cbd oil for dogs with ivdd

Dexter + Tali

I bought the treats for Dexter to help him with IVDD and they have been so wonderful. He LOVES them and can actually have them since they are gluten-free and do not have chicken in them-hard to find! He loved them so much and they were working so well that I bought the oil to try with my cat, Tali. Tali is just a wee nervous sometimes and the oil really helps her chill out. Dexter takes the oil sometimes too but he prefers multiple treats a day 😉

Elizabeth C., in Virginia Beach, VA

Acupuncture Can Help Dogs

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD)—what some call a “slipped disc”—can smolder or it can strike full-blown, leaving your dog in excruciating pain and unable to walk. Initially, signs that a dog is afflicted can be subtle: a hesitation about going up or down stairs, paws that knuckle under or cross over, nail scuffing, an arched back, a tense abdomen. Dogs may shy from their food bowls to avoid bending their necks, or cry when picked up.

IVDD causes compression of the spinal cord and leads to weakness, pain and sometimes paralysis, and is divided into two categories: Hansen Type I and II. Type I often swoops in suddenly, usually in younger, smaller dogs ages three to six. The center jelly of the vertebral disc, called the nucleus pulposus, degenerates, then ruptures and presses on the spinal cord. Not surprisingly, the chondrodystrophic breeds (dogs with short legs and longbacks)—Dachshunds, Corgis, Lhasa Apsos, Shih Tzus and Beagles—are predisposed to this type.

Type II, which is typically seen in large dogs like German Shepherds, Labradors and Dobermans ages eight to ten, progresses more slowly. Though the disc doesn’t burst its center, it bulges between the vertebrae and impinges on the spinal cord, causing chronic pain and weakness.

To rule out fractures, bone infections and cancers, your vet will start with X-rays, but a contrast myelogram, CT or MRI (all of which are often done at specialty centers) is needed to visualize the spinal cord and determine the nature and location of the problem.


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In addition to type, IVDD is described by level of severity. Roughly, grade I involves pain; grade II, unsteadiness; grade III, weakness that prevents standing or walking; grade IV, paralysis but able to feel deep pain when the toes are pinched; and grade V, complete paralysis with loss of deep pain.

Dogs with grades 1 through IV will likely be managed with pain meds, muscle relaxants and strict rest for up to a month, and are often referred for physical therapy or Class IV laser treatments. Depending on the duration of neurological deficits and amount of pain, surgery may also be recommended for dogs with grades II, III and IV. Because the disease can change quickly, even dogs diagnosed with lower-grade IVDD need sequential exams to ensure that the condition is not progressing.

When a dog is completely unable to walk, decisions have to be made swiftly. Dogs who stay in the grade V stage longer than 48 hours often remain paralyzed despite intervention, while up to 50 percent of those who have surgery in the first 24 hours may regain their ability to walk.

IVDD surgery removes compromised discs, hemorrhage and adjacent bone compressing the spinal cord. With severe disease, it’s the best chance for a dog to walk again. It does, of course, also entail expenses and risks that not everyone is able or willing to undertake. What other options do we have?

Thankfully, veterinarians have been studying other modalities to treat IVDD, acupuncture among them. In 2007, a team lead by A.M. Hayashi found that dogs of all IVDD grades recovered more quickly with electroacupuncture (EAP) combined with a standard Western medical approach than Western treatment alone (JAVMA 231[6]: 913–918).

In 2009, A. Laim et al. reported that dogs receiving EAP and pain medications after surgery for acute IVDD were less likely to need higher doses of pain meds during the first 12 hours than those who received meds alone. These patients also had significantly lower pain scores 36 hours after treatment (JAVMA 234[9]: 1141–1146).

A 2010 study compared three options for IVDD dogs with severe neurologic deficits of greater than 48 hours’ duration: decompressive surgery (DSX), EAP, and DSX followed by EAP (DSX + EAP). The study, led by J.G.F. Joaquim, showed that EAP was more effective than DSX + EAP, and that DSX alone was the least successful. These dogs had severe, long-standing IVDD in the thoracic and lumbar (thoracolumbar) spine, and in the past, their prognosis would have been dismal. (JAVMA 236[11]: 1225–1229).

How does acupuncture work? While there is some debate over definitions, it’s generally accepted that acupuncture points (acupoints) concentrate clusters of free nerve endings, small blood and lymphatic vessels, and mast cells, part of the immune system. A veterinarian certified in acupuncture inserts small, sterile needles into specific points to stimulate muscles, nerves, circulation and the immune system. For IVDD, one needle may be placed at the top of the spine by the shoulders, and a second above the pelvis, which moves the qi and stagnated energy caused by the disc disease.

Functional MRIs reveal that acupuncture activates pain-associated brain stem regions. The specific mechanism of acupuncture on IVDD has not yet been fully explained, but it’s surmised that it reduces local swelling, inflammation and pain; decreases cord compression, scar formation and tissue oxygen deprivation; and restores damaged nerves.

When compared to the use of needles alone, EAP has been found to increase the body’s response to acupuncture. In EAP, needles in the skin are connected by metal clips; electro-impulses move between the clips and into the needles, producing sensations that range from a tingling to a vibration. Frequency and intensity are determined by the type of condition being treated. Sessions usually last from 10 to 30 minutes, and dogs often fall asleep during treatment.

EAP has a cumulative effect and is typically prescribed as a series of treatments, every one to two weeks for at least a few months. Appropriate Chinese herbal formulas are often prescribed at the same time to reduce pain and enhance the effects of acupuncture. Dogs then proceed to maintenance acupuncture at one- to three-month intervals to prevent recurrence.

Ideally, your dog will never go through the pain of IVDD, and you won’t have the worry. But if you do find yourself up against a down dog, it’s good to know that adding acupuncture to the treatment repertoire may help your friend get back on all fours.

Cbd oil for dogs with ivdd

Helping owners during recovery & healing

Whether you are treating your hound conservatively or surgically, it can be quite confronting when faced with a dog that now depends on you for their every need, particularly when they are confined to a crate/pen for extended periods of time.

This list of aids has been compiled from the recommendations of owners who are members of DISA’s IVDD Support Group who have been through the IVDD journey. We trust you find this helpful.


Wiggleless Back Brace

Available for purchase on DISA Shop

When used as directed, the WiggleLess® dog back brace offers firm support, back stability and stress relief for your dog

L’il Back Bracer


  • Kongs filled with treats (non-fattening). Remember we are trying to keep our dog at a good weight to avoid stress on its back.
  • Enrichment treats such as LickiMats – available on DISA Shop LickiMat
  • Snuffle Mats
  • Healthy chews


It’s not uncommon for our IVDD hounds to suffer from severe anxiety during restricted rest, this is where herbal supplements may help or even stronger medication (as prescribed by the vet or specialist) may be needed to prevent them from doing more harm than good. Here are a few suggestions which may help –


Adaptil Diffuser. A synthetic analogue of canine appeasing pheromone, which has a comforting and reassuring effect on dogs

Canine Tranquil Formula
Thunderstorms, fireworks, car trips, visits to the vet, seeing visitors and being separated from their owners and loved ones are all uncomfortable situations for dogs. Every dog has an individual personality and therefore deals with these events differently

CBD Oil (Cannabidiol)
A growing number of pet owners are using products containing cannabidiol or CBD to keep their pets calm and pain-free

To soothe and calm anxious hounds

Makes treats and food last longer and prevents overfeeding
Helps clean dog’s tongue by removing food particles and bacteria
Freshens breath over time with regular use and improves overall oral and dental health
Keeps your pet entertained and helps them relax

paw Complete Calm
Tasty kangaroo based chews that contain Tryptophan, B group vitamins and a blend of multivitamins and nutrients to support the general health and nervous function in dogs.

A complementary feed for cats and dogs that contains a natural product derived from casein, a protein in milk.

Tellington TTouch Wrap

If you have a dog who experiences anxiety (think storms/fireworks!), this “HALF WRAP” is a great DIY way in which you can help to calm your dog. And even better, this wrap can also be used for various other situations too … like CRATE REST! Yep, this simple method can help to keep your dog calm a nd relaxed.

To do this kind of wrap, all you need is a soft non-compression bandage. When you wrap it around your dog, the bandage does not need to be tight, it just needs to touch them gently. For further information check out the Tellington TTouch Australia Website


If all else fails have a chat with your Veterinary Professional who can suggest anti-anxiety medication options.


Past experience has shown dachshunds are great escape artists. Soft crates, and even baby pens, are no contest for a desperate sausage! Try and start off with a ‘trusty old’ metal crate with a roof. We recommend 36″ and these can be found online – simply Google – Dog crates 36″.

If your hound simply doesn’t play nicely with a Crate you can also consider a Child Play Pen. These also work well but beware if you have a jumper.

Recovery suites are another excellent concept – a pen with a crate inside!
A good solution when you have more than one hound after all our dachshunds are pack animals.

Another helpful tip is to use a dolly underneath your crate for ease of moving room to room


Custom made exclusively for DISA by Pattern Maker Catherine Winter

Available for purchase on DISA Shop

Made from exclusive material imported from the UK that is used for moving and handling patients in hospital as it’s tough and is scuff resistant, though it is not designed for outdoor use.

Includes an additional harness for those dachshunds that prefer the security of the harness. The zip runs from tail to neck, making it easy to dress your dog and there is elastic at the waist. The elastic does not need to be tight, it is there simply for flexibility.



A good orthopaedic type mattress for crate/pen. Should not be too soft or too high.

A water bowl for crate (attached to side) which is raised high enough so that your dog does not need to bend down to it. NB: Ensure it’s one that clamps on to the crate with screws.

Towels & Baby Wipes (fragrance free & sensitive skin)


If your hound is suffering incontinence belly band wraps for boys or baby diapers (with a hole cut out for the tail) for girls are lifesavers!

Check out Undercover by DISA Belly Band Wraps for Boys


The light stimulates blood flow and deep tissue to help heal the traumatised areas. It also keeps the back muscles soft to prevent tightness and spasms that can cause pain.

There are a number of infrared lights on the market. Search Pet Shops – reptile lights Reptile One/Exo Terra Infrared globe. The infrared light globe that is being used by some owners is a REPTILE ONE HEAT LAMP INFRARED MEDI LAMP 50W E27 SCREW FIT. It can be purchased here.

Use a household lampstand for the globe and sit over your dog’s bed – about 40cm above.
NOTE the globes come in a number of different wattages 50W/100W/150W (heat strength). Be careful of overheating and place your lamp sufficiently high enough for comfort and safety. The globes can get hot!

By the way, infrared light therapy was discovered in 1800 by William Herschel. He tested filters for the sun so he could observe sunspots. When using a red filter he found there was a lot of heat produced and the rest is history!


When hounds are paralysed or drag when mobile they can scuff and cause injury to their lower limbs etc. These products have found to be useful in healing injuries.

Aloe Vera Gel – Thursday Plantation

Medical Manuka honey

Dermoscent Bio Balm WEBSITE

Colloidal Silver USES & INFORMATION


Dog pee pads are essential during the recovery period. Simply lay them underneath and also in their crate/pen/stroller to catch any unexpected “surprises”


When the pain has eased and your dog needs to get moving or “If you don’t use it you lose it”

Physiotherapy and alternative therapies play an important role in a dog’s recovery. DISA urges all owners to seek the advice of an animal physiotherapist, they will guide and provide you with a range of exercises including lots of homework. Working on your dog doesn’t need to be difficult, it can actually be beneficial and very rewarding for both of you.

Here are some items that will help –

Electric toothbrush (used for massaging feet, legs and other parts of the body (as per professional advice) to stimulate nerve endings

Yoga mats can be used in several ways – standing your dog up on a mat while doing stretching and massage prevents slipping, rolled up and slipped underneath your dog’s stomach holds them up for balance and when your dog becomes more mobile. Yoga mats lined up in a row are great for proprioception exercises. eg. stepping over items like broom handles, garden hose etc.

Life jacket for swimming, great for strengthening the core. We recommend Ezydog Floatation Device

Dog boots, Pawz dog boots or baby socks (encourages your dog to start feeling their feet and place them correctly.

Pawz Dog Boots are available for purchase on DISA Shop

Human hands and fingers – great for a gentle massage, tickling and stimulation

Click here REHAB 101 for lots more information!


Ramps are recommended wherever possible to protect backs, particularly after an IVDD episode.

Dashie Dog Ramps are a generous sponsor of DISA and their ramps have been given the sniff of approval by our little IVDD hounds.
Members of DISA’s Support Group who subscribe to our newsletter “The Back Story”, are entitled to discounts when placing orders via Daschie Dog Ramps.
The link to subscribe is located on the Support Group.


Dog strollers are fast becoming the number one “must have” for IVDD hounds. They offer owners an excellent way to “crate rest” while being close to you and the family and are back savers!

Depending on your needs strollers come in at a variety of price points. If it’s only for house and garden use you can opt for a lower price point (hard wheels/no suspension) BUT if you are heading out to pound the pavements you will require one with adequate suspension to prevent further injury to your dog.

Here are a number of links to get you started on your search. Alternatively Google “dog strollers” for other options.


Custom embroidered patches/badges perfect to use on strollers when out and about with your IVDD hound. 200 x 100mm

Available for purchase on DISA Shop



It’s not uncommon for Dachshunds to become very weak or paralysed following an IVDD episode. Some may not be able to move their legs at all and others may be able to move their hind legs but unable to take proper steps (drunk walking). Without any assistance, these dogs either fall or drag their hind legs along the ground when trying to walk. It’s not advisable to let your dog drag itself along. Firstly, dragging can injure the skin where it scrapes along the ground. Secondly, your dog will find it very hard to walk properly again once it’s got into the habit of dragging itself along. A good way to learn to walk is to be given some physical support while attempting to walk. By doing this you are keeping your dog out of harm’s way and also re-training the action of walking. PS: don’t forget sure you pop your dog on a lead as well to control your hound’s enthusiasm!

Support Sling by DISA
Available for purchase on DISA Shop

Gingerlead Support Sling
Available for purchase on DISA Shop

Slings can come in all forms, many owners “construct” their own or simply use a dressing gown cord, other use pantyhose/tights and even the old-style green shopping bag works a treat!