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Disc herniation in Dachshunds research gets boost

Issue: 03/01/2020

A Dachshund research project has received a funding boost to help investigate a particular disorder.
BSAVA’s PetSavers, with support from The Debs Foundation, have awarded £5,000 in funding to a clinical study on disc herniation in Dachshunds.
The Debs Foundation charitable trust was set-up two years ago, in memory of veterinarian Debbie Gittleson. The Foundation’s aim is to support charities that reflect the causes Debbie believed in and advocated for, in particular those with an emphasis on animal welfare.
 It is the second year that the Foundation has supported PetSavers clinical research with a donation and the intention is to develop a long-term relationship with PetSavers.
Researchers will use the money to help further their understanding of the condition and to develop effective treatment strategies.
Project leader Paul Freeman from the Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital said, ‘I am delighted to have received the support of PetSavers and the Debs Foundation for this important study. We will start work as soon as possible, aiming to recruit at least 40 dogs over the next two years.
‘Study participants must have suspected thoracolumbar intervertebral disc herniation or “slipped disc” in the back and be unable to walk, with their owners being unable to afford referral for an MRI scan and surgical treatment.’
The project, Recovery of ambulation in medically managed non-ambulatory dachshund dogs with thoracolumbar intervertebral disc herniation, will investigate dachshunds and other small breed dogs weighing less than 10kg with intervertebral disc disease.
They are undertaking the study with the aim of identifying a group of affected dogs which may be able to recover the ability to walk without the need for decompressive surgery.
Instead, nursing care and appropriate pain relief will be provided. The study will also look at whether the type of intervention affects the extent and speed of recovery, and how frequently the body may remove disc material by natural processes.
Owners of such affected dogs, or veterinary surgeons with clients they feel may fall into this category, can contact Paul at Queen’s Veterinary School Hospital on 01223 337621, or by email to

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