IVDD stands for Intervertebral Disc Degeneration. It is commonly referred to as intervertebral disc disease, but to be clear, it is a genetic disorder that causes a disease process in the intervertebral discs of the spinal cord. 1 in 4 dachshunds will be affected by IVDD. What happens over time is that the consistency, which is normally very watery, begins to dry out and is more or less replaced with cartilage which sometimes leads to calcification. It’s actually the genetics of the short legs, not the long backs of dachshunds, that pre-disposes them to IVDD.
IT’S DIFFICULT TO ASCERTAIN IF YOUR DOG WILL BE EFFECTED BY THIS GENETIC DISEASE; TYPICALLY SIGNS APPEAR WHEN THE DOG IS BETWEEN 3 and 8 YEARS OLD. HOWEVER, THEY ARE NOT EVER IMMUNE NO MATTER WHAT AGE.
When it comes to IVDD, education is key!
Remember prevention is better than cure
Getting down to the nitty gritty of IVDD
The intervertebral discs sit between the vertebrae (bones) and act as shock absorbers. The vertebral spine is made up of 7 vertebrae in the cervical neck region, 13 in the middle thoracic section and another 7 in the lower lumbar back region. In between all those are the intervertebral discs. IVDD can occur in all areas of the vertebral column and whilst we most commonly see it occurring in the thoracic and lower lumbar region many dachshunds also suffer in the cervical (neck) region.
Discs have a soft centre, like a jelly cushion. It is a viscous gel, a bit like jam in the middle of a doughnut, which is called the nucleus pulposus (nucleus). Surrounding this, is a fibrous ring which is a bit like a hard tough outer shell, and it is called the annulus fibrosus. The nucleus (the soft gel like centre) is made up of about 80% water, which acts as a cushion when natural forces through movement occurs. It stretches and compresses and acts like a shock absorber between all the vertebrae in the spine with normal movement. The annulus (outer shell) restricts the expansion of the nucleus and provides stability to the spine during any movement or bending of the spine. However, the spinal cord is anatomically poorly located, and sits directly above the discs, which is why problems can occur when the disc goes wrong and begins to degenerate.
All information above is source from Dachshund IVDD Support Australia. For further information on IVDD or to support this wonderful organisation, please visit - https://www.ivdd.org.au/.