The objectives of this study were to determine a breed-specific vertebral heart scale (VHS) range for the dachshund and compare results to the established reference range of 9.7 ± 0.5, calculate inter-observer variability, and correlate VHS with echocardiography. Fifty-one normal dachshunds had radiographs and an echocardiogram performed. Five observers measured VHS to the nearest 0.25 vertebra. The data was analyzed using one-way analysis of variance, Wilcoxon Rank Sum test, Mann-Whitney rank sum test, calculation of reference and confidence intervals, Spearman rank-order correlations, and generation of intra-class correlations and confidence intervals. P < .05 was considered significant. The median for right lateral VHS was significantly larger than left (10.3 [range 9.25–11.55] versus 10.1 [range, 8.7–11.31], p < .0001). VHS for females was significantly larger than for males (left: 10.56 [9.2–11.31] versus 9.74 [8.7–10.88] and right: 10.8 [9.5–11.55] versus 9.99 [9.25–10.8], p = .0002). Observer consistency was high with an intra-class correlation coefficient of 0.95. No significant correlation was found between left atrial echocardiographic parameters and VHS. Results indicate normal dachshunds have a median VHS above the published generic canine reference range, and VHS can be reliably performed by observers with varying degrees of clinical experience.

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