All About Spondylosis In Dogs

Read on to learn about spondylosis in dogs, its causes, symptoms, plans of treatment and more.

Spondylosis is a progressive condition which mostly affects older dogs, and is characterized by the growth of bone spurs along the spine. As the condition progresses, it severely limits your dog’s mobility and flexibility. Though your dog may be limited in their motion, with the right care, they can continue to live out happy, healthy lives.

It’s believed that larger breed dogs are more susceptible to the condition than smaller breeds as they age.


Dogs who are over 10 years of age are believed to be at greater risk of developing spondylosis, especially larger breeds. The causes of the condition are thought to be trauma/pressure on the spine, either one major injury or milder repetitive trauma. Aside from this, genetics are thought to play a role.

Symptoms of spondylosis in dogs

In some cases you will be able to physically feel the bone spurs while stroking your pet’s back but this may not always be the case. Other symptoms include a loss of flexibility/range of motion, pain and sensitivity to touch.


Because some of the symptoms can indicate more serious illnesses, the vet may opt for blood tests, biochemical profiling and analysis of urine. However, the simplest way of determining the condition is with an x-ray. X-rays will show the abnormal bone growths and/or bridges along the spine.

Your vet may use other tests such as MRI scans to determine where exactly the bone spurs are causing pressure.


Unfortunately, at this time, there is no treatment which can reverse or cure the condition. However, treatment is available to manage the pain, though this is not always necessary in milder cases. Possible pain relief medication prescribed for treating more advanced spondylosis in dogs includes Rimadyl.


Avoiding trauma and unnecessary pressure on the joints can help avoid the condition, but little can be done about the natural development of the condition as a result of the aging process.

Rimadyl for dogs, used in the treatment of canine spondylosis
Generic information about spondylosis in dogs