Crate rest is a common requirement for all sorts of conditions that affect our dogs, and ensuring crate rest advice is followed can be crucial in making sure that your dog makes the best possible recovery. We've taken a look at some of the most common conditions that require crate rest, the breeds of dog they commonly affect, and the signs you need to look out for. If you have any concerns over your dogs health, or spot any of the signs mentioned below it's important to contact for vet for further examination.
IVDD (Inteverebral Disc Disease)
IVDD occurs when the discs that sit inbetween the vertebrae in your dogs spine bulge and put pressure on the nerves within your dogs spinal cord. This can have a wide range of effects casuing anything from pain to paralysis. This condition is most commonly seen in long backed breeds of dog, including: Dachshund, French Bull Dog, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese, Beagle, Basset Hound, Pomeranian, Corgi, Cocker Spaniel and Cavaleir King Charles Spaniel.
The symptoms of IVDD depend on the severity of the impact on the nerves in the spinal cord. They can occur suddenly as the result of an impact or injury, or may appear gradually or come and go over time. Symptoms can include:
- changes in behaviour such as increased anxiety, becoming withdrawn, seeming more grumpy, decreased appetite, crying/whimperings, not wanting to play and decreased activity levels
- Muscle tension and spasms over the back - this may be seen in their posture, or you may find they react to being stroked
- Signs of pain and weakness in their back legs - this can include a change in the way they walk, stiffness in the back legs, dragging the back legs, incontinence, pain when using their back legs or even paralysis.
Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
OCD is a developmental condition that is most commonly seen in puppies aged between four and eight months. Normally during this period, some of the cartilage in their dogs joints undergoes ossification where it changes from cartilage to bone. In OCD, this process is disturbed, and an excess blood supply to the cartilage means that ossification stops and the dog is left with thick areas of cartilage within their joints. The joints most commonly affected are the elbow and shoulder.
Breeds most commonly affected by elbow OCD include labradors and giant breeds, whereas shoulder OCD tends to affect Border Collies, Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds.
Symptoms of OCD include any lameness or pain in the affected limb, which may show as sudden or gradual onset limping, swelling of the affected joint, reluctance to play or exercise and behvaioural changes associated with pain such as crying or seeming more grumpy than ususal.
Dysplasia can affect the hip or elbow, and occurs as a result of a developmental abnormality within the joint causing it to become shallow and joint unstable.
Hip dysplasia is often seen in giant breeds, and other breeds most commonly affected include Bulldogs, Mastiffs, St Bernards, Retrievers, Rottweilers, Pugs and French Bulldogs. The symptoms of Hip Dysplasia include stiffness and lameness in the affected limb, difficulty getting up from a lying down position, difficulty jumping up and a general reluctance to exercise, as well as signs of pain such as becoming withdrawn, crying or whimpering, restlessness and seeming more unpredictable than normal.
Elbow dysplasia most commonly affects Labradors, Golden Retirevers, Rottweilers, German Sheperds, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Newfoundlands and Basset Hounds. The symptoms of elbow dysplasia include lameness and stiffness in the front leg, along with pain related changes in behaviour mentioned previously.
Cruciate Ligament Diseases / Injury
Cruciate ligament injuries can affect any dog, but certain breeds appear to have a predispostion to the condition including Westhighland Terriers, Labradors, Rottweillers, Boxers and Newfoundlands.
Symptoms of cruciate ligament disease include limping or stiffness in one or both back legs causing a change in the way the dog walks, holding up the affected leg and swelling around the knee, along with the pain associated behavioural changes previously mentioned.
This occurs when the dogs knee cap dislocates from it's normal position, leaving the dog unable to extend their knee. The condition tends to be seen in smaller breeds, but is particularly common in poodles, labradors, yorkshire terriers an staffordshire bull terriers.The symptoms can vary, but often dogs show a characteristic intermittent 'skip'.
If you spot any of the symptoms of the conditions mentioned here it's important to get your dog examined by your vet - the sooner they are able to receive treatment the better the outcome is likely to be. If your dog does have one of these conditions, and are likely to require crate rest keep an eye out for next weeks blog where we'll be talking through common crate rest problems and what we can do to make sure our dogs are calm, happy and relaxed in their crate.