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Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

What is Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

IVDD affects dogs in many different ways with varying outcomes. Early intervention and support are essential to ensure the best prognosis for your dog. For more information on the disease, please visit Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) - Fitzpatrick Referrals.

Aims of Rehabilitation​

  • Reduce inflammation

  • Reduce pain and spasm

  • Maintain soft tissue flexibility

  • Improve core strength

  • Stimulate sensory input

  • Re-train postural responses

  • Facilitate effective gait

  • Increase exercise tolerance and overall cardiovascular fitness

  • Return to normal function

Physiotherapy For IVDD

  • Manual therapy techniques such as massage, mobilisations and stretches

  • Electrotherapies such as Phototherapy, Ultrasound and Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy

  • Land-based exercises for balance, strengthening and spacial awareness

Hydrotherapy Options


Water-based therapy is an ideal environment for a dog’s suffering from IVDD. The properties of water provide relief, allowing easier mobilisation of joints and strengthening of the muscles around the spine. It also helps maintain cardiovascular fitness, which is not as easy on land when exercise is restricted.

What can I do to help my pet at home?


A diagnosis of IVDD can be difficult for owners, especially with the unknown progression. Emma is here to guide you through the treatment process with regular reviews and assessments, working with your vet to ensure that your dog receives the best treatment. Emma will work with you to ensure that all treatment is achievable for you and your dog.


A home care exercise programme and walking advice will be given to you by your physiotherapist, and it will be uniquely designed to suit your dog’s needs. Emma will also be able to offer advice on activities in your daily routine, such as how best to assist your dog in and out of a car, the avoidance of slippery floors, the avoidance of high-impact activities such as jumping up or down from furniture, running up and down stairs. Think of Emma as your dog’s occupational therapist!

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