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postheadericon Very often a dog will suffer spinal damage from degenerative processes

Very often a dog will suffer spinal damage from degenerative processes. This is usually referred to as “slipped discs,” but they are not really discs at all, and they have not really slipped. Essentially what has occurred is a loss of resiliency between the vertebrae, and so-called slipped disc can be the result of an accident or, more likely, a gradual degenerative progression that shows itself in one of the body’s weakened areas.

A contributory factor could be lack of exercise (a sedentary lifestyle in which the older dog very frequently indulges). Lack of exercise decreases blood flow to vital areas, slackening the muscles and allowing the intervertebral “shock absorbers” to become thinner and less resilient, thereby leading to possible perforation upon impact. Diet is also a factor, since the cells that make up the “shock absorbers” are being starved for nutrients, which impairs their vitality and regenerative ability.

Whether the origin lies in degeneration from lack of exercise and poor nutrition, or the slipped disc results from an auto accident or other acute calamity, rehabilitative factors remain the same. The dog needs to be put on an optimum diet containing ample amounts of vitamin C and its complex, the bioflavonoids. The dog needs to maximize his digestive potential with the use of enzyme therapy, taken both internally and by injection at the site of the ailing disc. Raw grated vegetables and sprouts should be added to the food as sources of additional live enzymes, vitamins, and minerals in a readily available form. The herb comfrey is a most valuable addition to the diet in all bone disorders. The entire matter of diagnosis, diet, and injection should be discussed thoroughly with your vet.

Exercise up and down the stairs should be stopped temporarily, as it will only serve to put more pressure on the already weakened spinal joint. The dog should remain on level ground, placing newspapers in the house if necessary, as it can be a toss-up, in severe cases, between temporary paper training and paralysis. As the dog begins to rise and walk on his own, then slow walks on level ground can be encouraged. When the dog is feeling much stronger, you can slowly reintroduce more vigorous exercise, including the resumption of climbing stairs.

Slipped discs do not suddenly appear mysteriously, and they will not subside mysteriously either. If you are taking proper precautions with diet and exercise, the chances of your older dog suffering slipped discs are happily minimized. Should you also take vital precautions and not allow your dog out without a leash, then you are eliminating the chances of his getting a slipped disc through his being struck by a car. Remember that a slipped disc can lead to paralysis and impairment of vital motor and excretory functions and this can most certainly lead to death.

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