By Emma Atkinson
Dachshunds from all across Perth gathered together in Guildford on Sunday for the Long Dogs WA 10th Birthday annual fundraiser.
As well as a great day out for dog lovers, the event raises money for dachshunds in need and aims to boost awareness about intervertebral disk disease (IVDD).
Dachshunds with the condition suffer with pain and mobility issues in their back legs and in some cases even their necks.
According to the UK Dachshund Health Council, intervertebral disk disease is the most significant health issue that the breed faces.
Mercedes Ng, a veterinarian from Vasse Vets in Busselton, said although events like the Long Dogs WA fundraiser are increasing people’s awareness, the disease is becoming more prominent.
“I’m certainly seeing an increase in the people aware of IVDD which is great, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the amount of dogs affected is on the rise due to backyard breeding,” said Mercedes.
Jo Tetlow, President of the Long Dogs WA club, said that with this problem in mind, their main goal is to provide information and support to those the affected by the disease.
“Last year with all the fundraising we raised around $28k for the year, we are all about education and we help with IVDD information and sourcing better breeders,” said Jo.
Long Dogs WA member Bronwyn Matthews, who’s dachshund Scootch has had IVDD surgery twice, said the disease caught her completely by surprise.
“I had no idea it happened to young dogs, I was 100-percent caught off guard the first time and we took out a loan to pay for the surgery,” said Bronwyn.
Although Bronwyn did not find the Long Dogs WA group until after Scootch’s surgeries, she now hopes to offer support to other owners whose dogs suffer from the disease.
“I hope that I can provide reassurance and comfort to other members in need, and if I have to go through this [surgery] a third time I am certain the support is there if I need it.”
For more information about IVDD, please watch this video here.