Dog Disc Disease (IVDD),
Five Steps Toward Preventing It
by Keith Somers / Like Keith & Dog Wonders on Facebook
Dog disc disease, or Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD), effects certain smaller breeds of dogs called chondrodystrophoid dogs. They are at greater risk of developing the disease because of a genetic form of dwarfism. Those breeds could be Dachshunds, Corgis, Papillions, Basset Hounds, Miniature Pinschers, Beagles, Shi Tzu, Lhasa Apso, Pekingese and still others, however, Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) is particularly prevalent in Dachshunds. The disease effects the flexible discs made up of cartilage which cushions between each bone (vertebrae) of the spinal cord, extending from the base of the skull to the end of the tail.
The swollen, herniated disc puts pressure on the spinal cord and other nerve endings in the area. This is very painful and the pressure on the spinal cord prevents nerve impulses from passing between the brain and the rear of the body so that the dog cannot walk or control its colon or bladder. Neglect will result in quickly bringing severe damage to the spinal cord and can lead to total and permanent paralysis. Here is what you can do help avoid dog disc disease with the breed you choose:
- Find a good breeder who is seeking to genetically eliminate IVDD from their lines. Look carefully at the breeding history, family line, mother, father and litter mates. Do not hesitate to ask whether or not there is dog disc disease in the family tree.
- Keep your dog slim as an overweight Dachshund is at a much higher risk for disk rupture, than one who is physically fit and sporting a normal weight (check with your vet). Most Dachshunds love to eat dry food, treats, and any table lickings they can get by begging—keep a careful watch and keep them slim.
- Four on the floor is a must in preventing dog disc disease—no jumping from high places like, couches, beds, chairs, steps, etc. While they are very energetic, happy, frisky dogs who love to jump, it is an extra stressful and forbidden activity!
- Carefully pick them up keeping them horizontal with your hand under their chest and their tummy and hind quarters supported by your elbow against your body. When you are through talking to them up close or cuddling them, set them down with all fours nicely on the floor.
- Play nice and easy with them as a sharp back and forth motion, tug of war, or any other spinal jerking and twisting games can put unnecessary stress on the disks and result in dog disc disease.
Don’t be afraid to follow these preventative measures, thereby warding off dog disc disease. Don’t write Dachshunds off, or any of the other a for-mentioned breeds. Dachshunds are not fragile. They pack a whole lot of personality into a tiny little body, believing they are in charge at all times. They were originally bred to hunt badgers in Germany, burrowing down into badger holes. Additionally they are energetic, brave, loving, devoted and loyal. According to the American Kennel Club’s creed standards, “the dachshund is clever, lively and courageous to the point of rashness. Their temperament and body language give the impression that they do not know or care about their relatively small size, challenging larger animals, and sometimes unfamiliar people by growling and barking at them. They can be an excellent family dog but must be properly socialized and trained or they can develop abnormal shyness or aggressive behaviors.
When looking for a puppy, following these five steps is not a guarantee to avoid IVDD. On the other hand, it will go a long way toward helping to remove this genetic twist from these breeds some day soon. Hopefully you can raise the puppy you choose, to live a long and happy life free from dog disc disease.
Understanding Dog Disc Disease—Written by Veterinary Specialists
If you would like to get more information on dog disc disease or IVDD, follow this link: Understanding Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) in Dogs. This article is published by the Veterinary Specialists and Emergency Service, in Rochester, New York, and is a large team of knowledgeable, caring and committed professionals who furnish the highest quality health care to their referred patients and who seek to provide the veterinary community with the best possible support. They are open twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Here is their website: http://vetspecialistsofrochester.com/.
This information is presented for educational purposes and as a resource for both the Dachshund community and other breeds that are prone to dog disc disease, or IVDD. I have researched the content of this article, trying to be as honest, careful and up-do-date, as the limited data allows, in what I have written. Please keep in mind that I am not a veterinarian nor a health care professional.
Always first talk with your veterinarian and other pet care professionals
before you make any decision regarding your companion animal.