Home arrow Common Diseases arrow Cervical Disc Prolapse
Cervical Disc Prolapse PDF Print E-mail

 Disc Prolapse


1. Painful, stiff back or neck.

   2. Hunched up back (thoraco-lumbar) or hanging head (cervical).
   3. Difficulty using stairs or inability to get up and down from furniture.
   4. Uncoordinated gate (all four legs - cervical vs. pelvic limbs - thoracolumbar).
   5. Paralysis.



   1. 4 to 6 weeks of strict rest

         1. In a crate when unattended.
         2. No stairs, running, or jumping.
         3. Outside on a leash only.
         4. No neck leads (cervical) - use a chest harness.

   1. Anti-inflammatory drugs (corticosteroids such as dexamethasone and prednisone or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx, and aspirin)

         1. Corticosteroid therapy. Taper the dose - never discontinue abruptly. Side effects include increased drinking, urination, and appetite, restlessness, and panting.
         2. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Side effects include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and gastro-intestinal ulceration and bleeding (tar-like stool) - give with food and notify your doctor if your dog develops any of these signs.

   1. +/- muscle relaxants (Robaxin).
   2. +/- analgesics (Torbugesic, Tramadol, Buprenorphine)
   3. Weight loss if obese.
   4. A myelogram and surgery at a referral hospital (Orchard Park Veterinary Medical Center) are indicated in severe cases if the patient worsens or does not improve despite early administration of anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgery is most successful when performed early in the course of the disease.