Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is an incredibly common condition in dachshunds, and can affect them at any time. It can cause paralysis or pain, and the severity of its effects vary greatly, depending on the individual. While the exact cause of IVDD is not known, it is believed to be due to the long, slender body of the dachshund and its short legs, combined with their propensity for jumping and running which places a lot of strain on their spine discs. As a result, the spinal discs can become compressed, leading to severe pain and impaired mobility.
IVDD is most common in adult dachshunds, but it can affect puppies and older dogs as well. It is estimated that approximately one out of every two dachshunds will suffer from IVDD at some point in their lifetime. The condition may not show any symptoms in the very early stages, but can eventually progress to the point of paralysis if not treated properly. Typical signs of an onset of IVDD include painful yelping, reluctance to move, and a hunched back.
Immediate veterinary care is recommended as soon as any of these signs are noticed. Diagnosis is usually based on physical examination and imaging tests, such as X-rays or an MRI. Treatment of IVDD usually starts with conservative measures such as rest, pain-relieving medications, and physical therapy exercises. For more severe cases, surgery may be necessary to help restore the spinal cord by relieving pressure on the affected discs or removing any shifted or herniated discs.
Due to the serious nature of the condition, and the fact that dachshunds are especially prone to it due to their body type, it is essential for owners to be aware of the risks and signs of IVDD. It is also important to keep dachshunds at a healthy weight, take them for regular checkups and exercise them gently, to minimize the risk of IVDD.
IVDD is a very common condition in dachshunds, and it is important for owners to be aware of the risks, signs and proper ways to care for their four-legged companion. If caught and treated early, dachshunds with IVDD can still lead active and happy lives, so it is important to be vigilant and pay attention to any changes in your pup’s behavior.