UK launch of Dachshund back disease screening programme

logoThe Dachshund Breed Council, with support from CVS Group, are launching a UK Screening Programme for Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD). Back disease is by far the most common health problem in UK Dachshunds: around 1 in 4 may be affected at some stage in their lives. Whilst many recover well in time, there is significant risk of permanent damage so severe it is life-changing or threatening.

Research in Scandinavia has shown that there is a good correlation between calcification of the discs and clinical disc herniations, when dogs are X-ray screened between the ages of 2 and 4. The Breed Council have based the screening programme on the Scandinavian protocols and CVS have offered to screen the dogs in a cost-effective manner at a number of their clinics across the UK. They will also be collaborating on a multi-year research study of the dogs participating in the scheme to monitor its success.

Ian Seath, Chairman of the Breed Council said: “X-ray screening has been used in Scandinavia for several years and is currently the best available tool to help us reduce the genetic risk of IVDD. All 6 varieties of Dachshund in the UK are encouraged to participate. The aim of X-ray screening is to reduce the occurrence of herniations by encouraging breeding with dogs that have low numbers of calcifications.”

Specialist neurologist, Dr Mark Lowrie, of CVS at Dovecote Veterinary Hospital in Castle Donnington said: “We feel it is important that breeders, owners and vets work together to try and reduce the prevalence of this condition which can cause catastrophic changes to a dog’s quality of life and much upset for dedicated and caring owners.

Dachshund owners can find out more about the scheme at a newly developed website The website is also a source of advice and guidance for Dachshund owners who want to learn more about IVDD and the options available if their dog should suffer a back problem.

About CVS Group:

CVS is the largest veterinary group in the UK encompassing four main business areas; veterinary practices, diagnostic laboratories, pet crematoria and an e-commerce division. The group comprises over 360 practices, more than 1000 vets and in excess of 2000 nurses. For more information, please contact Barry Brackner, Marketing Director,, 0115 9629 780

About the Dachshund Breed Council:

The Dachshund Breed Council was set up in 2009 to be a united voice for the Dachshund Breed in the UK. It is a Kennel Club registered organisation and its members are the 16 Dachshund Breed Clubs. It promotes the health and welfare of the breed, through research and education. For more information, please contact Ian Seath, Chairman,, 07850 728506