What is an intervertebral disc?
The intervertebral disc is made of cartilage surrounded by a ring of fibrous tissue that acts as a cushion between the individual vertebrae that surround the spinal cord. There are intervertebral discs between all but the first two vertebrae. Intervertebral discs help provide flexibility of the spine and, in bipeds (species which walk on 2 legs), they help buffer the load to the spine during running or jumping. The disc is made up of two parts, an outer fibrous annulus fibrosus and a gelatinous center called the nucleus pulposus.

What happens in dogs with intervertebral disc disease?
There are two types of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). The first (type 1) is characterized by rupture of the middle part of the disc (the nucleus pulposus) through tears in the outer part of the disc (the annulus fibrosis). This is also known as a “slipped” disc. This type of disc disease occurs secondary to abnormal degeneration of the nucleus pulposus, where it loses its normal water content and becomes firm or “calcified.” Calcified disc material can be seen on plain X-rays in some dogs. This type of disc disease is characterized by a more sudden inability to walk and may occur anywhere along the length of the spine. Approximately 80 percent of disc herniations occur in the middle part of the back. Type 1 disc disease occurs most commonly in small-breed dogs, such as the Dachshund, Pekingese, Shih Tzu, Toy or Miniature Poodle, Cocker Spaniel, Basset Hound, Chihuahua, and Beagle. However, it can occur in some large-breed dogs, including the Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Dalmatian, Pit Bull Terrier, and Rottweiler. This type of disc herniation occurs most commonly in young- to middle-aged dogs.

Type 2 disc disease is caused by chronic bulging of the outer part of the disc on the spinal cord. The condition is typically slowly progressive and may or may not be painful. It occurs most commonly in middle- to older age large-breed dogs. The chronic spinal cord compression with this type of disc disease often causes atrophy of the spinal cord.

What are the symptoms?
The various symptoms depend on the type of disc herniation (type 1 or type 2) and where it occurs.

Acute disc herniations in the neck are characterized by neck pain, holding the neck low, being unable to lift the head fully, limping on one or both front limbs, or being weak and uncoordinated in all four limbs. In severe cases, dogs can be paralyzed in all four limbs and have difficulty breathing. This is considered a surgical emergency.

Chronic disc herniations in the neck are characterized by a longer history of reluctance to move the neck. With chronic disc compression in the back part of the neck, dogs may develop a very short strided gait in the front limbs and a wobbly, uncoordinated gait in the back limbs (so called “Wobbler’s” gait).

Acute disc hernations in the back (TL spine) are the most common and are characterized by back pain, arching the back, weakness and incoordination in the hind limbs, and hind-limb lameness. Some dogs that are completely paralyzed will drag themselves around using only their front limbs. A dog that becomes suddenly unable to use its hind limbs is considered an emergency and should be evaluated as soon as possible.

Chronic disc herniations in the back are characterized by slowly progressive weakness and difficulty getting up or jumping. They may or may not be painful depending on the degree of spinal cord compression.

How is intervertebral disc disease diagnosed and treated?
If your pet experiences severe symptoms such as wobbliness or inability to walk, he should be brought to an emergency clinic immediately. If he has back pain or neck pain only, please see your veterinarian. With an acute disc herniation, time is of the essence, as waiting may allow progression of the neurologic signs and worsen the prognosis.

A neurologic exam is performed to localize the area of the spinal cord that is affected. Plain radiographs are taken of the spine prior to more advanced imaging of the spinal cord with a myelogram (+/- CT scan) or MRI.


  1. GREAT NEWS Jonny, Som, and Sebastian 🙏🙏🙏 He was so excited to see you. I am very happy for all of you. You’re a good man Jonny. All the best. Mitch

    1. Yes I no when Napa was in icu in chaing mai hospital you couldn’t get any better care than what they did they even got english speaking doctors to come talk to me explain everything going on

    2. Totally agree mate and people in the western world call thailand 3rd country lol makes you laugh 🙂 Hope all is well mate:-)

  2. He looks great. And 50,000 baht for your best friend is a small price. I hope he will continue to get better every day and that your family will be happy for a long time to come.

    1. Thanks Robert, I totally agree there is no price you put on something like this, i can say im glad its here in Thailand not the USA maybe i am sure $8000. Anyway mate lovely to hear from you & hope we can catch up @ ian’s soon 4 a beer:-)

  3. I won’t be coming to Hua Hin this week Jonny. I’ll be in Pattaya. Sorry won’t be able to do dinner as I wanted for my birthday on Thursday 40th

  4. Good recovery. Get some doggy steps if he wants to get up on beds or sofas chairs. That way he shot jump and hurt his spine. Sebastian is a lucky dog.

    1. Yeah im onto the steps now i purchased a pair on lazada but returning them today cause the to small. Think i might have to get something custom made. Brilliant advice thanks Larry:-)

  5. Whoaw what a vet hospital that is. I never saw such a thing. Here in Belgium those do not exist (at my knowledge). With my dog I go to my local vet, which had her house extended with the necessary rooms for accepting, seeing, and treating the animals.

    Hope Sebastian will get fully well again.

    1. yeah i know amazing right, that vet hospital would leave most human public hospitals in australia 4 dead.. Anyone that calls Thailand a 3rd world country is a wanker

    1. Thanks mate much appreciated & i promise the video that we filmed in Pattaya few weeks ago on the house you are building is coming this week. I cant wait to show everyone this wall. Hope all is well mate:-)

  6. Jonny you have a good heart, your loving and loyal friend Sebastian would do the same for you if he had money or pockets for that matter. Scientists say if it wasn’t for wolves and humans joining forces early in our evolution, we would probably still live in caves.

  7. Glad Sebastian is doing well. 50K for that is a steal. In the US it cost us about that to get some teeth taken out. No price is too high for our little friends. Heck 40 years ago we spent 100 US to fix a duck….8-)

  8. Glad to the chap is improving! I do wonder about the trolley they use, with a metal base dogs must slide around on that thing – so surely at times make injuries worse? Thai vet hospitals do put the ones we have in the UK to shame though in terms of size. Hope he keeps getting better, does pet insurance cover any of the treatments?

  9. wow that’s Animal veterinarian hospital just amazing . It’s great to see Sebastian making progress , your a top man Jonny I know it’s a great deal of money but he is part of your family and we love him as much as you and Som and Title do . I know there is a lot of hard work goes on looking after a sick dog , but they repay you with unconditional love , and don’t stab you in the back . Good luck to the little man

  10. i’m very impressed with the Hospital .. To my knowledge , we have nothing like that on the Gold Coast . I’m glad he is doing fine – NO JUMPING . Sebastian is blessed to have a “Dad” like you .

  11. Wow poor Sebastian I didn’t know he was in that situation. You paying all that you want the Veterinarian to do to help Sebastian get back to normal is tough, prayers for Sebastian he will at least walk again.🙏🏻 Also a prayer from you for him is much better receive by God. 🙇‍♂️ 🐕🙏🏻🙇‍♀️💝

Leave a Reply