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Generally most opt for a more conservative approach but surgery has the best results when done early.

for more on the cause of IVD in dwarf breeds see Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease
Prepared for
The Dachshund Club of America, Inc.

y Patricia J. Luttgen, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American College of
Veterinary Internal Medicine,
Specialty of Neurology
Denver, Colorado

Dachshund have a much higher incident of IVD than any other breed

Aggressive medical therapy is recommended in any form of spinal cord trauma. It becomes especially important in acute trauma, such as type I disk herniation, to interrupt the destructive metabolic consequences described previously. Corticosteroids are the first line of attack in handling any acute spinal cord trauma. The currently preferred corticosteroid is methylprednisolone sodium succinate (Solu-Medrol R; Upjohn). Compared to the previously favored corticosteroid dexamethasone (AziumR; Scherring), methylprednisolone sodium succinate seems to have far better sparing effects on the spinal cord while causing fewer side effects (gastrointestinal bleeding: excessive water consumption/urination)

Medical therapy combined with restricted activity and physiotherapy is a good approach as long as an affected dog is only displaying ataxia and/or discomfort. However, once the line is crossed to motor deficits, more aggressive therapy is usually needed. It is true that many dogs that become paretic, or even paralyzed, given enough time can regain "normal" clinical function without surgical intervention. However, the degree of permanent pathologic changes inside the spinal cord and the time to functional recovery will be far greater than for the dog that receives surgical decompressive therapy early in the course of disease. If additional trauma is sustained in the future, the dog that has "recovered" without surgery will probably "decompensate" more easily because of greater preexisting spinal cord pathology, resulting in a much greater degree of dysfunction than the dog with similar dysfunction that was operated early.
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