Your Pets Daily - default image logo

Survey launched to improve understanding of canine spinal problems

Katie Court
Authored by Katie Court
Posted: Friday, June 28, 2024 - 12:00

The Kennel Club has launched a new online health survey which aims to improve understanding of prevalence and types of spinal (neck, back or tail) problems affecting different pedigree dog breeds.

The survey has been developed to gain insights and identify any breed-specific nuances that may influence the development of spinal problems. The results will inform and direct future research to areas that require further attention.

Open to all dog owners regardless of breed, the survey welcomes participation from current owners and those who have had a dog/s that have sadly passed away. 

Charlotte McNamara, Head of Health at The Kennel Club, said: "Spinal problems are sadly becoming increasingly common in some dogs, particularly as they age. They cover a range of abnormalities that affect the neck, back and/or tail. These include, but are not limited to, general pain, degenerative myelopathy (DM), hemivertebrae (HV), intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), and osteoarthritis. Understanding the causes and signs of these conditions is crucial to improving our knowledge and understanding, and better supporting owners in maintaining their dogs' quality of life.

"We urge owners to kindly spend a few moments to complete the survey for all dogs owned, either now or in the past, even if they have never been affected by spinal problems. By participating, you'll play a crucial role in advancing our understanding and efforts to improve canine spinal health."

The survey will be managed by The Kennel Club and all personal information provided will be kept confidential and presented anonymously. To complete the survey, please visit The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.

Further information about this survey is available by emailing

The Kennel Club takes insights from its health data and feeds them into its Breed Health and Conservation plans, so that it can work with breeders to give information and guidance about how to ensure the future health of pedigree breeds. These plans, which enable The Kennel Club to track progress and make meaningful changes to breed health, have been developed as a result of reviewing more than 4,000 research papers, making the project the most comprehensive review of pedigree health data anywhere in the world.

The Kennel Club also invites all dog enthusiasts to watch its recent webinar on IVDD, a common degenerative neurological condition in dogs, which can lead to pain, nerve damage, and even paralysis. During this webinar, Professor Paul Freeman, Principal Clinical Neurologist at the Queen's Veterinary School Hospital, University of Cambridge, talks about what research has told us to date, symptoms, possible treatment options, methods of reducing risk – including details of The Kennel Club IVDD Scheme for Dachshunds – and what future research could investigate. Access to this webinar and more health-focused content is available via The Kennel Club's YouTube channel:

More information about what The Kennel Club does for dog health is available at

Share this