Dachshunds are generally a healthy breed, but like any other breed, they can develop some issues in regards to their health and physicality. Their very specific body type can make them prone to some health problems. All Dachshund owners must understand the risk factors and do what they can to minimize damage and provide the best possible care.
The following conditions are some of the most common Dachshund illnesses and disorders. This guide is designed as a brief introduction to the subject. Anyone that fears that their pet is at risk from any of the issues raised here should talk to their vet for further advice. Those Dachshund health issues are:
- Spinal problems
- Hip problems
- Knee problems
- Eye conditions
- Dental problems
- Skin complaints
- Kidney and urinary tract infections
Dachshund spinal problems.
One of the most important considerations for any dachshund owner is spinal issues. These animals can develop back problems because of their shape. The long spine is prone to damage. Intervertebral Disc Disease is a common disorder where the discs in the spine become damaged and painful. There is also a greater risk of spinal injuries because of the weakness of this area. Therefore, it is not advisable to let your dogs jump up onto the furniture or people. Repetitive strain in this area can cause pain and damage long-term. Also, be careful about the strain you place on their spine yourself. Be careful when picking them up and use a harness when taking them on walks. Click here to read more about IVDD in Dachshunds
Dachshund hip problems.
The skeletal issues for Dachshunds continue with their hips. Hip dysplasia is a common problem in a wide range of dog breeds where the hip joint isn’t stable enough. That can cause pain and mobility problems if you aren’t careful. A veterinarian check can help you determine whether the pain and discomfort in your dog’s hips are down to this condition, a simple sprain, or something else. Some dachshunds can develop osteoporosis and arthritis too, so be sure to rule these out.
Dachshund knee problems.
Then there are the Dachshund health issues in these short little legs. Knee problems such as Patella Luxation aren’t uncommon because of the pressure placed on the knees from their body weight. These short stocky legs take a lot of impact, which is another reason to discourage your dachshund from jumping too much. Also, remember that these dogs may deal with the problems that come with dwarfism because of this shortened leg and the proportions of their bodies.
Hyperthyroidism in Dachshunds.
Hyperthyroidism is also something to watch out for with dachshunds. This can present itself as a lack of energy or interest in what the dog normally does. If the problem is ongoing with no other clear cause, it is best to have your dog tested by a vet. Treatment is available to correct the hormone levels and improve your dog’s health.
Dachshund eye conditions.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few different eye conditions that dachshunds have to deal with. Some dachshunds will develop cataracts as they get older and while some may be treatable with surgery, there could be some loss of sight. Loss of sight in dachshunds may also be the result of cataracts, which is a hereditary condition, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Regular checks can catch problems before they are irreversible.
Dachshund dental problems.
Don’t forget to keep your Dachshund’s teeth nice and clean because you don’t want them to develop dental issues on top of all of these other concerns. Broken teeth, unhealthy gums, and a build of tartar can also lead to poor oral health.
Dachshund skin complaints.
Skin conditions are also common dachshund illnesses. One that you might notice with your dog is Acanthosis Nigricans. This is where you get a darker, tougher patch of skin around areas like the neck and groin. This condition isn’t dangerous to the dog but could be uncomfortable, especially if there are additional growths or if it affects the condition of their fur. You can talk to your vet about skin treatments that may lessen the effect with time. Other skin conditions to be aware of include dermatitis and allergies to flea bites. Look out for areas of the skin that are red, sore, and itching, and seek out the best relief.
Dachshund kidney and urinary issues.
Kidney complaints and other renal issues aren’t that uncommon with these dogs. It is important to look out for the symptoms of lethargy and changes in thirst, as well as any difficulties or pain when urinating. Your vet can run tests to see if there are signs of infections or kidney disease. If untreated, this can become very distressing for the animal and may even lead to kidney failure.
Obesity in Dachshunds
Finally, there is the issue of obesity. Dachshunds are meant to be slim, lean little dogs that could get into a tunnel and seek out their prey. Unfortunately, we now see far too many pet Dachshunds that are overweight and have a more rounded shape. This shape puts even more pressure on their joints and little legs, making it more likely that they will deal with joint pain and related issues. Obesity can also increase the risks of heart disease and make it harder to breathe while exercising. It really is in their best interest to stay slim. Click here to read more about Obesity in Dogs
Taking care of your Dachshund to keep them healthy.
There are lots of simple ways to ensure that your dachshund stays healthy and you can avoid the majority of these Dachshund health issues. Some may be genetic and inevitable over time. But, you can still create a great healthcare routine to minimize risks and take better care of your dog. This includes:
- the right exercise plan
- the right diet
- the right grooming regime
- the best veterinary care
Exercise is important, but only in short bursts. Give them too little and they won’t burn off the calories in their food. Too much and they might overexert themselves and strain their legs. That diet is also important so make sure to employ portion control with a healthy formula to keep them at the right weight and prevent any issues with their heart or joints. Supplementation in a diet can also help if they have joint problems or any deficiencies to consider. Then there is their grooming regime. Take care to check and clean their eyes, teeth, and ears regularly to look for signs of illness and infection. Don’t forget about nail clipping either. Skincare problems are avoidable with the right shampoos and lotions during their bath. Specialist products may be necessary if they have allergic reactions or dermatitis.
See your vet for regular check-ups to stay on top of dachshund illnesses. Your vet can administer all the right tests and treatments to help you keep any serious problems under control. This is essential when dealing with conditions like hyperthyroidism or eye issues. They can also recommend the right diets, supplements, and products for dealing with weight loss and skin care. Related post: Dachshund diet and exercise.
DNA Testing For Dogs
DNA testing can help you discover your dog’s ancestry, find out about your dog’s breed composition, and even find your dog’s canine relative. Testing your pet’s DNA can also be very useful for keeping your furry friend healthy by detecting genetic risks for potential health problems. DNA Tests can also find hereditary conditions that can affect your dog’s health in the future. This information can help your Veterinarian to provide adequate preemptive healthcare.
Finding the healthiest Dachshund puppies.
If you do not have a Dachshund yet but are looking to buy a Dachshund puppy soon, make sure that you do so from a respected breeder. Some breeders will look to create litters that conform to the ideal image of the Dachshund. This means that they may not use the best, healthiest stock if they can be sure of that long body or a certain color. This may increase the risk of pups inheriting some genetic dispositions towards spinal problems, knee issues, or disorders with their eyes. Responsible breeders won’t use parents with genetic health problems or those prone to skin conditions and other dachshund illnesses.
One way to prevent this is to visit the puppies and their parents before committing to buying the dog. The best Dachshund breeders will let you come and meet the animals so you can see for yourself how healthy they really are. They should also provide details of the health records and care notes of the pups and their lineage. Breeders that fail to do this or that refuse to let you see the animals probably have something to hide. Related Post: Do You Need Pet Insurance For Your Dachshund?
Take care of your Dachshund’s health and be aware of the risks of these Dachshund health issues.