Intervertebral disc disease (IVDD) is the most common spinal disorder in dogs in particular, Dachshunds. It is estimated that around 25% Dachshunds will experience clinical signs of IVDD at some point in their lives. In some patients with severe clinical signs, surgery is necessary to relieve pressure on the spinal cord. It is essential that dogs are strictly cage rested after surgery. This study aims to determine whether cage rest, although important for healing, has an implication on welfare. We will use the amount of stress hormone in Dachshund hair as indicator of chronic stress and compare hair cortisol values between surgical IVDD patients at the Royal Veterinary College and a control population of volunteers sourced via social media. Owners will need to send us two hair samples 4 weeks apart and complete online questionnaires and diaries. Using the data, we will be able to apply strategies to reduce stress thus improve welfare during cage rest after surgery.
To register your interest, please sign up using the link on the study advert and feel free to email Alex Davies at any time should you have any questions. Thank you for you support in helping us improve Dachshund welfare!