The Dandie Dinmont terrier and IVDD: How to prepare?

Dog owner question

"Hi! I have read that Dandie Dinmont Terrier dogs are at risk of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD). What is the cause of this and what symptoms should I look out for? What can I do if my dog has this problem?"

Veterinarian's answer

"Hi! You asked a very important question, especially since Dandie Dinmont terriers are indeed prone to intervertebral disc disease.

IVDD is associated with degeneration of the cushioning material between the vertebrae of the spine (the intervertebral discs), which can lead to pain, mobility problems and in severe cases paralysis.

The Dandie Dinmont Terrier, like many other long-backed dog breeds, is prone to IVDD because their spinal anatomy can put increased pressure on the intervertebral discs.

Unfortunately, this is genetically determined, and the risk of the disease is higher if the dog is overweight, because the excess weight puts additional pressure on the spine!

Symptoms of IVDD can vary from minor stiffness and pain to leg weakness and paralysis.

Dandie Dinmont terrier 6

If your dog suddenly finds it difficult to move, has obvious pain in the back or neck, or is unable to get up or walk, you should take him to the vet immediately!

If your Dandie Dinmont Terrier has been diagnosed with IVDD, treatment options will depend on the severity of the condition. In mild cases, medication, rest and physiotherapy may help. In more severe cases, surgical intervention may be needed to relieve pressure on the spine.

To prevent IVDD, it is important that your dog maintains a healthy weight, exercises regularly, but avoids excessive jumping or stair climbing, which can put additional pressure on the spine.

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The Dandie Dinmont Terrier is susceptible to IVDD, but with proper care, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and early detection of the condition, the risk and severity of the disease can be minimised.

If your dog has been diagnosed with IVDD, it is important to follow your vet's instructions and ensure that your dog's life is as comfortable and pain-free as possible."