Shelter Dog Meal Donation Count:

Learn More

Know the Signs: 5 Most Common Health Issues in Dachshunds

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on May 22, 2023

Dachshunds, affectionately known as “wiener dogs” due to their distinct long bodies and short legs, are a breed known for their loyal and lively nature. While these cheerful companions fill our lives with love, they’re also prone to certain health issues due to their unique physiology. This article will explore five common health problems in Dachshunds, their symptoms, and what signs to look out for.

1. Intervertebral Disc Disease (IVDD)

IVDD is the most common health issue in Dachshunds, affecting up to 25% of the breed. This disease occurs when discs in the spine harden and rupture, pressing on the spinal cord and causing pain, nerve damage, and in severe cases, paralysis.

Signs of IVDD include an unwillingness to jump or climb stairs, neck or back pain, changes in gait, loss of bladder or bowel control, and in extreme cases, inability to move the hind legs. If your Dachshund is showing any of these signs, seek immediate veterinary care.

2. Patellar Luxation

Dachshunds are prone to patellar luxation, a condition where the knee cap (patella) dislocates from its normal position in the groove of the thigh bone. This can cause intermittent lameness and an unusual gait, often described as a “skip” or a “hop.”

Watch for signs such as sudden lameness in a hind leg, awkward movement, or an excessive amount of time spent licking at the knee. If your Dachshund is displaying any of these signs, it’s recommended to consult a vet.

3. Obesity

Due to their long bodies and relatively inactive nature, Dachshunds are susceptible to obesity. While a few extra pounds might not seem harmful, obesity can exacerbate other health issues, including IVDD and joint problems.

The signs of obesity in a Dachshund are relatively straightforward – excessive weight gain, difficulty moving or exercising, and heavy panting. It’s important to maintain a healthy diet and regular exercise routine for your Dachshund to prevent obesity.

4. Dental Disease

Small dogs like Dachshunds are prone to dental diseases because their teeth are often too large for their mouth, leading to overcrowding and poor oral hygiene. Without proper care, this can lead to tooth loss, infection, and other more serious health issues.

Bad breath, difficulty eating, excessive drooling, and visible tartar on the teeth are all signs of potential dental disease. Regular vet check-ups and good dental hygiene practices at home are crucial for preventing this issue.

5. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Lastly, Dachshunds can be affected by PRA, a family of eye diseases that cause the gradual deterioration of the retina. This can lead to diminished vision, especially in low light or at night, and eventually, blindness.

Signs of PRA include night blindness, clumsiness in dim light, unusual eye shine, or dilated pupils. If you notice any changes in your Dachshund’s vision or eye appearance, consult a veterinarian immediately.

In conclusion, while Dachshunds are prone to these health issues, many of them can be managed or even prevented with early detection, regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, and an appropriate exercise regimen. As a Dachshund owner, it’s crucial to understand these common health risks and the associated signs. The love and companionship of a Dachshund are indeed special, and being mindful of their health ensures many happy and joyful years together.

NEXT UP: Since the pandemic, veterinarian bills have skyrocketed. This website lets you compare prices on all the pet insurance companies at once.

Recent Articles

Interested in learning even more about all things dogs? Get your paws on more great content from iHeartDogs!

Read the Blog