Dogs are among the most lovable and loyal pets in the world, which is why they’re so popular. They come with their fair share of accolades, but unfortunately are also susceptible to many serious health conditions.

One of these health concerns is Intervertebral Disc Disease, or IVDD, which is most commonly found in smaller dogs. Learn more about what causes IVDD, how to spot the signs of IVDD, and common treatments for IVDD by reading below.

What is Intervertebral Disc Disease?

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) occurs when the cushioning intervertebral discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column become displaced, deteriorate, bulge out, rupture, or burst (herniate) into the spinal cord space. When this happens, the discs press on the nerves that run through the spinal cord, which can cause pain, nerve damage, and in severe cases, paralysis.

IVDD is sometimes referred to as a slipped or herniated disc. IVDD is one of the most common neurological disorders in canines and reportedly affects 2 percent of the domestic dog population.

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