Dachshund Blog

IVDD in Dachshunds: 5 Tips That Can Help Your Dog

IVDD (Intervertebral Disc Disease) in Dachshunds is a big deal. It can cause pain, mobility problems and even paralysis in our favourite breed. Because of their body shape Dachshunds are more prone to this spinal issue. Knowing what is IVDD in Dachshunds and how to prevent it will make a huge difference to your dog’s life. In this guide we will cover early signs of IVDD in Dachshunds, IVDD symptoms in Dachshunds and give you 5 top tips to help your fur baby.

What is IVDD in Dachshunds

What is IVDD in Dachshunds? IVDD or Intervertebral Disc Disease is a condition where the discs between the vertebrae of the spine deteriorate or herniate causing pain, nerve damage and in severe cases paralysis. This condition is common in breeds with long backs and short legs like Dachshunds.

How common is IVDD in Dachshunds

How common is IVDD in Dachshunds? Well, it’s quite common. Studies show that 19% of Dachshunds will have some form of IVDD in their lifetime. It’s even more common in mini Dachshunds because of their smaller size and the same elongated spinal structure. How common is IVDD in mini Dachshunds? They are just as, if not more, prone as their standard-sized counterparts.

Early Signs of IVDD in Dachshunds

Recognising the early signs of IVDD in Dachshunds is key to early treatment and better outcomes. These signs are:

  • Won’t move or jump
  • Cries in pain when picked up or touched
  • Hunched back or a tight tummy
  • Reduced activity
  • Won’t walk or wobbly gait

If you see any of these symptoms get to the vet ASAP.

IVDD Symptoms in Dachshunds

As IVDD symptoms in Dachshunds get worse they can get more severe. Advanced symptoms might be:

  • Loss of coordination
  • Weakness in hind legs
  • Can’t walk
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Paralysis

Early intervention can prevent these severe outcomes so monitor your dog’s behaviour and body closely.

 

ivdd in dachshunds

5 Top Tips to Help Your Dachshund with IVDD

1. Keep them Slim

One of the best ways to prevent IVDD in Dachshunds is to keep them at a healthy weight. Excess weight puts extra strain on their spine and can trigger or accelerate IVDD. Make sure your dog has a balanced diet and gets regular exercise to keep them fit and healthy.

A Dachshund’s diet should be high in quality protein, healthy fats and nutrients. But equally important is to avoid certain ingredients that can harm your dog and contribute to weight gain. Here are the ingredients to avoid:

  • Artificial Preservatives: BHA, BHT and ethoxyquin can be toxic to dogs and linked to health problems. Choose foods preserved with natural alternatives like vitamin E (tocopherols).
  • Artificial Colors and Flavors: These add no nutritional value and can cause allergic reactions or other health issues. Choose foods with natural ingredients that don’t need artificial enhancements.
  • Fillers and By-Products: Avoid foods with corn, wheat, soy or meat by-products as main ingredients. Fillers can lead to weight gain and don’t provide the same nutrition as whole proteins.
  • Excessive Carbs: Dogs need some carbs for energy but too many can lead to weight gain. Look for foods with a balance of protein, fat, and carbs.
  • Sugar and Sweeteners: High fructose corn syrup, sugar and artificial sweeteners can lead to obesity and other health issues. Avoid foods with unnecessary sugars.

2. Support

When handling your Dachshund always support their back. Avoid activities that involve jumping or sudden movements that can put stress on their spine. Invest in ramps or steps so they can get on furniture or in cars without having to jump.

3. Regular Vet Visits

Regular vet visits are key to early detection and management of health issues in Dachshunds including IVDD. Your vet can do regular check-ups and suggest prevention or treatment if early signs of the disease are detected.

4. Physical Therapy and Exercise

IVDD in Dachshunds can significantly impact their mobility and overall quality of life. Regular gentle exercise and physical therapy is key to managing and preventing this condition. These activities will help maintain your Dachshund’s muscle strength and flexibility which will support the spine and reduce the risk of injury.

One of the best exercises for Dachshunds with or at risk of IVDD is swimming. Swimming is a full body workout without stress on the spine or joints. The water supports your dog’s body allowing them to move freely and build muscle strength in a safe environment. Swimming can also improve cardiovascular health and endurance which will overall benefit your Dachshund.

Besides swimming, other low impact exercises can be helpful. Controlled walking on soft surfaces like grass or sand will help maintain mobility and muscle tone without putting stress on the back. Avoid exercises that involve jumping, running on hard surfaces or sudden twists and turns which can irritate the spine.

Your vet can recommend exercises specific to your dog’s condition and needs. These may be:

  • Therapeutic Exercises: Customized exercises that target specific muscle groups and improve spinal stability.
  • Massage Therapy: Gentle massage can help relieve muscle tension and improve circulation.
  • Hydrotherapy: Similar to swimming, hydrotherapy involves exercises in water, often with specialized equipment and guidance from a professional.

ivdd in dachshunds

5. Use Orthopedic Beds

Investing in high-quality orthopedic beds is crucial for providing adequate support for your Dachshund’s spine. These beds are designed to reduce pressure on the vertebrae and discs, offering a comfortable and supportive resting place for your dog. By using an orthopedic bed, you can help alleviate pain and discomfort, which can potentially slow the progression of IVDD in Dachshunds.

A great option to consider is the Fur Baby Bed. This bed is specifically designed to offer the kind of support and comfort that can benefit dogs prone to back issues, including IVDD. The Fur Baby Bed provides excellent cushioning and conforms to your dog’s body, ensuring even distribution of weight and reducing strain on the spine.

dachshund space shop fur baby bed

Adding an orthopedic bed to your dog’s daily routine can:

  • Comfort: Orthopedic beds like the Fur Baby Bed are made with high-quality materials that are soft yet supportive so your dog is more comfortable.
  • Spinal Support: These beds help keep the spine in alignment which is especially important for Dachshunds with or at risk of IVDD.
  • Pain Relief: By reducing pressure on sensitive areas orthopedic beds can help alleviate back pain in Dachshunds.
  • Better Sleep: A comfortable supportive bed can help your dog sleep better which means better overall health and wellbeing.

IVDD in Dachshunds

Preventing IVDD in Dachshunds can make all the difference to their quality of life. Here are some preventatives:

  • Weight Management: Keep your dog at ideal weight to reduce pressure on the spine.
  • Low Impact Exercise: Do low-impact activities and avoid jumping or twisting movements.
  • Supportive Harness: Use a harness not a collar when walking to reduce neck strain.
  • Proper Handling: Always support your Dachshunds back when lifting them to prevent spinal injury.
  • Regular Check-ups: Maintain regular veterinary visits to monitor for any early signs of IVDD.
  • Use Anti-Slip Stairs: To help your Dachshund navigate furniture or cars without jumping, consider using anti-slip Dachshund stairs. These stairs are specifically designed to reduce strain on your dog’s spine and prevent injuries associated with jumping.

dachshund stairs

Managing Back Problems in Dachshunds

Not all back problems in Dachshunds are IVDD. Other common back problems in Dachshunds are spinal arthritis, slipped discs and muscle strains. Management of these conditions often overlaps with treatment and prevention of IVDD.

Other Health Issues in Dachshunds

Beyond back problems there are several other health issues in Dachshunds that owners should be aware of:

  • Obesity: This can exacerbate spinal issues and other health problems.
  • Dental Disease: Regular dental care is key to preventing tooth and gum disease.
  • Heart Disease: Dachshunds can be prone to heart conditions, check regularly.

Summary

IVDD in Dachshunds is a serious health issue and requires active management and care. By knowing what is IVDD in Dachshunds, knowing the early signs of IVDD in Dachshunds and following the tips above you can prevent and manage this condition. Weight management, proper support, regular vet visits, physical therapy and orthopedic beds are all key to your Dachshund living a happy and healthy life.

Being aware of IVDD symptoms in Dachshunds and taking preventative measures can make all the difference. Whether you have a standard or mini Dachshund the principles are the same. These steps not only manage IVDD but also your furry friend’s overall health. The key to a long, healthy life for your Dachshund lies in early detection, preventive care, and regular veterinary consultations. By staying informed and proactive, you can ensure that your beloved pet enjoys many happy and active years by your side.

 

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