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First-opinion approach to the dachshund with intervertebral disc herniation
  1. Marianne Dorn


Intervertebral disc herniation (IVDH) is by far the most likely diagnosis for dachshunds presenting with no history of trauma and with both pain and pelvic limb paresis. A presumptive diagnosis of IVDH can usually be reached based on history and clinical examination, although mild cases can be challenging to differentiate from those with non-spinal causes of pain. This article offers a practical approach to assessing and managing the painful dachshund in first-opinion practice. It covers clinical decision-making and the principles of non-surgical treatment, emphasising the need for good monitoring and follow-up. Recovery typically takes weeks to months; full recovery is not guaranteed, and recurrence is possible, so regardless of whether spinal surgery is performed, good communication between practitioner and owner is essential.

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