the long run.
Even if money is not that much of a problem, the risk of the surgery may just be too much. If your dog has problems with anesthesia or the condition is just not that bad, the risks of the surgery may outweigh the benefits.
What Are The Risks Of Not Treating A Slipped Disc In Dogs With Surgery?
What if you decide to skip the surgery against your vet’s advice? The most obvious consequence is obvious – your dog’s back problems will likely worsen and more pain and disability will follow. Hypothetically, if you’re really careful with the recovery, things can end up well, but if a specialist you trust recommends surgery, you should probably try it.
In short, slip disc surgery is costly and unfortunate. Additionally, it’s also followed by at least a few weeks of bed rest, therapy, and recovery too. However, if your vet recommends it over non-surgical recovery, there should be little question on what you should do.