Learn more about IVDD and what it means for your pet or for your breeding program.
An “At Risk” result for IVDD can be alarming, but there are a few important things to keep in mind as a pet owner or as a breeder:
- An “At Risk” result is not a diagnosis, but an indicator that you dog may be at higher risk of developing symptoms
- There are likely several other factors (like weight, mobility, and family history) that may contribute to an individual dog’s risk of developing IVDD
- A number of breeds are essentially “fixed” for IVDD, and many “At Risk” individuals from these breeds never develop symptoms
Some of the breeds we consider “fixed” for IVDD are:
- Small Poodle
- Corgi (Pembroke and Cardigan)
- French Bulldog
- Shih Tzu
- Cocker Spaniel
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
You can find a more complete (although not exhaustive) list of these breeds here, as well as a bit more about the condition itself here.
It’s always a good idea to discuss any concerns with your veterinarians- our health results are a valuable part of a larger care plan!
What do IVDD Results mean for my breeding program?
Many breeders are concerned when they learn their dog has one or two copies of the variant we test for associated with an increased risk of IVDD.
Especially among breeds in which the frequency of this variant is high, we do not recommend removing dogs with one or two copies of this variant from the breeding population. This practice can reduce the size of the breeding population substantially, leading to other health issues associated with inbreeding and reduced genetic diversity.
When considering whether or not to breed a dog with this variant, we instead recommend looking at the whole dog, rather than this one test in isolation and considering whether or not there is a history of back problems in their lineage.
It is also important to keep in mind that an At-Risk result is not a clinical diagnosis. This is why Embark uses the term "At-Risk" instead of "Affected." This variant increases the risk for Type I IVDD in a dominant fashion, meaning that dogs with either one or two copies of the variant are at greater risk of developing type I intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), but does not diagnose the dog with this disease or guarantee they will develop it. Many dogs with this variant never go on to develop IVDD.
Article is closed for comments.