REDUCE THE RISK
Lifestyle & prevention tips
We often get asked: “Is there anything I can do to prevent the occurrence of an episode of IVDD?” The answer to this, given we know that IVDD is highly heritable, is essentially no. However, there are five lifestyle and preventative measures you can take to help reduce the risk. Click on each button to find out more!
MAINTAIN YOUR DOG’S WEIGHT
Your dachshund’s weight can be easily maintained with a fresh and varied diet. Excess weight can cause unnecessary strain and pressure on a daxie’s back. There are also supplements on the market that can provide dietary assistance to back maintenance and health.
LIMIT JUMPING OR STAIRS
Stop your dachshund’s access to stairs. A fall down a set of stairs, or through the gap between stairs is bad news. Baby gates are perfect for restricting access to stairs. Always carry your dachshund up and down stairs and train them to wait for your assistance when approaching a set of stairs.
LIMIT CRAWL SPACES
Stop or limit your dog from walking or crawling underneath lowline furniture and into small and lowline crawl spaces – i.e. under beds, couches, etc. The pressure against an arching back can cause a back injury.
There are many fantastic supplements on the market that may assist in maintaining your dog’s health. Rose Hip Vital Canine is one such supplement worth considering.
A lot of injuries occur thanks to slipping and twisting. If you have slippery floors then invest in rugs, floor mats, dog boots and/or toe grips etc. to provide your dog with some added traction and protection against injury. Ensuring your dog’s nails are cut short can also assist against slipping.
TAKE IT EASY
Dachshunds are quite an active breed and it’s a good idea to ensure your dog is fit to maintain his back’s health. The best way to exercise your dog is to take him for a brisk 20 minute walk regularly. Remember, your dachshund has very short legs and a long back and is not capable of the same activities as a human body – if you take your dachshund for a long walk/outing, allow time for periods of rest.
WALKING YOUR HOUND
Check with your veterinary specialist regarding which is the best for your dachshund – a harness or a collar with lead. If your dog does not walk to heel on a loose lead via its collar, a well fitted harness may be more suitable. When walking your hound it is best to keep short distances and to rest your dog when you feel it needs a break.
BUY A LIFE JACKET
If you take your dachshund swimming, invest in a doggy life jacket. As dachshunds have very short legs and long backs, they have to work so much harder to stay a float! A life jacket ensures they don’t have to work as hard and will assist in ensuring they don’t end up with a back strain.
NO SOFT SAND
Daxies love the beach as much as their owners, however soft sand can cause strain on knees and long backs. Limit your dog to only walking on firm/ hard sand and carry them across the soft stuff.
CRATE TRAIN YOUR DOG
Crate training your dog is not hard to achieve as the majority of dogs love having their own dedicated space! Crates make for great doggy dens and provide a safe and comfortable sleeping environment. Crate training your dachshund will ensure he is used to a crate in the event of any future circumstances that would require a pro-longed confinement and rest.
PICK UP AND CARRY YOUR DOG CORRECTLY
Support your dog’s back – always pick up and carry your dachshund in the correct manner. Ensure all adults handling your dog are aware of how to correctly hold and carry your dog and never allow children to carry or pick up your dog.
FIND A GREAT VET
Find a vet who knows the breed and understands the ins and outs of IVDD. Don’t be scared to ask about the varied options available when it comes to ensuring your dog’s back and health is in top condition. Like us, dogs can benefit from massage and physiotherapy – maintaining and keeping an eye on your dog’s back health is always a good idea – great veterinary care is the key!
USE COMMON SENSE
Avoid circumstances that could cause injuries to a longbodied dog. A lot of injuries occur thanks to slipping, jumping/falling from heights, twisting/sharp turns and rough games with both humans and other dogs.