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  • Dachshund health issues and problems

    Dachshunds are genetically prone to various health problems, but not more so than other dog breeds.

    Generally, dachshunds have a normal life span, but being aware of the different health issues your dog is susceptible to can help with preventative measures, as well as detecting and treating diseases early on.

    A dachshund’s small size also plays a role in the breed’s longevity; it is well known that smaller dog breeds live longer than larger dog breeds.

    Potential health problems and conditions

    Some health problems dachshunds may develop include;

    • Back problems. Dachshunds have fragile backs and are prone to conditions such as; intervertebral disk degeneration, spinal trauma, and back pain.  Many times, back problems in dachshunds can be treated with physical therapy, medications, support (back brace), and rest; however,  back surgery may be required for more severe cases. Read more about Back problems
    • Paralysis. Back injury and IVDD are the two most common causes of paralysis in dachshunds.  Paralysis isn’t always permanent, as surgery, physical therapy, and other treatment options can sometimes correct the condition.  If your dog has been diagnosed with permanent paralysis there are a few things you can learn in order to improve his quality of life.  Read more about Paralysis
    • Leg problems. A dachshund’s short and crooked legs are also sensitive and prone to developing issues.  Patellar luxation is prevalent among the breed as well as many other small breeds.  Leg problems in dachshunds can also be a sign of an underlying issue such as paralysis and back problems. Read more on leg problems
    • Seizures. Seizures are one thing dachshunds may be genetically predisposed to.  That’s why it is extremely important to thoroughly research the parent’s health history before obtaining a puppy.  Seizures can be life-threatening if not controlled, but with the proper medical guidance dachshunds with seizures can live a normal life. Read more about Seizures
    • Skin issues. Allergies, acanthosis nigricans, and pattern baldness are some of the skin ailments that dachshunds can develop.  While skin problems in dogs are not typically life-threatening, they can lower your dachshund’s quality of life if not kept under control.  With the help of your veterinarian, you can create a treatment plan that relieves your dachshund from itchiness, irritation, inflammation, and other skin symptoms. Read more on Skin issues
    • Eye problems. Cataracts, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, keratoconjuntivitis sicca, and corneal dystrophy are some of the eye problems commonly inherited in doxies.  PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) in particular, affects dachshunds.  It is not a curable disease, and rapidly progresses; that is why every breeder should get their dogs tested for it before commencing breeding.
    • Obesity. Obesity can be a major problem in dachshunds; and although they are predisposed to becoming overweight, exercise and diet play an important role in the development of the condition.  Addressing obesity in dachshunds early on can help prevent secondary health problems such as; heart disease, respiratory issues, and back problems.
    • Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is one of the causes of obesity in dachshunds.  It can also be a cause of various other symptoms including; fatigue, inflammation, intolerance to cold temperatures, and skin problems.  This condition can be detected with a blood test and managed with medication.
    • Ear problems (hematoma, infection)*Your doxy’s long and floppy ears make him more prone to ear infections and hematomas than dog breeds with a smaller set of ears.  This is because bacteria and yeast grow best in warm and moist environments.
    • Anal gland problems. Infection, rupturing, blockage, and inflammation of the anal glands is common in small dogs including dachshunds.  Scooting, excessive licking of rear end, and a foul odor are all signs of anal gland problems.  Dachshunds with allergies are usually more likely to suffer from anal gland issues because of the inflammation, itchiness, and other skin problems that arise.
    • GDV (gastric dilation volvulus)GDV is an extremely dangerous health condition that dachshunds are prone to.  Dogs with GDV experience immense pain due to the extension and twisting of the stomach.  Learning the signs of gastric dilation volvulus in dogs is a good idea, as it may enable you to act quick and even save your dachshund’s life.
    • Hip dysplasia. Although hip dysplasia typically affects large breed dogs, dachshunds are an exception.  It is important that all dachshunds are tested with the OFA (orthopedic foundation for animals) before being bred, to minimize the chances of the puppies being born with the condition.

    Preventative care

    In addition to understanding the signs of health ailments in a dachshund, it is also important to keep up with preventative care.  Like with humans, preventative care includes things such as;

    It is important that your dachshund is kept clean and tidy so that the risks of developing an infection and other health problems is reduced.  Bathing, nail trimming, brushing teeth, ear cleaning, and brushing/trimming your dachshund’s coat are some parts of grooming that should be done on a regular basis.

    Read more about Grooming

    As a dog owner, one of the things you are responsible for is vaccinating your dachshund.  Not only are some vaccines required by law, they are also necessary for preventing your dog from contracting serious diseases.  Talk to your veterinarian regarding a vaccination schedule for your doxy.

    Routine health exams and blood work
    Routine health exams and blood work are recommended in all life stages, but are especially important in older dachshunds.  How often exams and blood tests are necessary depend on various factors including; age, health status, and breed.  Your veterinarian will let you know how often this procedure is recommended.

    Pregnancy care
    Pregnant dachshunds have different exercise and feeding requirements.  Providing the special care they need is the key to maintaining the mother and her pups healthy throughout the entire pregnancy.  Having your dachshund examined and following your veterinarian’s instructions is also important.

    Read more on Pregnancy care

    Shedding maintenance
    Yes, dachshunds do shed, but not as bad as other breeds plus, there are ways in which you can manage shedding.  All you have to do is learn about the right tools and techniques to use on your doxy’s coat.

    Read more about Shedding maintenance

    Life span
    In many cases, when a healthy diet, sufficient exercise, and proper care is provided, dachshunds can exceed the average life span and live up to 20 years.

    What’s the life span of the dachshund? Read more here Life expectancy / life span

    Food and diet
    A well-balanced diet is an important part of maintaining your dachshund’s overall health.  Learning how to read dog food labels is one way of ensuring that your dog is receiving all of the essential nutrients.

    Read more on Food and Diet

    Training your dachshund is a fundamental part of health because it can prevent behavioral problems and other psychological issues from developing.  It will also enable you and your family to have a better relationship with your dog.

    Read more about Training

    Dachshunds are devoted to their family, and will do everything in their power to protect and please their owners.  One way to show gratitude for your dachshund’s loyalty is by providing him with the proper care so that he can live a long and healthy life.



    Dachshund. (2012, August 2). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:19, August 4, 2012, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dachshund&oldid=505406608

    Dachshund Health Issues.  Dog Channel.  Retrieved August 4, 2012, from http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-books/dog-breed-books/dachshund-health-issues.aspx




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