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the actual problem is more conformational and really has nothing to do with the length of the back either. There are plenty of large and giant breed That actual have much longer backs in which IVD (intervertabret disc Disease )is rare. What it is related to is the dwarfism that creates the short legs. It also affects the disc of the back making them more brittle and hard, the disc of a 1 year old basset is the equvienlt of 8 year old in a non-dwarf breed. Now many breeds that have this problem do not look like typical dwarfs but it is obvious their smaller size is related in some part to such dwarfism, wich includes beagles, and mini poodles. . The dachshund has by far the highest incident of back problem with 25% suffering some type of problem in a life time for more detail and info see

Canine Intervertebral Disk Disease
Prepared for

The Dachshund Club of America, Inc.
Patricia J. Luttgen, DVM, MS
Diplomate, American College of
Veterinary Internal Medicine,
Specialty of Neurology
Denver, Colorado

Disks can be divided into two histochemical types: 1) chondrodystrophoid and 2) nonchondrodystrophoid or fibroid. The word "chondrodystrophoid" literally means faulty development or nutrition of cartilage. In humans, chondrodystrophoism is recognized physically (phenotypically) as dwarfism, where individuals are smaller than normal and whose parts (especially limbs) are disproportionate. Certain breeds of dogs, such as dachshunds, show their chondrodystrophism by having disproportionately short and angulated limbs. However, phenotypic characteristics alone can not be used to identify chondrodystrophoid dogs. Other breeds, such as miniature poodles and beagles, have been histochemically identified to have chondrodystrophoid disks and yet do not appear outwardly to be chondrodystrophoid.

...Biochemical differences between chondrodystrophoid and nonchondrodystrophoid disks are apparent shortly after birth and explain the differences in the types of degeneration that occur. The degeneration that occurs in chondrodystrophoid disks is called chondroid metaplasia because the nucleus pulposus is gradually replaced with cartilage. Degeneration takes place rapidly and begins as early as 6 months of age starting at the periphery of the nucleus pulposus and progressing centrally. A dramatic and rapid increase in collagen content, as much as 30-40% by dry weight, is seen between 6 and 12 months of age. In addition, total glucosaminoglycan content will be 30 to 50% lower than age matched nonchondrodystrophoid dogs within the first 3 years resulting in a great loss of water content in the nucleus. When this happens, the nucleus loses its elasticity and no longer acts as an efficient shock absorber.

...In comparison, nonchondrodystrophoid disks degenerate by fibroid metaplasia with the process becoming clinically significant at 8 to 10 years of age. Fibroid degeneration involves a gradual process of dehydration, and therefore loss of elasticity, of the nucleus pulposus with the incorporation of increasing amounts of collagen and polysaccharides (chondroitin sulfate and keratin sulfate). This causes a gradual diminishing of the border between the annulus fibrosus and the nucleus pulposus, and thus a weakening of the disk's overall biomechanical abilities. Partial rupture of the annulus fibrosus may result allowing the nucleus pulposus to bulge into the annulus and possibly the spinal canal.
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