Back Scoring Your Dachshund

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 score results are 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 90% of Dachshund puppies bred end up in pet homes. It is an inevitable consequence of breeding that Dachshund breeders are deemed a supplier 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 are intending 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 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 analysist. If the spinal analysist 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 currently offering discounted back scoring for members of the Dachshund Club of NSW. The club delegates have spoken to these clinics in relation to pricing and capacity to assist breeders with the scheme. In order to keep pricing low, breeders taking their Dachshunds in for X-rays on the same day will help keep costs at this price point. By completing the Expression of Interest, voluntary members Nikki McLeod and Heather Coles can assist with this process. Breeders are welcome to discuss with their own Veterinary clinic or either of the clinic’s below.

    Clinic Providing X-Rays


    Clinic Providing X-Rays


    Clinic Providing X-Rays

    West NSW
    Colyton Veterinary Hospital
    81 Great Western Highway,
    Oxley Park New South Wales 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*.
    Avalon Veterinary Hospital
    710 Barrenjoey Rd,
    Avalon Beach NSW 2107
    Phone: (02) 9918 0833
    Vet: Dr Jamie Geddes BVSc, Superintendent
    Cost: $450 per dog^
    Motto Farm Veterinary Hospital
    1 Motto Lane,
    Heatherbrae NSW 2324
    Phone: 02 4987 5087
    Cost: $662 per dog*
    North Richmond
    36 Bells Line of Rd, North Richmond NSW 2754
    Phone: (02) 4571 2042
    Vet: Dr Michelle Dalli (BSc, BVSc (Hons))
    Cost: $350 per dog*
    Vineyard Veterinary Hospital
    703 Windsor Rd, Vineyard NSW 2765
    Phone: (02) 9627 1257
    Vet: Dr Robert Zammit (BVSc)
    Cost: TBA

    *Clinics have agreed to hold pricing until 30th June 2023. Prices may vary due to out of scope requests.
    ^Pricing was valid as of 30th June 2022, please confirm price with providing clinic.

  • Spinal Analyst who grade the Xrays

    Dachshund Spinal Analyst

    Dr. Alana Rosenblatt
    University of Gatton QLD
    Cost $50 per dog*
    2-4 week lead-time