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Keeping your Sausage safe from IVDD

On social media today I stumbled across a recent post from the Dachshund IVDD Charity. The source of this info derived from Dachslife 2015, a survey taken from 2000 Dachshund owners.

I want to share it with you all BUT its worthy to note that this is only 2000 dachshunds (not many) and it also doesn’t specify if the Dachshunds are Miniature or Standard sized or in fact if they are smooth or long haired. All factors.

First of all, what is IVDD?

Intervertebral Disc Disease is the most common health problem in UK Dachshunds. Just like humans, dogs have discs between the bony vertebrae and their spine. These discs cushion the vertebrae as the dog moves. In dogs with IVDD, the discs degenerate over tie and become weaker. The weakened disc may rupture or bulge and start to press on the spinal cord or nearby nerve roots. This is what cases pain, difficulty walking and even paralysis.

Check out the post!

All of these topics, here at Coots we discuss in our New Puppy Owner Groups. This will be helpful for me to share with them all in future as it echo’s most of what we also say.

The highlights;

  • Neutering – wait till you Sausage is an adult. Over 12 months old but if you can wait, wait till over 2yrs.
  • Feed a quality diet. Irrelevant if a dry or raw diet but there are big benefits of using Cod Liver Oil. We recommend Salmon Oil. A few drops morning and evening on food.
  • We don’t want a fat Sausage. Keep him lean! Think Frankfurter NOT Farmhouse!
  • If possible use a collar and lead to exercise not a harness.
  • Its better for your Sausages to be using their back muscles and going up and down stairs – forget ramps! Be vigilant of course – no acrobatics but just like us human folks – if we don’t use our muscles and bodies they weaken and lose strength.
  • Exercise is KING. Keep your Sausages exercised and walk them every day.

Its important to remember that you know your Sausage best! There are many factors that determine for example if a Male needs neutering before he is 2years old, perhaps due to an undescended testicle or because he lives with a little girl, or he is peeing up the furniture and has an insatiable libido! These are cases that need careful consideration and can alter when you Neuter your boy.

Collar Vs Harness, this is a good one! So many use a harness because it looks pretty! Obviously I don’t agree with that as a reason for a Sausage to wear a harness but there are cases when a harness is required. Our Little Nutella for example has to wear one as she is a crazy girl on a lead. She pulls and pulls until she makes herself sick. She spins in circles and does herself damage! She genuinely cannot control her excitement. A harness however, combats these problems.

Common sense certainly does prevail here. A new puppy will fly off the sofa given half the chance and so you need to watch them and be mindful that their little bones haven’t fully formed yet and they could do themselves some damage. But any new pup owner is watching and taking care with their new family member. Everyone wants puppy cuddles on the sofa just help him or her down afterwards. Once your Sausage is an adult you try keeping them ‘off’ the sofa! This constant up and down is fine!

So, all in all. I liked this post and this survey. It’s so important for Dachshund Owners to understand the risks and avoid possible future problems.

Remember all Dachshunds are predisposed to IVDD. If you have bought your Sausage from a responsible breeder then they will have checked the IVDD history across 5 generations of the mother and Father of your pup. They will also have tested their dogs.

I think that the work that Dachshund IVDD Charity do is admirable and we fully support them here at Coots.

(For any boffins out there that want to know more, DR Marianne Dorn “The Rehab Vet” has written an excellent book – The IVDD Handbook. Available at Amazon)