I’ve been hiking with Chester for over 12 years and Gretel has been hiking since the day we adopted her over 5 years ago. I got lucky with Chester. Even though Dachshunds are prone to back issues, he never experienced any.
I wasn’t so lucky with Gretel. In March of 2016 she hurt her back and was diagnosed with Intervertebral Disk Disease (IVDD) a genetic disease that affect approximately 1 in 4 Dachshunds (it can affect other breeds too).
I already knew a lot about the disease and Dachshund back issues. However, I have learned way more than that through my own experience and education since Gretel’s diagnosis.
This page was created so you could find all of the articles I have written about it, and all of the resources and articles I’ve found helpful over the years, in one place. Please contact me if you have any questions.
To be clear: I am not a veterinarian.
I do consider myself an expert on the topic of IVDD but can’t know everything and the information I share should not take the place of advice from your veterinarian. My aim is to arm you with information so you know what questions to ask him or her and to supplement what you learn from them.
My experience with IVDD comes from:
- 6 years of running a Dachshund club of over 500. Many members have shared their experiences with me, and what they know, over the years.
- 7 years of research. I have thoroughly researched the topic for this blog, to help those that reach out to me, and to protect my own dogs. This research includes reviewing some of the emerging studies on the disease, talking with experts, and generally reading all that I can about the disease and people’s experience with it.
- 5 years of walking and dog sitting Dachshunds who have been diagnosed with IVDD. I’ve taken my clients dogs to the vet on their behalf (at their request) when their dog had a flare up. I’ve walked several dogs that had surgery as part of their rehab regimen (prescribed by a vet). I’ve dog sat several dogs who had previous back injuries and listened to their owners talk about their experience.
- My own experience. There is a whole range of outcomes when your dog has an IVDD-related injury. What’s true is that Gretel’s condition was mild and she has recovered fully. What is also true is that I left no stone, or kernel of information, unturned in the days after she was diagnosed. I went to the rehab vet armed with a list of questions a mile long. Our vet happens to be one of the top rehab vets in the country for issues like this and she patiently talked through every probing questions I had about IVDD and recovery.
Articles I’ve Written About My Experience With IVDD
Other IVDD Resources
K9 Backpack – a very knowledgeable and supportive group of folks that make it their mission to help you. Dealing with an IVDD diagnosis can be devastating and dealing with potential long-term effects can be trying. These kind folks are here to help you.
Dodgerlist – One of the definitive resources on IVDD compiled by a woman’s whose beloved dog was euthanized because of lack of knowledge about IVDD treatment. Her mission is to teach people about the disease and what their treatments options are.
IVDD and Other Back Disorders in Dachshunds Facebook Group (must request to join and be approved) – This group is for people who are interested in IVDD and other Back Disorders in Dachshunds. People in this group are among some of the most knowledgeable. It’s a great place to get support, discuss challenges, and celebrate successes with other owners of IVDD dogs.