Inter-Vertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)
According to research, between 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 Dachshunds will suffer some degree of disc-related problems in their lifetimes. This is the most significant health issue in the breed.
Dachshunds have a condition known as CHONDRODYSTROPHY – “chondro” means cartilage and “dystrophy” means disorder. Chondrodystrophy refers to the abnormal development of bone from a cartilage skeleton during growth from a puppy to an adult. The long bones of the body tend to be affected the most and this results in short limbs. It is “genetically programmed” in dwarf breeds such as Dachshunds.
Discs have an outer fibrous capsule (annulus) and inner gel nucleus. Discs degenerate with age in all animals – they lose water, become more fibrous and sometimes mineralised (calcified). The fibrous annulus can also rupture. Degeneration takes place much earlier in chondrodystrophic breeds, i.e. from 12-18 months, compared with 6-8 years in non-chondrodystrophic breeds.
Disc disease can and does happen at any age, but dogs between the ages of 4 and 6 seem to be most susceptible. There is also research evidence that IVDD has an inherited component. If you’d like to help with our research programme, read this.
The Dachshund Club of America has produced an excellent handbook.
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