IVDD Surgical Approach

Treatment Protocols for IVDD

There are many options for dachshunds afflicted with IVDD. While no guide can be completely comprehensive, this page of the DRBC Site reviews those treatment methods most commonly used by the veterinarians that support DRBC. You should have a full discussion with your veterinarian concerning the options available for your doxie.

IVDD Surgical Treatment

More often than we like, surgery is indicated. Fortunately, we have the base exam results. Now what?

Here is a typical scenario for our group when surgery is the path chosen.

One of the rules DRBC follows with a dog that has been examined and found to be healthy is that no more than 96 hours can pass from the time of the injury to the surgical relief to the spinal cord and the evaluation of deep pain sensation. This is less time than it appears, a fact that is complicated by rarely being able to determine the moment of injury.

For this example, the dog was not located in a DRBC core foster home and needed time to reach us for transfer to the emergency hospital. This is a worst case scenario for us, but it can happen. The dog involved returned to normal function, but both the neurosurgeon and all of us here at the rescue questioned if we were in time.

Notice we skipped the trip to the general care veterinarian which eliminated the drive distance between the two facilities. This is common for DRBC, but may not be the average owner’s first step. Add 5–6 more hours to your timetable if the general care veterinarian is included in your plan.

It is not hard to have time, a critical key to surgical success, get away from us all. DRBC’s response time is generally quicker and thanks to a phenomenal team of surgeons we have a 99% success rate, but every second counts, and that transportation, tests, and waiting take time. This is why we crate and move without haste to the neurosurgeon. Just like the MRI, time is an important tool for this highly qualified veterinarian.

Risk is part of any surgery.

Here are the risks DRBC considers when approaching a doxie that requires surgery:

  • A myelogram may cause seizures related to the dye used during the test. While seizures usually subside within 24 hours, this procedure is not suggested for older animals or animals with other inherent health risks.
  • Infection is always a risk for any surgical procedure. Our surgeons take every precaution to prevent this risk, but it is evaluated for all DRBC dogs.
  • Anesthesia can cause death. This risk is very, very low, but must be included in our evaluation
  • The surgery could fail and the animal could be left paralyzed or might die. This is the risk that we talk the longest with our neurosurgeon about. Timing and the degree of disc rupture and post-operative inflammation will be key factors here.
  • Additional disc ruptures may occur in the future. Elimination of cause is critical in reducing this risk.

Great question.

The answers are as varied as the dogs that undergo this procedure. Here is a video that will give you an idea of what to expect:

Additional Notes:

  • There are no ‘over-the-counter’ fixes for IVDD. Please consult a qualified veterinarian before using any medications or OTC products with your dachshund.
  • The information offered herein is for informational and educational and purposes only. Seek the timely care of a licensed veterinarian or veterinary surgeon if you believe your dog is exhibiting any of the signs or symptoms of IVDD. This website does not seek to diagnose or treat IVDD.