The CVS Group has joined forces with the Dachshund Breed Council (DBC) in an x-ray screening programme aimed at reducing the prevalence of a crippling back disease in the species.

Ian Seath
Dachshund Breed Council chairman Ian Seath.

Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) can affect around one in four dachshunds at some stage in their lives. While many recover well in time, significant risk of permanent damage exists that is so severe, it could be life-changing or life-threatening.

Correlation

According to CVS, research in Scandinavia has shown a good correlation between calcification of the discs and clinical disc herniations when dogs are x-ray screened between the ages of two and four.

The DBC has, therefore, based the screening programme on the Scandinavian protocols, with CVS offering to screen the dogs in a cost-effective manner at a number of its clinics across the UK.

The company will also be collaborating on a multi-year research study of the dogs participating in the scheme to monitor its success.

Best tool

DBC chairman Ian Seath said: “X-ray screening has been used in Scandinavia for several years and is the best available tool to help us reduce the genetic risk of IVDD.

“All six varieties of dachshund in the UK are encouraged to participate and the aim of x-ray screening is to reduce the occurrence of herniations by encouraging breeding with dogs with low numbers of calcifications.”

Dachshund owners can find out more about the scheme at a newly developed website, which is also a source of advice and guidance for dachshund owners who want to learn more about IVDD and the treatment options available.

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