Verterbral Disc Inflammation in Dogs

Diskspondylitis is the inflammation of vertebral disks due to an infection caused by the invasion of bacteria or fungus. It can occur as a result of spread of infection from elsewhere in the body (i.e. urinary tract, blood stream, prostate) or from local infection only in the disc space.

In vertebrates including dogs, the vertebral column is composed of a series of vertebral bones which maintain structure of the body and protect spinal cord. Between each vertebrae are structures called discs which act as shock absorbers. These discs contain nucleus of fibrous gel which allows for normal movement of the vertebrae without vertebral bones grinding against each other. In Diskspondylitis, the infection reach intervertebral discs through blood. Rarely, the infection can be due to fractures or local abscesses.

Large and Giant breeds such as German Shepherds and Great Danes are at higher risk than other breeds. Additionally, male dogs have double the ratio of condition than female dogs.


The most common clinical signs are back or neck pain, reluctance to walk, and decreased appetite. Some dogs may cry out when getting up or down or be reluctant to run or jump. 

Other symptoms are


Back pain

Difficulty in standing and jumping

Stiff gait

Uncoordinated walk

Weakness in limbs




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