Dice Wants to Tell You About Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Dice Wants to Tell You About Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

Hi, Hello! See that handsome guy? It me! I’m Dice. I'm a 5-year-old pibble who did my Mommo a frighten.

Here's a secret: I was real scared, too.

I’ve got a real strong nose. I can sniff around and find my toys, or treats... or even treats OUT OF toys! Wow, right??

I can tell when humans are mad or sad or happy. I’m pretty good at that, too! I listen to what I'm told... for the most part. Yeah... I'm a good boy!

But sometimes... stuff creeps up on me that I can’t sniff out or don’t see coming. And sometimes it’s not very good stuff.

But, but! I’m lucky that I have an awesome family who could tell something was up right away.

Come! Sit!

Good job! Okay. Let me tell you what happened.

About 5 weeks ago I wasn’t feeling so great. I just didn’t wanna do much, and I couldn’t stop shaking or shivering. My grandpa noticed and he told my Mom right away. My gut said I should find a place to go curl up and hide until it passed, maybe, but I love my humans, and I mean... they give me food and stuff, so I didn’t.

My Mom saw through me trying to be brave. She could see that my back legs weren’t moving like they should, and she caught me stumbling a couple times. It was strange, and it was hurting.

But she is the goodest Mommo! Right away she started to take care of me. She started to give me a little Doggie Massage, and even though it didn’t totally take care of the pain it made me feel warm and fuzzy. You know, less anxious and stuff.

A few times throughout the day she put some moist heat on my back. I really just didn't know what was going on with me... but what I DID know was that she was worried. I’m real good at stuff like that with my Mom and my human sisters. It was kind of a rough day but that night felt okay. It was good being taken care of!

Even though I got that nice massage and got to lay with the squishy warm towels, things weren’t better the next day. Normally I can walk down the stairs and get to the door to go potty by myself. I mean... I learned how to do that SO long ago, guys!

And I’m not FAT or anything like that. I’m only a little bit big, just over 73 pounds. I’m a muscle tank! But... I was just hurting. It’s like I was telling my legs to do the things I usually tell them to do... I don’t know how all that works, it just does... but it was just too hard.

My Mommo had to carry me down the stairs.

What’s worse is I couldn’t even hold my own body up to poop. I tried real real hard but it was this strange mix of pain and just not being able to MAKE my legs go.

That meant it was time to go to the vet.


I mean, not THE vet herself, but I hate going to the PLACE. There’s so many other dogs! And cats. And there’s so many smells I just can’t handle it all at once, you know? Plus, I just wasn’t feeling good.

I did my best to be a good dog for the exam, and they took pictures of the insides of me, too! You can see one of those pictures here. Sorry that there’s some poop in them, but these things happen!

After we got home from all that, and got all the results, Mommo filled in the rest of my family. This is what she said:

I had a ruptured disc in my lower back, and it was cutting off the nerve-to-brain connection to my hind legs. How scary! It’s called Intervertebral Disk Disease or IVDD, and I have type 2. The short of it is that this has been happening slowly over time with me.

Type 1 is more acute, and more common in long, cute sausage dogs. You can read more about IVDD, but let me tell you what my treatment was, and how I’m doing now!

I got put on some steroids for a month. Mom says they’re named Prednisone. I also got some pills for the first couple weeks so I wouldn’t hurt so much. Those were named Tramadol. Then, I was given something named Pepcid so that the steroids wouldn’t hurt my tum.

That wasn’t so bad... I’m kind of crazy at the vet but I’m a real good boy about taking pills!

What WAS bad was that I had to rest. That means I couldn’t play. I was SUPPOSED to be kept in a crate for longer periods of time... but I didn’t like that much. But I did get lots of snuggles!

Mom gated the stairs so that I wasn’t tempted to even try them. Plus, we had a ramp built for the steps that lead to Outside, for when I started feeling better. How cool is that??

After a couple weeks the pain pills slowed down, and then I didn’t have to eat those anymore. Yay! After a month the steroid pills slowed down too, then those stopped... so then, I didn’t have to take the stuff for my tum anymore, either.

Mommo says the vet says I’m 95% better now! I DO feel a lot better, and I love that she isn’t so scared anymore and we get to play!

I love her!

It looks like we’re going to keep the ramp for Outside, just because it couldn’t hurt. Also, me and my sister Star have to take something named Glucosamine because it’s good for our hips and joints. Hey, I’m fine with that if it means I can play and stuff!

I had a great outcome and I’m hoping to be totally better soon. Like I said, I’m lucky that I have the family that I do, and that they were paying such close attention. The thing is... I’d been kind of hiding the fact that something wasn’t feeling right for a day or so before I just couldn’t anymore.

Just in case your dog does that too, here’s what to look out for, okay? 

  • Unwilling to jump or walk
  • Pain/weakness in rear legs
  • Crying out in pain
  • Acting nervous
  • Twitching or spasms of their back/neck
  • Hunched or tensed back/neck
  • Lower activity level or appetite
  • Losing control of bladder/bowels

Even though I don’t like GOING to my vet, I have a good one. You probably do, too! So even if you’re not sure what’s going on or think it might be a fluke, you can still call them for advice and help.

Thanks SO MUCH for reading my story! And hey! One more thing!

Do any of you have a doggo with Type 1 or 2 IVDD? I wanna hear about other pups like me!

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