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This is a common condition in older dogs and occurs due to bone spurs forming on the spine (at the underside of the vertebrae). It progresses with old age and may result in immobilisation of certain locations on the spine; where the bony spurs (osteophytes) weld the vertebra together.


The exact reason for this condition is not fully known but it is believed
to be due to the sharpeys fibres within the annulus breaking down. The annulus forms the outer layer of the vertebral disk and when it is broken down resulting in the inner layer protruding through; this then presses on the ligaments within the spinal column and the bony spurs.



  • Reduced flexibility
  • Built up front end and wasted rear end
  • Reluctance to sit
  • Visible lumps on the spine
  • Curved appearance to the spine
  • Reduced awareness of where the hind legs are
  • Intolerance to handling
  • Inability to perform tasks such as jumping off the bed
  • Vocalisation when twisting 

Benefits of Massage

  • Relieves stiffness from referred pain
  • Increases mobility
  • Increases flexibility