How do you tell if a dog has a back injury? Here’s the Answer

Diagnosis of Spinal Injury in Dogs

Veterinarians who suspect a spinal injury in a dog may run several types of diagnostic procedures to confirm the diagnosis and pinpoint the exact cause and location of the problem.

Diagnostic imaging techniques such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans can make the injury visible, while lab tests can determine the presence of cancer or infection. At the same time, your veterinarian will observe your dog’s posture, gait, and any signs of discomfort to help determine how seriously the injury affects your dog’s quality of life.

Symptoms of Spinal Trauma in Dogs

Symptoms may vary in your dog depending on the type of injury and what caused it.

  • Acute onset – You will most likely notice symptoms come on quickly and suddenly after an injury or trauma
  • Loss of function – Your dog may lose some if not all function of his legs or lower half of the body
  • Ataxia – There may be a loss of coordination in your dog’s limbs and this may give him an unsteady walk
  • Pain – Your dog may begin to experience pain in his neck, back, and limbs due to the spinal injury
  • Types

    Types of spinal trauma injuries are broken down into 3 broad categories.

  • Intervertebral disk disease (aging disks that harden and cause pain, discomfort or paralysis)
  • Trauma (car accident, gunshots, falls, bite wounds)
  • Blood supply being blocked to his spinal cord
  • Back Support to Relieve Dog Back Pain

    Back Braces and supports are always an excellent tool to help further support your dog’s back and alleviate some pain with a form of compression. Proper back support should conform to the shape of your dog’s body. This level of customized support will provide support to the spine as well as the surrounding muscles. Depending on your dog’s injury, they may also need to limit their range of motion as they heal. A dog back support is the perfect solution to relieve a pet’s back pain and keep the spine in alignment.

    Wearing a back brace is not a replacement for other necessary procedures for a dog in recovery, like crate rest but an added aid in healing.

    Dog spinal disc problems: the initial consult