Back pain and back problems are quite common in low, long dogs as well as highly active dogs. Even undue pressure on the spine can lead to backache among dogs.
Many dogs, especially Cocker Spaniels have a high incidence of disk degenerative disease, which may not be related to injury but trauma can often be a cause. Cocker Spaniel Back Problems relate to cockers getting hip problems which when left untreated can also lead to pain n their backs.
Cocker Spaniel Back Problems are not always a result of excessiveness or carelessness on part of the dog. They can hurt their backs even while jumping out of a car or while playing in their usual stupor.
Intervertebral disk disease, characterized by partial protrusion is one of the severe back problems that affect cocker spaniels. It has several grades or stages that are classified according to the severity of clinical signs. Grade one consists of spinal pain but without neurologic manifestations, in grade two the dog is able to walk but with slight or partial paralysis, in grade three paralysis accompanies inability to walk, in grade four, paralysis included intense and deep pain and in grade five, paralysis is present with loss of deep pain. Cockers with grade one and grade two IVD are generally prescribed muscle relaxants, anti inflammatory drugs or surgery. Cage confinement along with prescribed analgesics can be followed and recovery is from one to six weeks.
Dogs suffering from grade three, four and five IVD can recover with medical treatment but the recovery rate is less and usually surgery is required. In this case of Cocker Spaniel Back Problem, there is a preventive surgery known as ‘disk fenestration’ which drains the disks of any fluids and prevents any possible rupture agreed upon by many veterinarians.
However medical decompression along with cage confinement may improve the rate of recovery. Also, cage confinement becomes essential. Cockers that do not respond to therapy may require surgery.
A lot of alternative methods of treatment and holistic methods have also become popular for treating Cocker Spaniel Back Problems, including acupuncture, chiropractic manipulations and underwater treadmill therapy.
Often little points that are ignored make headway for larger problems. One must keep in mind that overweight dogs are prone to back problems more easily than the others and therefore the right kind of diet is very important as a preventive measure. Cockers, with bellies as large as their chest and barrel shaped cocker spaniels carry too much of weight and this leads to extra load and strain on their back and hips. Because of this very reason, it has often been advised that female cocker spaniels should not be bred until the time they gain full maturity.
Though Cocker Spaniel Back Problems can be caused due to both inherent and external factors, one must keep caution and use preventive measures. In case problems do arise which require extensive treatment or medication, one should consult with a veterinarian and diligently follow the prescribed course of treatment along with efficient care.