A dog's spine is made up of 30 vertebrae, with seven cervical vertebrae comprising a dog's neck. If a dog suffers an injury to this area, a vertebrae may fracture or tear apart, which can cause damage to the spinal cord and possibly paralysis. Unfortunately, such injuries usually result in euthanasia.
Symptoms of neck injuries may include signs of pain, wobbly movement, difficulty getting up, a change in posture or standing on the upper surface of its toes instead of the pads.
While some dog breeds are prone to neck injuries, others can be caused by pulling or straining on a leash, vertebral disk disorders, an infectious disease, spinal trauma or cancer.
A veterinarian can diagnosis neck injuries in dogs through a physical exam, which may include spinal radiographs, serology, a CAT scan and blood tests.
Depending on the nature and severity of a dog's neck injury, treatments your veterinarian might suggest include hospitalisation, medication and/or surgery.
To prevent neck injuries in dogs, use a harness instead of a collar, avoid pulling or jerking on the dog's leash and don't move a dog that has been injured.
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