The spine is flexible and contours to the shape of the dog, allowing the dog to sit, stand or lie as it pleases. The spine also helps support the dog in its various activities. It is important to care for the dog with spinal defects.
Curved Spine in Dogs:
- Dogs with curved spines usually suffer from a congenital anomaly.
- Curved spine conditions include scoliosis or the lateral curvature of the spine, kyphosis or posterior curvature, and lordosis or the excessive curvature in the lumbar spine.
- Some spine malformations are evident at birth or appear after a growth spurt.
- These malformations, if not causing the dogs any problems are often left untreated.
- However, malformations that causes secondary spinal cord trauma and compression needs to be treated or alleviated in order for the dog to feel comfortable.
Fused Spine in Dogs
- Fusion of the spine in dogs usually appears in older dogs.
- This condition is often referred to as Spondylosis.
- An arthritic condition causes the vertebrae of the spinal column to fuse together.
- Some cases of spinal fusion present no symptoms at all and the dog continues to live comfortably.
- Some cases of spinal fusion can be so severe that the dog suffers from pain and stiffness.
- Spinal fusion is incurable and so dogs suffering from this condition are given palliative and supportive treatment.
Causes and Treatment Of Curved Spine
- Curved spines are genetically inherited.
- Dogs with curved spines that have been bred or dogs with the recessive or dominant gene that contains spine deformities can give birth to dogs with congenital spinal anomalies.
- Age is also a cause especially in the case of spinal fusion.
- The goal of treatment is to relieve the dog from pain and to allow the dog to live comfortably.
- Pain medications are given for pain relief.
- Surgery may be recommended in timely cases to prevent further compression of the spinal cord.
- Alternative treatment is also available to help relieve the pain and discomfort of the dog such as acupuncture.