Dog back brace: WiggleLess (Treatment for dogs with IVDD)

dog back brace
I’ve seen dogs with disc issues in the clinic, and my dear friend had a beagle that suffered from repetitive back injuries. That’s why I know how heartbreaking it can be to see your furbaby in pain. A dog back brace that supports and stabilizes the spine might have helped to ease anxiety ,pain and discomfort for these pups.
In this review, we’ll look at what a dog back brace is and when you should consider using one for your pal. Next we’ll talk about Intervertebral Disc Disease (IDD) – What it is? treatment options, causes symptoms, and more.
Finally, we’ll examine the Wiggleless back brace and compare it to a few other options on the market. So let’s get started.

Table Of Contents

A dog back brace is a device that’s designed to provide support and stability to the spine. It works much like a knee brace that people might wear after an injury or surgery. The brace will not cure disc disease or heal an injury, but it can help provide comfort and protection.
The Wiggleless Back Brace for Dogs is a 2-piece, patent-pending device that’s designed to provide stability and support to your pup’s back along with helping to relieve his stress. This new model is an upgrade from the original one-piece wrap that the company introduced in 2009.

Our Rating:

4.2/5

Price Range: $$$

Lisa founded WiggleLess and developed the back brace when her dachshund, June, was diagnosed with IVDD at just 2 years of age. Drawing on her life experience, Lisa went to work. She recalled how a back brace had helped her in the past and looked for a similar product for June. When she couldn’t find anything, Lisa worked with a seamstress to design one herself. It included strong boning to keep the back straight during activity. After reinjuring her back at 3 years, June continued to wear the brace until cancer took her.
Lisa upgraded the vest when she wanted to use a back brace for her other dachshund, Henry. He started to show signs of IVDD when he was 4 years old. After several rounds of crate rest and medications, Lisa knew Henry needed more. She redesigned the brace to fit his stockier body and shorter back. Henry was able to heal and never returned to the veterinarian for back problems.
Today, Lisa strives to share the same support to other pups in memory of her two sweet furbabies. If your dog has IVDD, Lisa’s mission is to help improve your pal’s quality of life and help you find peace of mind.
WiggleLess Dog Back Brace for

What We Like About It

  • It comes in four sizes based on the back length and chest measurement, and it’s adjustable. The options make it easier to find a good fit for your pup.
  • The built-in boning helps keep your pooch’s back straight when they’re active.
  • It’s made of durable, breathable mesh fabric that’s comfortable for your pup and stands up to regular use over time.
  • The two-piece design allows you to put the brace on Fido without slipping anything over his head.

What We Don't Like

  • The velcro strips that attach the bottom piece to the back support are very sticky. Be careful when you remove the brace so that you don’t hurt your pup.
  • The snug fit may push excess skin or fat up in a small bulge at your pup’s shoulders.
  • If your pooch has other issues like constipation or a distended bladder, you won’t be able to see abdominal changes under the brace. Remember to remove the device when your pal is sleeping or inactive.
With built-in boning and durable, lightweight material the Wiggleless Back Brace offers firm yet comfortable support for your special pal. This product would have provided valuable stability for the backs of some of the dogs with IVDD that we’ve treated.

How Does It Work?

The Wiggleless brace uses rigid boning to keep the spine straight and stable. This product does more than support your pooch’s back. It prevents your pal from making sudden twists and turns when he’s active. That helps prevent further injury. The snug fit can also help to keep Fido calm and relieve his stress. The brace is available in sizes ranging from extra small to large, and it has a two-piece design that allows you to properly fit the brace to your pup’s body.

How Do You Measure Your Dog for a Brace?

The people at Wiggleless understand that dogs come in all shapes and sizes. That’s why they have four sizes that are also adjustable to your pal’s proportions. To find the best fit, measure:
The length of your pup’s back from the base of his neck to the front of his thigh. This measurement will help you select the brace size.
  • For 7”-10” back length, use the 9” brace.
  • For over 10”-12” back length, use the 11” brace.
  • For over 12”-15” back length, use the 13” brace.
  • For over 15”-20” back length, use the 15” brace.
The girth of your dog’s chest at its widest point(directly behind the front legs) to make sure the adjustability range works for him.
  • The 9”, 11”, and 13” braces are adjustable for a 14”-24” chest.
  • The 15” brace is adjustable for a 23”-36” chest.

A Quick Review of the Features

  • Fit - This back brace comes in four adjustable sizes to better fit your pal’s chest and back dimensions. If you have a deep-chested pup, you may need to do a little tailoring. The product comes with simple instructions for you to customize the brace. The two-piece design allows you to put on and adjust the device to your furbaby in a matter of seconds. Just wrap the brace around the back and attach it under the chest and abdomen with the velcro straps. Then you connect the chest strap to prevent sliding. This easy fit comes in handy if you have an active pooch like my Springer Spaniel!
  • Quality - This brace is made of breathable, double-mesh fabric that holds up well to extended use. The material helps to keep Fido cool and comfortable even when it’s hot. There’s rigid, built-in boning that keeps your furry friend’s back straight and prevents twisting and wiggling - “wiggle less”. Larger sizes have additional boning to provide the needed support.
  • Functionality - A great thing about this product is that your special pal will be able to walk, run, and do his business while wearing the brace. The unisex design means the device won’t interfere with going potty, but it will keep the back straight and stable.
  • Performance - The wiggleless back brace keeps your dog from bending or twisting around. Its rigid boning provides the stability that a pooch with a back injury needs. And it works to slow him down when he’s on the go. The firm support of the body wrap may also help to reduce your canine’s stress level.

How Does the Brace Provide Support?

The patented built-in boning gives a rigid structure to the brace. The supports run the length of your dog’s body and stabilize the spine while preventing twisting or turning.

Is There a Leash Attached to the Back Brace?

The brace does not come with a leash. However, it does have a sturdy D-ring where you can attach your pal’s leash. If you have a strong puller, you can also purchase a Sporn Non-Pull Harness from the company to wear over the brace.

Is the Dog Back Brace Washable?

The company does not recommend machine washing for this product. You can use a damp cloth or sponge to clean the brace then lay it flat to dry. To remove loose hair or other debris from the velcro, use a vacuum wand or tweezers. Regular cleaning can help to extend the life of your product.

Can My Dog Go Potty While Wearing the Brace?

Yes. The brace has a unisex design. When you properly fit the device to your pooch, it will not interfere with Fido doing his business. There should be no covered private parts.
A dog back brace is not your only option to help your furbaby recover from IVDD. You can also use a support sling or dog wheelchair to support your pal’s back. Let’s take a look at top rated examples of each product:

Our Rating:

4.4/5

Price Range: $$

The Labra Support Sling comes in sizes for dogs weighing 20 pounds and up. It has a soft fleece lining and straps that you can adjust in length for easier use. The materials are durable and heavy-duty to support your pal’s weight. This product is for pups with limited mobility or a non-weight bearing injury.

Labra Sling Vs. Wiggleless Back Brace

  • They are both sturdy and comfortable.
  • The sling is for dogs that require assistance when walking; the brace is for dogs that can walk on their own.
  • Both can be used for rehabilitation or long-term.
  • The sling will not prevent twisting and turning of the back.
  • The sling is easier on the wallet.

If your dog needs help to walk and go to the bathroom, this product could be useful.

Our Rating:

4.3/5

Price Range: $$$

The L’il Back Bracer is an orthopedic support brace. It comes in small, medium, and large sizes and can fit dogs with a back length of 11 inches or greater. This product has an ergonomic design to provide support and stability above and below the spine. You can adjust the brace to fit snugly on your special pal. Made from a medical grade, moisture wicking fabric, this device is easy to put on and take off. It also includes a D-ring where you can attach a leash.

L’il Back Bracer Vs. Wiggleless Back Brace

  • They are similarly prices
  • Both have breathable fabric
  • This product includes a more expensive custom-made product
  • The Wiggleless will fit smaller dog sizes (down to 9 inch back length)
  • The L’il Back Bracer is one-piece while the Wiggleless has 2 pieces for greater adjustability

Our Rating:

3.6/5

Price Range: $$$

The Huggiecart Wheelchair for Small Dogs with short legs works well if your pal is paralyzed or has limited use of his hind legs. It fits dogs weighing 18-40 pounds that have a belly to ground height of 11 inches or less. This product includes a chest harness, leg stirrups, and wheels with sidebars.

Huggiecart Wheelchair VS. Wiggleless Brace

  • There are more parts involved to fit your dog with the wheelchair.
  • The wheelchair is more for animals with limited or no hind leg mobility.
  • The sidebars discourage but may not prevent twisting of the spine.
  • There are more size options with Wiggleless
  • Wiggleless offers more comfort features.
If you have a furbaby with paralysis or very limited function in the hind legs, a wheelchair like this one could enhance your pal’s quality of life.

A Side Note From The Vet Before Buying a Dog Back Brace

The main reason a veterinarian recommends a back brace is to help treat Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). However, this device can also come in handy to support and comfort a dog with arthritis in the spine, an obese canine, or for pups with other back conditions.

If your dog has back problems, a brace may be beneficial for him. Fido can’t tell you how he’s feeling with words. You need to watch him for signs or behaviors that indicate he’s having issues. Look for:
  • Unwillingness to jump, play, or run
  • Arched back
  • Difficulty going to the bathroom
  • Shivering
  • Crying in pain when you pick him up
  • Paralysis
  • Neck stiffness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Muscle spasms around the neck or back
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness in one or more limbs
  • Knuckling over of the paws
If you note one or more of the signs listed above, contact your veterinarian. Your pal’s doctor can run a diagnostic evaluation to confirm and identify the source of Fido’s back problems. The examination and tests for IVDD and other conditions commonly include:
  • Spinal x-rays
  • Comprehensive Neurological exam and any indicated tests
  • Myelography - your pal gets a dye injection in the spinal cord
  • MRI or CT scan
Once your dog’s doctor reaches a diagnosis, he’ll recommend a treatment plan that may include a dog back brace.
IVDD, also called a slipped or herniated disc is a condition where one or more of the intervertebral discs in the spine degenerates or ruptures.
Normally, the discs are hard, fibrous capsules with an inner, gel-like core. When they degenerate, the central core dehydrates and mineralizes, or becomes hard. This process often leads to the disc pushing out of the intervertebral space and pressing against the spinal cord.
Discs can bulge out of their normal location slowly over time, or they can rupture explosively. The signs you see in your pal vary depending on the rate of onset, location, and severity of the disc protrusion.
The course of treatment for IVDD will depend on the signs and severity of the disease. Treatment can include one or more of the options below:

Surgical

If your pup shows signs of severe pain and tests indicate that the spinal cord is compressed, your vet will likely recommend surgery. The procedure involves removing the affected disc and a portion of the neighboring vertebra to relieve the pressure.

Acupuncture

In acupuncture, a trained veterinarian inserts very fine, sterile needles into specific locations in your dog’s body. This can help relieve pain and inflammation for some patients.

Laser treatment

Cold laser therapy can be useful on its own or in combination with other treatments. This procedure helps to reduce pain and inflammation and increases blood flow to the affected area to enhance healing.

Confinement/activity restriction

With any of the non-surgical options, you’ll want to confine your pooch and restrict their activity for an average of 4-6 weeks. Provide support and care when they need to go potty and do a minimum of therapeutic exercises.

Medications

To help your pal manage the pain and to reduce inflammation, Fido’s doctor may prescribe:
  • Steroids
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Pain relievers like opioids or NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Sports rehabilitation - Following surgery or once the initial inflammation is under control, you can use sports rehabilitation to slowly strengthen your pal’s body. Start with gentle massage and range of motion exercises for the affected limbs. You can also use swimming or a water treadmill when Fido is ready.
  • Back Brace - Using a back brace designed for your furbaby can help stabilize and support the spine during recovery. These devices limit movement of the spine which may reduce the pain and discomfort your pal feels.

Medication for IVDD

As we mentioned above, Fido’s doctor may prescribe medications to treat IVDD.. Always consult with and follow your vet’s directions involving any drugs you may use to treat the disease.
  • NSAIDs - These drugs can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Although the medications are safe for most dogs, there are potential side effects. Watch your pal for vomiting, diarrhea, black or bloody stools, loss of appetite, or change in the urine. If you see these or other troubling symptoms, stop using the medication and immediately call your vet. DO NOT mix NSAIDs and steroids. Using both at the same time can increase the severity of side effects.
  • Steroids (glucocorticoids) - steroids have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, but they do not relieve pain. These drugs come in oral, injectable, or intravenous(IV) forms. They can cause ulcers and other harmful side effects, especially with extended use. Your vet may prescribe one of these substances at the onset of the disease and use a tapering dose to wean Fido off once the swelling is under control.
  • Pain relievers - Your pal’s doctor may use prescription opioids(narcotics) to block the pain messages that the body sends to the brain. Carefully follow the dosing instructions that your veterinarian gives regarding these medications. They can become addictive and have other side effects that vary by drug.
  • Muscle relaxers - If your furbaby has muscle spasms, your pup’s doctor may use muscle relaxers to treat the symptom. Preventing these tremors can help reduce or prevent pain.
  • Drugs to protect the stomach - depending on the severity of IVDD, your vet might use drugs that inhibit acid production in the stomach to help prevent ulcers.

Causes of IVDD

There are a number of factors that can contribute to or cause IVDD.
  • Age - Because IVDD is a degenerative disease, it is more common as dogs get older. The breakdown occurs gradually. You may not notice any signs until your pal falls or jumps wrong and injures himself.
  • Breed - Some dog breeds can have a disorder (chondrodystrophy) that results in abnormal cartilage development. With these pups, the discs degenerate faster and can start to breakdown at a younger age.
  • Conformation - Canines that have long backs and short legs are at greater risk for a back injury and the degenerative changes that lead to IVDD
  • Severe Injury - If your pup has a severe spinal injury, it could cause a disc to rupture or protrude.
  • Obesity - When a dog carries extra weight, it puts added strain on the spine. Over time, the extra wear and tear can lead to degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs.

Symptoms of IVDD

Depending on the severity of your dog’s condition, you may notice any of the following symptoms:
  • Stiffness in the area of the back, legs, or neck
  • Dragging of the hind legs
  • Knuckling under of the feet
  • Obvious pain or pronounced weakness
  • Standing with head lowered
  • Wobbly or impaired gait
  • Paralysis
  • Incontinence - Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Hunched back
  • Hypersensitivity to touch or movement
  • Muscle spasms in the neck or back area
If your dog shows any of these signs, contact your veterinarian. The sooner you get treatment for Fido, the better his chances of avoiding permanent nerve damage.

Which Breeds Are More Likely to Develop IVDD?

As we mentioned above, some dog breeds have a greater tendency to develop IVDD. These dogs can have a genetic defect that results in chondrodystrophy (abnormal cartilage formation):

  • Dachshund
  • Poodle
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Pekingese
  • Beagle
  • Bulldog
  • Corgi
  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Basset Hound
  • Shih Tzu
If your dog suffers from IVDD or other spine problems, you can help improve his quality of life with a Wiggleless Back Brace.
  • This product delivers on its promise to provide rigid back support that prevents your furbaby from twisting and causing further injury to his spine.
  • The snug body wrap should help to reduce Fido’s anxiety and keep him calmer.
  • Because the brace comes in four adjustable sizes, you should be able to find suitable for your pal.
The Woof On The Street
the woof on the street
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