Spinal issues can cause severe pain and distress to your pet, resulting in weakness and sometimes even paralysis. Therefore, it’s very important for pet owners to be aware of the seriousness of spinal issues for dogs and cats, and to know when something may be wrong with your pet’s spine.
To help you know when to seek veterinarian assistance, we’ve put together some information on the common causes of spinal issues, how to recognise potential abnormalities and what treatment options are available for your pet.
Common Causes of Spinal Issues
Problems with the spine can develop over a period of time, but can also appear suddenly and acutely in the event of trauma.
The most common causes of spinal cord issues in cats and dogs include:
- Trauma – such as being hit by a car, having a fight with another cat or dog, or taking a fall
- Intervertebral Disc Prolapse
Whether symptoms have appeared suddenly or over time, your pet will need a complete neurological examination by a vet to determine the exact location and cause of the problem.
Symptoms of Spinal Issues in Animals
If your pet has developed any of the following signs or symptoms, you should seek professional veterinary advice immediately:
- Weakness or dragging feet when walking
- Reduced strength when trying to stand up and walking
- Hunched posture
- Pain when moving around
Treating Spinal Issues in Pets
In some situations, medical treatment with drugs is sufficient in fixing the problem; in other cases, your pet may need surgical intervention. If surgery is required, you’ll need to look for a veterinarian who is qualified and experienced in spinal surgeries.
Imaging will be performed to determine the exact location of the issue prior to surgery via radiographs, CT or MRI scans. Some conditions requiring surgery include broken bones, disc prolapse, and cancer/tumour removal.
Surgery and Vet Care in Sydney
Sydney’s Eastside Veterinary Emergency and Specialists is equipped for services such as spinal surgery. Registered veterinary surgeons are available to treat spinal disease and associated paralysis, and are ready to perform surgery at any time of day or night.
If you’re worried about your dog or cat and think a spinal issue may harming them, book an appointment with a qualified veterinarian immediately for professional advice and guidance. It’s very important to seek professional vet assistance as soon as possible, to give your cat or dog the best chance of recovering from their spinal issue.
We hope this has provided you with some help in recognising spinal problems in your pet, as well as potential causes and treatment options. Remember, if your pet requires emergency care, seek professional veterinarian assistance immediately.