Species affected: Cats, Dogs
Background: Any condition causing the disc between the vertebrae to protrude or interfere with the spinal cord can result in this condition. Certain breeds of dogs are prone to disc lesions, especially chondrodysplastic breeds. Once damaged, the normally soft and cushioned disc can become hardened and calcified. Not all calcified discs cause pain or disability, but can. Many animals are predisposed to injury or damage due to weakened tendons and ligaments that hold the vertebrae and discs in place. This degeneration is due to lack of exercise, obesity, poor quality diet or vitamin and mineral deficiencies.
Symptoms: If the spinal cord is damaged there may be an interruption of the motor function or the sensory portion. Pain may be present in varying degrees, depending on the severity.
Diagnostics: Thorough neurological examination, as well as radiographic examination, CAT scans or MRIs.
Special Notes: Chiropractic adjusting can help prevent, as well as treat, disc disease if done carefully and gently by a well-trained chiropractor. Acupuncture helps, especially with back pain and restoration of nerve function.
Principles for Supplementation: Nourish the disc by supplying minerals and nutrients known to have affinity for the disc.