Aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the duration respectively the grade of intervertebral disc disease and which methods of physical therapy were used most often. We hypothesized that with increasing degree of the IVDD also the duration of physical therapy increased.
Material and methods
Fifty-six dogs with the diagnosis of intervertebral disc disease were included in this study. Patients were presented between April 2004 and May 2010.
Data to the signalement, the pre-operative examination and IVDD grade, the surgery, the physical therapy and the therapy outcome were evaluated.
The mean age at the time of surgery was 6.1 ± 2.7 years, 32.1 % of the dogs were teckel. The mean location of the disc hernation was Th12 - Th13 and 51.8 % of the dogs suffered from an IVDD grade of 4.
In the mean, 9.8 physical therapy-sessions per dog were performed. The most used modality was the underwater treadmill (37.3 %), followed by electrical stimulation (17.1 %), the acupuncture (16.1 %), therapeutic exercises (16 %) and massage (13.4 %)
The statistical evaluation revealed that in dogs with a higher IVDD grade, more physical therapies were used and the therapeutic outcome success decreased. The later the physical therapy was started and the more cranial the disc hernation occurred the worse was the therapeutic outcome.
To achieve the best possible therapeutic outcome, the physical therapy should be started in the first week after surgery. Further, the owner should be informed that the therapeutic progress depends on the IVDD grade.