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What is the Success Rate of IVDD Surgery in Dogs? Does Surgeon Matter?


Dear VetBabble: Understanding IVDD in Dogs and Surgical Success Rates

Dear VetBabble, my dog, a two-year-old Shih Tzu, has recently been diagnosed with Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). I hadn’t noticed any signs leading up to this acute onset. I’m considering surgery but I’m concerned about how successful this surgery will be. Is it largely dependent on the surgeon?

We understand your concerns and this question highlights an important topic that may affect many pet owners. This article will go into detail about IVDD in dogs, potential treatment options including surgery, and factors that influence the success of these treatments.

Understanding Canine IVDD

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is a condition seen commonly in certain dog breeds, including Shih Tzus. Your furry friend’s diagnosis falls under a broader category of spinal issues that many dogs experience. For more information about other possible health issues in dogs, I recommend checking our articles like Dealing with Hip Problems in Dogs.

In IVDD, the discs in the dog’s spine start to degenerate, which can lead to pain, difficulty walking, or even paralysis. Noticing the symptoms can be challenging as they may appear suddenly, like in your pet’s case, or gradually over time.

Treatment Options for IVDD

When it comes to treating IVDD in dogs, there are several options available depending primarily on the severity of the disease. Non-surgical treatments include pain management, controlled exercise and physiotherapy. In severe cases, surgery may be recommended.

Surgical treatment is aimed at removing the pressure on the spinal cord. The success rate of the surgery can vary based on several factors, including the specifics of the individual case, the dog’s overall health, the surgeon’s skill and experience, and the post-operative care provided by the owner.

Factors Influencing Surgical Success

One of the most influencing factors regarding surgical success is early intervention. Recognizing the symptoms early can greatly increase the chance of a successful surgery. Since you didn’t notice any signs before the acute onset of symptoms in your Shih Tzu, don’t be too hard on yourself. IVDD can happen rapidly without many noticeable signs.

Another essential factor for the success of the surgery is the skill and experience of the surgeon performing the procedure. It’s essential to ensure that your furry friend is in the hands of a competent professional. Additionally, aftercare and physical therapy play a crucial role.

While any surgical procedure includes risks, many dogs recover well from IVDD surgery. Besides, there are other related risks to consider when keeping pets, such as the likelihood of Pregnancy in Dogs, the possibility of Seizures in Dogs, or potential post-spay complications like Urinary Incontinence in Dogs After Spaying.

In conclusion, IVDD can be a scary diagnosis, but with prompt attention and care, many dogs can live happy and comfortable lives after surgery. Always consult with your veterinarian to get the best treatment option for your pet.

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