Dachshund Health: Understanding IVDD

Dachshund IVDD

Today, we’re going to talk about a health issue that’s particularly important for our beloved Dachshunds – Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). If you’re a Dachshund parent you’re probably already aware of IVDD, but understanding this condition can help you care for your dog even better.

What is IVDD?

IVDD affects about 25% of Dachshunds at some point in their lives. It involves the deterioration of the discs between the vertebrae. Think of these discs as little cushions that absorb shock and allow flexibility. In IVDD, these discs harden and can bulge or burst, leading to pain, discomfort, and sometimes severe conditions like paralysis.

When and Why Does It Happen?

Dachshunds are more prone to IVDD due to their unique body structure – they have short legs and a long back. This genetic predisposition means they often start experiencing disc degeneration at a younger age than other dogs. IVDD is most commonly noticed in dogs aged 3 to 7 years.

Preventing IVDD

  • Keep your Dachshund strong and active. A healthy back and good muscle tone can reduce stress on discs.
  • Avoid letting your Dachshund climb stairs or jump on furniture. Ramps can be a great help.
  • Regular check-ups with your vet can also help catch early signs.

Signs of IVDD

  • Pain or discomfort
  • Reluctance to move
  • Arched back or stiff neck
  • Weakness or unsteadiness in the back legs
  • In severe cases, loss of control of back legs and bladder

Treatment Options

  1. Conservative Treatment:
    • Rest and recuperation
    • Laser therapy
    • Acupuncture
    • Pain management with medications
  2. Surgical Treatment:
    • Recommended for severe cases
    • High success rate if performed timely
    • Involves removing the damaged disc material

Rehabilitation Post-Treatment

  • Pain management
  • Gentle exercises like range of motion and stretching
  • Sit to stand exercises
  • Hydrotherapy

UK IVDD Screening Program

There’s also a fantastic initiative in the UK – the IVDD screening program managed by the Kennel Club. It involves X-ray screening and back scoring, helping reduce the genetic risk of IVDD. This is particularly useful for breeders and owners to understand the risk levels in their Dachshunds.

Wrapping It Up

Understanding IVDD is crucial for Dachshund owners. Early recognition and intervention can make a big difference in managing this condition. Always consult with your vet for the best care plan for your Dachshund. Remember, with proper care and attention, Dachshunds with IVDD can still lead happy, fulfilling lives!

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