As your dog ages, they will become vulnerable to more health conditions than when they were young pups. Spondylosis is a chronic condition that usually occurs most along the spine in older dogs. There, degenerative disks cause bone spurs to develop. A bone spur is a bony growth that develops on the edge of a bone. These bone spurs can form bridges from one vertebra to the next, limiting flexibility and range of motion.
These growths are usually due to aging, injury to the same joints and bones through repeated exercise or other activities or major trauma/injury. They can affect dogs after the age of ten years old. This is because the bones and joints of older dogs have had more time to go through natural wear and tear. Poor nutrition, stress, and a lack of exercise may also contribute to the condition. Some dogs, especially larger breeds, depending on the size and location of the bone spurs, may not feel many symptoms, or they may start to experience nerve damage and mobility issues. Some dogs need extensive treatment or surgery, while others can be treated with medication and monitoring.
Symptoms might be:
- Lameness or limping
- Motion restriction
- Signs of discomfort
If the condition is severe, the dog may whine or cry when touched along affected areas of the back. In addition, severe cases some vets may suggest surgery to remove the bone spurs. The condition is usually diagnosed from a radio-graph (x-rays) of the spine.
- Weight loss programs
- Low impact exercise programs
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
Many affected dogs can live adequate lives, even though they may be slightly limited in flexibility and range of motion.
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