Though your cute little Dachshund is a tough guy, you must not ignore potential health hazards. Irrespective of the pooch’s size and coat variation, there are certain common Dachshund health problems inherent in the breed. Its skeletal structure makes the dog prone to spinal and orthopedic issues while gland-related disorders appear as your doxy grows older.
Here is a list of common Dachshund health problems you may come across and tips on how to prevent or treat these disorders.
Intervertebral Disk Disease: Most Common Dachshund Health Problems
It tops the list of the most visible Dachshund health problems, with every fourth Doxy affected by it. The dog is a deformed chondrodysplastic breed with a long-backed construction and stunted legs. Some physical activities, such as jumping, may result in stress and strain on the spine of the dog. In the long run, herniated disk injury cannot be ruled out.
Symptoms of intervertebral disc disease include severe lower back pain in your doxy. In its severe form, the disease may cause rear-quarter paralysis.
Avoid forcing your Dachshund to jump too much. If the pooch experiences severe pain, you should consult a vet. Surgery is an also option depending on the severity of symptoms.
Gland Disorders May Impact Both Young, Older Doxies
Though more apparent in older dachshunds, the gland disorders are now also visible in middle-aged doxies.
- Hyperadrenocorticism, popularly known as Canine Cushings disease, occurs when there is enhanced pituitary activity. There may be a benign tumor causing pituitary gland inflammation. The adrenalin gland emanates excessive corticosteroid hormone in response. Often found to be a genetic defect, it manifests in increased drinking and urination, hypertension, lumps in the abdomen area, hair loss, and muscle weakness. Your Dachshund may suffer from discoloring and nervous system problems. This is not a life-threatening disease, and with extra skin care and medication, your pooch can enjoy a good quality of life.
- Hypothyroidism is another common Dachshund health problem. Between one and three years, the dogs are likely to develop lymphocytic thyroiditis. This results in obesity, frequent infections, and lack of energy. Medication is the only way to treat the problem.
- Anal gland disorder may cause discomfort for your pooch. A dog suffering from this condition may chase his own tail, be unable to sit, or have smelly fishy breath. Consult a vet to learn how to empty the anal sacs. Practice it at least twice a week.
Eye Problems in Dachshunds
The Dachshund dog breed is prone to congenital eye disorders, including:
- Progressive retinal atrophy resulting in gradual setting of impaired vision.
- Glaucoma or increased fluid retention in the eyes
- Cataract or cloudy vision
- Night blindness
- Tear duct problems
- Cornea and conjunctiva inflammation
Most of the common Dachshund health problems affecting their vision are hereditary. It is desirable to test parents for any genetic defects prior to breeding. You can also follow grooming tips for eye care to avoid further damage or obstruction to your dog’s vision. Regularly trim the hair around their eyes and check for any potential signs of infection.
Although large breeds are more vulnerable to hip dysplasia, your Dachshund too faces the risk. As your dog grows up, his bone at the hip joint doesn’t fit properly. Attributed to a combination of genetic and dietary factors, the problem causes hip deformity and disability in the rear leg. Your dog may also find it difficult to walk normally or get up.
Your doxy is vulnerable to hip dysplasia if he
- Is overweight
- Is on a very high-calorie diet
- Does regular jumping from a height
Your dog may have hip dysplasia at a very early age – around six weeks. But symptoms may appear years later.
Mammary Tumors in Dachshunds
Although not limited to any specific dog breed, this is one of the most reported Dachshund health problems. Both male and female doxies are susceptible to mammary tumors. A large breast tumor carries the greater risk of spreading. However, only one in three tumors is malignant.
Early spaying reduces the risk of having mammary tumors by 98%. Chemotherapy and surgery are treatment options to help your doxy get rid of tumors.
Obesity Most Neglected Dachshund Health Problem
Dachshunds love to eat, and their love for food may contribute to obesity. An overweight doxy is more vulnerable to slipped disks and hip injuries due to his skeletal construction. While extra weight causes spinal strain in your dog, it may make him prone to lethargy and injury.
Ensure that your dog has a balanced diet and regular exercise. Don’t let him sit for longer. Help him stay fit and healthy by engaging him in physical activities.
Knee Cap Dislocation
Short legs make Dachshunds vulnerable to knee cap dislocation. As they change the angle of movement suddenly, it pops out of the femoral groove, causing pain and disability. In most cases, the problem resolves on its own in a few minutes. If the problem persists, surgery is the only option.
To avoid this common Dachshund health problem, you must plan a detailed daily routine for your dog. Help your dog maintain a healthy weight through regular exercise and balanced, low carb diet. Oral supplements also help prevent cartilage damage while an anti-inflammatory diet helps ensure that such events are not frequent.
Common skin disorders in Dachshund puppies include:
- Bacterial skin infections
- Abnormal, non-tumorous skin growth
- Skin spots causing color dilution
- Hair loss or thinning of the coat
Your dog may develop baldness around his neck, ears, and temples. Acanthosis nigricans is another visible skin disorder in these dogs. Dark, thick skin appears in the groin, stomach, and armpits and gradually spreads to other parts.
You may add Vitamin E supplementation or fatty acids to your dog’s diet to treat such condition.
Dachshunds may have occasional seizures, epilepsy, kidney issues, autoimmune anemia, urinary stones, diabetes, secondary infections, heart valve issues, and urinary tract problems as seen in other dog breeds.