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IVDD and swimming.

Species: Dog
Breed: American Bulldog
Age: 8-11 years
My American Bulldog Lucille, age 11 years old, has Type 2 IVDD. She can walk still, sometimes quite well. other times- she falls down often or cannot get back up. She can be very wobbly. What is strange is that whenever she goes swimming in the bay- her neurological issues are much WORSE when she gets out. She can barely walk for about an hour. What helps is rest and rubbing both her legs. Everything I read on line says swimming is GOOD for dogs with IVDD. I cannot find any information on why this would happen. Do you have an idea? thank you, Kathy


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

I'm sorry to hear about Lucille's issues. My guess about the swimming is that whatever muscle activity needs to be used for her to swim must aggravate her back issues. For most animals with joint issues, swimming is a good activity because they can be active without putting gravitational forces on their sore joints. But, it sounds like Lucille's case is different.

From what you have described I would not recommend persisting with the swimming.

I don't have an exact answer for you as to what is going on but I really think it is just related to her having to use particular muscles when she swims.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.