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Skeletal

This is a Skeletal condition.

Intervertebral Disc Disease (Type I)

What is Type I IVDD?

Chondrodystrophy (CDDY) refers to the "long and low" body shape characteristic of many dog breeds including Dachshunds and Corgis. Recently, a mutation was discovered that not only predicted the chondrodystrophic body shape, but increases the risk of Type I intervertebral disc disease (IVDD or "slipped disc."). A dog with one or two copies of this mutation has an increased risk of developing IVDD compared to a dog with zero copies. Its effect on body shape is slightly different--a dog with one copy of the retrogene is likely to have longer legs than a dog with two copies, but shorter legs than a dog with zero copies. We measure this result using a linkage test.

What are the signs & symptoms that develop in affected dogs?

There may be no obvious proportional differences in a dog with one copy of this variant. Dogs with two copies of this variant have characteristically short and bowed legs with a relatively long body. Signs of IVDD include neck or back pain, a change in your dog's walking pattern (including dragging of the hind limbs), and paralysis. These signs can be mild to severe and should be monitored closely.

When do signs and symptoms develop?

Signs of CDDY are recognized in puppies as it affects body shape. IVDD is usually first recognized in adult dogs, with breed specific differences in age of onset.

How do vets diagnose this condition?

For CDDY, dogs with one copy of this variant may have mild proportional differences in their leg length. Dogs with two copies of this variant will often have visually longer bodies and shorter legs. For IVDD, a neurological exam will be performed on any dog showing suspicious signs. Based on the result of this exam, radiographs to detect the presence of calcified discs or advanced imaging (MRI/CT) to detect a disc rupture may be recommended.

How is this condition treated?

IVDD is treated differently based on the severity of the disease. Mild cases often respond to medical management which includes cage rest and pain management, while severe cases are often treated with surgical intervention. Both conservative and surgical treatment should be followed up with rehabilitation and physical therapy.

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