What is IVDD?

IVDD is Intervertebral Disc Disease.


Dachshunds are more likely to suffer from IVDD than many other breeds. It is possible to reduce the risk of IVDD (but not prevent it altogether) by taking responsible breeding and ownership decisions:

  • Breeders: avoid breeding where there is a history of IVDD in the pedigree or high levels of early calcification (see testing for IVDD)
  • Owners: keep your dog in tip-top condition and avoid over-protection by adopting a sensible lifestyle


Did you know the Dachshund is a short-legged breed, not a long-backed one? It's the genetics of short legs that pre-dispose Dachshunds to back disease. Find out about Dachshund shape and conformation and how these relate to back disease.


All dogs' discs degenerate with age; they lose water, become more fibrous and sometimes mineralised. Degeneration of a Dachshund's discs happens at a much younger age than in dogs with normal length legs. Read more about calcified discs. 


The two main types of disc disease are known as Hansen Type 1 and Type 2. Dachshunds suffer from Type 1. Find out what happens when a "disc goes". 


We are grateful to Helle Friis Proschowsky for permission to translate and publish this paper: "Herniated discs with the short-legged breeds". Originally published in the Danish Kennel Club magazine, Hunden. Thanks also to Frøydis Hardeng for help with translation.


You may also be interested in Lisa Emerson's "Dachshund Spine" book and Open Access and other research papers.


Download our latest presentations from our Health website.

Bill Oxley's presentation to the 2009 Breed Conference

Dr. Clare Rusbridge's IVDD presentation at our 2014 Neurology Seminar 

An introduction to IVDD (videos)


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