The Dachshund Breed Council

The Dachshund Breed Council undertakes research into the genetic basis of IVDD; evaluates alternative screening techniques; identifies “lifestyle factors” that might predispose dachshunds to IVDD.  They support research projects at UK veterinary schools and offer a back-screening programme for dachshunds before breeding. 

The Dachshund Breed Council was formed in 2007, when all 19 UK Dachshund Breed Clubs agreed to form a Breed Council and work together for the good of the breed.


Dachshund Breed Council

A Message from Ian Seath of the Dachshund Breed Council:

Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD) is by far the most common health problem for UK dachshunds: around 1 in 4 dogs may be affected at some stage.  IVDD involves damage to the spinal cord.  While many recover well, there is a significant risk of permanent damage so severe it is life-changing, or even life-threatening.

There are 3 main signs to look out for: pain; loss of co-ordination and paralysis, usually in the back legs. 

If your dog is in pain or showing some loss of co-ordination, you should see your vet as soon as possible, but certainly within 24 hours.  Until you can get to the vet, confine your dog to a small area (a crate or a pen) and do not allow them to run, jump or climb on furniture.  If paralysis or severe loss of co-ordination happens, treat this as an emergency: consult your vet urgently.

Veterinary treatment for back problems can be very expensive. If the back injury is mild the recommendation is for 6-8 weeks of strict crate rest for your dog. In severe cases, the vet will want to carry out imaging scans and probably refer you to a specialist. An MRI scan could cost around £2,000.  Surgery and rehabilitation could bring the bill to £6,000 to £10,000.  We strongly recommend that you take out an insurance policy to cover these potential costs before your dog needs treatment. Be certain to ask for lifetime cover, as IVDD can affect a dachshund more than once, and you will want to know that your dog is covered should this happen.

Lifestyle choices for your dachshund are very important.  Remember, your dachshund is a dog and needs to enjoy life as a dog. Keep it fit not fat; feed it a well-balanced diet; allow your dachshund to mature fully before considering neutering.

There is a genetic component to IVDD and therefore identifying dachshunds with these genetic mutations is important. In order to limit the impact of IVDD, the Dachshund Breed Council undertakes research and also offers a subsidised back screening service for adult dogs of breeding age. You can help limit the risk of this disease by ensuring your dachshund puppy comes from a reputable breeder who is familiar with this back-screening process.

For more information, visit our website at or join our Facebook group at

We would like to thank Candy Jones for her generosity in supporting our research and to wish her every success with her book, Sausage Dog Days.