Pet Care Resources Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) Surgery – FAQs

Neurology & Neurosurgery

Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) Surgery – FAQs

What is the success rate for IVDD surgery? 

Patients with cervical IVDD who undergo surgery are very good – their pain has more than an 80% chance of elimination allowing them to return to an active lifestyle. 

The prognosis for patients with spinal IVDD depends on their symptoms. Weak or paralyzed patients have a very good chance of recovery with surgery. Most dogs show dramatic improvement within the first few weeks of the procedure. Dogs that are both paralyzed and cannot feel their legs have more severe spinal cord trauma and may have a more limited capacity to heal.  

What are the potential complications for IVDD surgery? 

Overall, complication rates are low, but may include infections, hemorrhage, re-rupture, or persistent defecation.  

How long will my dog be hospitalized following IVDD surgery? 

The length of stay will be determined based on your pet’s postoperative comfort and neurological function. You will be updated frequently on your pet’s progress while they are hospitalized. Our goal is to get your dog home as soon as possible, without sacrificing their care.  

What is aftercare like following IVDD surgery?  

Generally, your pet will be restricted to no activity off-leash for about 4-8 weeks. Some pets require help walking and urinating while others require medications and physical rehabilitation. Your pet’s post-op plan with be developed specifically for them and their needs.  

Will my dog require physical rehabilitation after IVDD surgery? 

Before your pet leaves our hospital, we will develop an individualized plan for their care in partnership with your family veterinarian. All patients will receive some basic at-home rehabilitation exercises to complete while more extensive physical rehabilitation may be recommended for some pets.  

Does my dog need to come back to MedVet for a checkup? 

Yes – it’s important for us to assess your pet’s progress as they are healing from spinal surgery. Most patients are re-evaluated by our team about two weeks post-op. We will discuss your pet’s individualized follow-up plan prior to their discharge from the hospital.  

By MedVet |
July 21, 2023

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