Laurie's Blogs.


Sep 2012

Dachshund with Kyphosis


Hi Laurie, 

I have a question – how to prevent kyphosis?

Phoebe 10yrs old dachshund, spayed, weight 14.8lbs. She had trouble with her back on and off for a few years. 7/20/2012 -  Para paresis rear legs with complete CP deficits rear legs and pain on palpation of lumbar spine, deep pain present,  complete CP deficits rear legs and unable to stand or walk.

X-Rays - compression of L3-4 and mineralization of T13-L1 and T13-L1, narrowing of T10-11 and T11-12 on v/d view.

Owner declined surgery and decided to start conservative treatment. Started rehab immediately.

Phoebe is starting to walk slowly gaining back her strength.

Owner is very concerned about her kyphosis.

She is on Previcox, Neurotrophin  PMG, Neuroplex, laser therapy, regular rehab – manual therapies, exercises.

Any suggestion how to diminish her kyphosis? She will not follow the cookie, she drops on the floor when she doesn’t feel like working. She doesn’t like water.  She has food allergy – limited option on treats. 

Thank you.




Hi J!

These little guys can be so frustrating when they don’t want to work!

From what I have seen - the kyphosis will go away when the back pain subsides and the gait becomes more functional.

In the case of surgery, there is often a permanent kyphosis that is related to the surgical removal of the innermost epaxial muscles and/or spinal nerve roots that supply the adjacent musculature.  So, from a ’strictly kyphosis’ standpoint... not doing surgery is the best chance for resolution of it! 

My treatment suggestions:  If you have it - I would laser laser laser the living daylights out of the back and do traction (hanging traction and tail pulls - at home and in clinic).

Can you create a little obstacle course for her to follow Mom around?  (Since food is not a motivation, and following you likely isn’t either... make Mom do the obstacle course):  Over cavaletties, weaving around objects, up hills, zig zag down the hills, backing up... etc)

I would try to access a land treadmill if you can!  That way Mom could sit at the front - you can allow the dog to put her front legs up on a platform - so that just the rear legs are working.  From here you can a) move the rear legs, b) resist the rear legs, c) stimulate the abdominals  for better core stability, d) push her little hips from side to side to work on balance.  If you don’t have a land treadmill, then I would say get in with her (try to devise a seat) and do all of the same stuff on you water treadmill (I don’t know what kind you have).  

I too have found that Daxie’s don’t do well with static exercises...because they’re not afraid of the ground.  So, if you want to do balancing etc - use two stools - separate them (front feet on one stool & back feet on the other) and get her to balance.


I hope this helps to kick-start your creative juices again with this little one!  All the best!