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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