Intervertebral Disc Disease
There are several differences in the human skeletal structure and that of a dog, but there are just as many similarities. The spine of both a human and dog is made up of a series of small vertebrae that form the solid structure of the spine. Each one of the vertebrae is made of bone, and if not cushioned from each other would be very painful and cause pressure and pinching of the delicate bundle of nerves known as the spinal cord that travels through the center of the vertebrae. To provide cushioning between each vertebrae there is a series of flexible cartilage discs known as intervertebral discs between each. These discs provide the movement of the spine as well as protection for the spinal cord during movement and protection of the bones of the vertebrae from rubbing and wearing. [...]
Another disease from which Silky Terriers suffer is called Intervertebral disk disease. This disease can either come on suddenly or can slowly develop in dogs; smaller dogs are more frequently affected than larger dogs. In this disease, there is a degeneration of the disks of cartilage that are found between the vertebrae and this can cause damage to the spinal cord. Depending on the severity and the duration of the damage, the dog may be able to slowly recover or he may become partially paralyzed.
The vertebral column is made up of a series of vertebrae through which the spinal cord passes; in order to prevent the individual vertebrae from rubbing against one another (which would wear down the bone and cause a great deal of pain), tough disks of a cartilaginous material are found between one vertebra and the next. These disks are made up of two different types of material; a soft, jelly-like material on the inside and a harder material on the outside. For reasons unknown, in Intervertebral disk disease, the jelly-like material begins to change consistency and becomes much stiffer. This stiff material puts pressure on and compresses the spinal cord; it could also erupt into the spinal canal. [...]
Basset Hounds, perhaps because they were originally developed by using dwarf lines found within Bloodhound and other hunting hounds, tend to have slightly more health concerns than most of the other hound breeds. They have also had significant spikes in popularity throughout history, leading to poor breeding practices by many backyard types of breeders only in it for the money. Reputable breeders and kennels have maintained very healthy and genetically sound Basset Hounds that have few of the health issues listed below. [...]