What is IVDD and How to prevent it?
IVDD or Intervertebral disc disease is a degenerating condition that is inherited among the Dachshund species due to their elongated spine and evolutionary makeup. Around 25% of Dachshunds dogs will inherit the potential to develop this disease, but this doesn’t mean it’s a guaranteed thing. However, it’s a very serious concern that needs to be addressed because just one disc in the back damaged can lead to a host of other problems if the pup isn’t checked out.
These discs in the vertebrae act as a much-needed cushion for the bones and keep things aligned properly. They can be ruptured in a multitude of different ways such as trauma to a wall when getting excited or lacking in proper nutrition. The disease gets progressively worse and if measures aren’t taken early then it can lead to debilitating consequences.
These methods include weight monitoring to prevent obesity which puts more stress on the spine. Training your dachshund to play gently and discouraging vigorous activities is also wise for reducing the risk. Always carefully handle them while playing to avoid damage and some owners will utilize a harness while walking to discourage injury and reduce stress on the spine. It’s important to avoid breeding if your dog is at risk for IVDD and one should take careful consideration not to fix them too early on.
What age do Dachshunds typically get it?
Between three and seven years is the age where Dachshunds typically start dealing with issues related to IVDD, but there is still hope with modern technology and staying informed. This knowledge will help you preserve the life of your Dachshund to ensure longevity and good health. A shocking statistic is that one in four of them will experience an issue with the disease, but there is hope in modern medicine to diagnose and treat the difficult condition.
The first step is to take them in for regular checkups to determine if there are any warning signs. From there one can start implementing various strategies for recovery. Diet is an excellent way to rebuild tissue and strengthen the spine. There are specialized diet plans that are effective in helping strengthen their body in the first place to reduce the risk.
- Nulo Puppy & Small Breed Grain-Free Canned Food.
- Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Lil’ Bites.
- Fromm Gold Small Breed Adult Dry Food.
- Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Small Breed Canned Food.
- Orijen Fit & Trim Adult Dry Dog Food.
- Blue Buffalo Wilderness Senior Wet Dog Food.
Still, rough playing should be discouraged and this can be difficult to manage if you have multiple dogs in the house. Playtime can get a little rough which is why it should be conducted constructively. Older Dachshunds are susceptible to the disease because they have put more stress on their bodies over the years. The potential for injury is highest during old age because the body simply degenerates and starts to get weaker. Steps should be taken to nurture them carefully during this time. When you recognize their condition it will open the door to potential treatment and recovery options.
Do all Dachshunds have to deal with it?
The sad answer is that many Dachshunds do deal with this condition in comparison to other species of dogs. They are particularly susceptible to inheriting the disease which is why it’s important to be so vigilant if you’re a Dachshund owner. The reality is that each person should be concerned with their dog’s well-being at any stage of life. Knowing about the different species and which conditions they are susceptible to is valuable across the board, and one can save their dachshund from a lot of pain and suffering due to IVDD.
It can be an emotional battle for you and your dog, but there is a silver lining of recovery that can be revitalizing especially in the early stages of the condition. It’s also possible for them to get disc problems if they don’t have the inherited trait.
No dog is immune to the possibility, but some are far more fragile and can’t recover as properly from trauma or movement that hurts the spine. There are certain everyday things that dogs do that should be avoided and certain training procedures can help disabuse them of habits that can cause IVDD.
The early stages of a dog’s life reflect their strength later and it’s easier to train them when young to avoid certain pitfalls. Even though the statistics are concerning, this shouldn’t discourage you from adopting the cute endearing breed. By taking them in for monthly checkups it will allow for the doctors to catch IVDD early on.
Treatment and management options
One of the most common implementations for a dachshund-friendly environment is adding accessibility dog ramps throughout the home. This reduces stress to the spine through daily movement reduction. These can be placed at any location to make certain areas and heights easier to tread for the smaller breed.
These ramps are a must and one would be surprised how much stress they actually reduce over time. Everyday movement adds up over the years and owners are partially to blame if they instill bad habits that encourage the progression of IVDD.
Another advantageous option many owners turn to is the utilization of crates. When you’re not home it’s common for dogs to get restless and move around out of curiosity. Placing a dog in a crate obviously discourages movement to a considerable degree and you can feel safer knowing they are secured and not moving around. This will also encourage recovery time from a long day of playing and forces their body to recuperate faster.
Another common mistake owners make regarding their Dachshunds is they allow them to traverse the entire house including steps. Just watching a tiny dog go up and downstairs is enough to recognize there’s something wrong with the motion.
Avoiding steps altogether is the right solution to encourage a healthy spine. Steps are a hazard because they put their body in an unnatural position and increases the possibility of bending, twisting, or even falling. A Dachshund should also not be jumping off of stairs or onto furniture even if it seems like a natural instinct.
Rest assured, it’s not a natural movement and the damage slowly impacts them over time.
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