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Kopi the Corgi and her journey with IVDD

Intervertebral disc disease, or known as IVDD, is a disease that affects the spinal cord in dogs. There isn't any signs of it until a trigger happens. IVDD in dogs can result in an entire spectrum of symptoms, from mild pain, to paralysis. Most dogs with IVDD show symptoms that fall somewhere in between. 


IVDD in dogs (intervertebral disc disease) has a range of symptoms, from fairly mild to very serious. On one end of the spectrum is mild pain, with paralysis on the other end, and most dogs with the diagnosis falling somewhere in between.

A trigger can take place in the form of a jump or fall and since IVDD is a degenerative and gradual thing, these actions can result in damaging a disc already weakened by IVDD and result in an acute onset. 

Hi, I am Addy, mama to Kopi the corgi. I wanted to share Kopi’s journey with IVDD, because I thought it might provide some comfort or pointers to pawrents who are experiencing the same (although I hope you never have to).

Kopi suddenly lost control from her waist down in Sept 2019. It happened overnight and she was only 1+ years old. She was dragging her butt and couldn’t stand up with her hind legs. She didn’t appear to be in pain, just very confused about her sudden immobility. We quickly brought her to her vet - Brighton Vets, where she was diagnosed with IVDD.

Usually once the vet suspects IVDD, she would recommend the pup to see a specialist for further checks (CT Scan, X-Ray, etc). We were referred to Dr. Landon (Landon Veterinary Specialists). He said:

1) Corgis/Daschunds/Similar built dogs are ALWAYS at risk for IVDD from Day 1. Simply because of the way their bodies are built. You can minimise stairs, swim, etc but know that risk is always present from Day 1.

2) Kopi’s case seemed to be mild, so he did not recommend X-Ray or surgery. He prescribed STRICT crate rest for 3 weeks - that means confined space, no running, no jumping and we needed to carry her all the way to pee & poop at the park (Kopi is outdoor-trained).

3) In worse case scenario, CT scan would have cost 2-3K, spine surgery would have been around 6-8K. Dr. Landon's experience helped us save the CT scan cost cos he assessed that it was a mild case.

Thankfully, Kopi recovered after 3 weeks crate confinement. No issues till today but some of the changes we made since: no more stairs for Kopi (we would carry her up and down), try to minimise jumping on/off sofa, Vetridisc supplement (read the Amazon reviews, they make it sound like miracle drug), occasional swimming, wear Lil’Back Bracer (from Gaia Wholistic Animal Wellness) for a few hours now and then to train her core, and we watch her weight like a hawk! no need for extra pressure on those tiny paws

If you’d like to see more videos or info, you can see IG @kopithencorgi - I’ve saved it under IVDD highlights.

Hope this brings some comfort or is of use to someone out there. Hug your pups a little tighter, because their health (and mobility) is not to be taken for granted.

Kopi & Addy