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Back Scoring Your Dachshund

Back Scoring Your Dachshund

What age can a Dachshund be X-rayed for back scoring?

Dachshunds aged between 2 years and 4 years are at the optimal age for back scoring.


Back scoring is a breeder’s tool. It is important to understand that back scoring your dachshund is not a diagnosis for IVDD.

Why should breeders introduce back scoring into their breeding program?

Studies have proven and breeders also acknowledge that IVDD is known to have a genetic presence. However, there is no genetic mode of inheritance yet established for IVDD in Dachshunds.
Back scoring provides us with information ahead of time, often before we use a dog in our breeding program. Through data, we can calculate the individual and the inherited risk of IVDD in a breeder’s program.

As a breeder, there is nothing worse than learning after 6 or 8 years you have used a sire that the sire developed IVDD. It is especially difficult if there are multiple generations involved or the sire was a very widely used stud. It can have major consequences for the breed and gene pool moving forward if all progeny were to be removed.

Other benefits of implementing back scoring are consumer-related. Breeders may breed for themselves, but the reality is that 90% of Dachshund puppies bred end up in pet homes. It is an inevitable consequence of breeding that Dachshund breeders are deemed suppliers of a ‘final product’ and customers have rights that the breeder must uphold. It is expected and written in the DPI COP that breeders must use ALL resources and tools available to ensure healthy livestock (dogs in this case).

Customers are learning about back scoring and seeking out breeders who have implemented this screening process. Although the process offers no guarantees, they are still willing to wait years in the hope that they will not have to endure a decade with a dog who suffers from IVDD-related issues, as dachshunds are typically a long-lived breed.

How do I back score my Dachshund??

Breeders who intend to breed their dachshund can enquire with their preferred Veterinary Clinic of choice to take the 5 detailed X-Rays required for back scoring, it does require foam supports and sedation (your dog must be asleep for the entire procedure). You will need to discuss the requirements with your local Veterinary Clinic and provide them with the back scoring protocol to be able to provide you with a quote. Once you have obtained the DICOM X-rays you can forward the DICOM images to the spinal analyst for scoring.

Vets currently providing back scoring to existing breeders

It’s vital that the Veterinarian who is performing the X-Rays takes particular care when positioning the Dachshund for the procedure to ensure the clarity and detail is there for the spinal analyst to examine. If the spinal analyst is not able to read the DICOM formatted images provided, then the procedure may have to be done again.

Below is a list of Veterinary Clinics that are currently offering back scoring for members of the Dachshund Club of NSW. Breeders are welcome to discuss with their own Veterinary clinic or any of the clinics below. Breeders are welcome to update Heather Coles who maintains this list to include new clinics providing this service to help other Breeders access this screening.

Clinic Providing X-Rays
Sydney Region
Clinic Providing X-Rays
Newcastle and Nth Coast
Clinic Providing X-Rays
Western NSW
Colyton Veterinary Hospital
81 Great Western Highway,
Oxley Park, NSW 2760
Phone: 02 9673 1106
Vet: Dr. Chris Papantonio BVSc (Hons)
MANZCVS (Surgery)
Cost: $400 per dog*
Raymond Terrace Veterinary Clinic
63 Port Stephens Street,
Raymond Terrace, NSW 2324
Phone: 02 4987 1111
Cost: $450 per dog
Tamworth Veterinary Hospital
106 Brisbane Street,
Tamworth, NSW 2340
Phone: 02 6766 3988
Vet: Dr. Isaac Roebuck (B.Vet.Biol.,B.Vet.Sc)
Cost: $440 per dog*.
North Richmond Veterinary Hospital
36 Bells Line of Rd,
North Richmond, NSW 2754
Phone: (02) 4571 2042
Vet: Dr Michelle Dalli (BSc, BVSc (Hons))
Cost: $350 per dog* (Michelle is on leave until mid-2024).
Motto Farm
Veterinary Hospital

1 Motto Lane,
Heatherbrae, NSW 2324
Phone: 02 4987 5087
Cost: phone for price
Clinic Providing X-Rays
Sydney Region
Clinic Providing X-Rays
South Coast
Clinic Providing X-Rays
Southern NSW
Avalon Veterinary Hospital
710 Barrenjoey Rd,
Avalon Beach NSW 2107
Phone: (02) 9918 0833
Vet: Dr Jamie Geddes BVSc,
Cost: $450 per dog

Breeders in this area, please consult with your vet. If successful, please advise the club so that we can assist other breeders in the future.

Breeders in this area, please consult with your vet. If successful, please advise the club so that we can assist other breeders in the future.
Earlwood Animal Hospital
213 Bexley Road,
Earlwood, NSW, 2206
Ph:  02 9718 5235
Cost: Currently not able to offer this service.

Vineyard Veterinary Hospital
703 Windsor Rd,
Vineyard, NSW 2765
Phone: (02) 9627 1257
Vet: Dr Robert Zammit (BVSc)
Cost: phone for price

Dachshund Spinal Analyst
Dr. Alana Rosenblatt
University of Gatton QLD
Cost $55 per dog.
2-4 week lead-time