Last Updated on December 5, 2022 by Guillermina
There is no denying it, dachshunds are a popular choice for anyone looking for a new family pet! But do dachshunds have health problems, or are these little wiener dogs relatively healthy? Let’s find out!
Do Dachshunds Have Health Problems?
With their intelligent, fun, loving nature, there is no denying that dachshunds make great family pets. However, due to the way they are bred, unfortunately, dachshunds are prone to several different health problems. This is not uncommon in pedigree dogs which are selectively bred to enhance a certain body shape or characteristic, rather than the overall health of the dog.
Here are some of the most common dachshund diseases to be aware of:
Intervertebral Disc Disease
Dachshunds are prone to spinal problems due to their very long backs. This normally manifests in the form of intervertebral disc disease (IVDD), where the cushioning discs between the vertebrae become pushed out of place. This is an incredibly painful condition for the dog and can lead to immobility or paralysis.
Mild cases of IVDD can sometimes be resolved with a long period of rest and restricted exercise. However, more severe cases may require specialist surgery followed by intensive nursing care and physiotherapy.
To reduce the risk of IVDD, it is advisable to keep your dachshund physically fit and at the ideal body weight. Excessive weight gain and insufficient exercise are known risk factors for IVDD in dachshunds.
It is also a good idea to provide ramps or steps to allow your dog to get up and down from furniture without straining the spine. Dachshunds should not be permitted to run up and down stairs.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is a long-term degenerative eye condition common in miniature dachshunds which leads to gradual loss of sight over a period of months or even years. This condition is hereditary, and dogs with PRA should not be used for breeding.
There is no treatments available for PRA in dogs, and it will lead to a gradual loss of vision and eventually blindness. Most dogs continue to function well despite the loss of vision, as they can use their scent to guide them around the home. However, they may become disorientated or lost in unfamiliar places.
Dry Eye Syndrome
Dry eye syndrome is a condition where the dog fails to produce adequate amounts of tears. Tears are essential to keep the eyes lubricated and protected, and inadequate tear production can lead to eye problems. This can be a lifelong condition requiring regular treatment with artificial tears to keep your dogs eyes comfortable and in good health.
The long floppy dachshund ears may look adorable, but they can hide a myriad of issues! These little dogs have narrow ear canals and are low to the ground, meaning they are more likely to pick up foreign bodies such as grass seeds. The large air flaps do not allow air to circulate freely around the ear, which creates a warm, moist environment where bacteria can thrive.
If you own a dachshund, good ear hygiene is essential. check the ears daily for signs of any smell, discharge, reddening or inflammation. Ask your veterinarian to show you how to clean your dogs ears so you can do this at home.
How To Choose A Healthy Dachshund Puppy
If you are considering bringing a dachshund puppy into your home, it is vital to do careful research to make sure you are getting a puppy that is physically fit and healthy and free from hereditary diseases.
The first step is to look for a reputable breeder. Many Kennel Club organizations and breed societies have a list of approved or assured breeders, so this is a good place to start. You may find that puppies from good breeders are more expensive, but this is to account for the fact they normally carry out many more health checks.
A good dog breeder will carry out health screening tests on both parents of the puppies, to reduce the risk of hereditary diseases. In the case of dachshunds, it is advised that the parents are screened for patella luxation and have a thorough eye and cardiac examination.
Some diseases commonly suffered by dachshunds, such as IVDD and PRA, cannot yet be screened for and they often do not manifest until the dog is several years old. However, a reputable dog breeder would never breed from a dog that showed signs of either of these health conditions.
When choosing a new puppy, it is always vital to ask to see both parents of the pups. This will allow you to assess the health and temperament of the parents to give you a guide as to the nature of your new puppy. The puppies themselves should be bright, alert and sociable and happy to interact with humans and other dogs.
When you have selected your puppy, try and visit the litter a few times before it comes into your home. This will give you a new puppy chance to become accustomed to you and your family. When the time comes for your puppy to come home with you, the breeder should provide you with the starter pack, food and all the information necessary to get your puppy off to the very best start in life.
Summary – Do Dachshunds Have Health Problems?
So, as we have learned, unfortunately, dachshunds are prone to some very detrimental health problems. The long body and spine of these little dogs makes them prone to back problems and neurological disorders. Other dachshund common health problems include Be careful. Research to make sure you’re getting a healthy copy. dental disease and ear conditions. Is it important to carefully select a dachshund puppy from a reputable breeder to reduce the chances of dachshund breeding problems.
We would love to hear your thoughts on the common health problems of dachshunds! Are you tempted to get a wiener dog but worried about all the different dachshund illnesses that they could suffer from? Or maybe your dachshund is approaching its geriatric years and you have some questions about old dachshund problems that can occur? Leave a comment below and we will get back to you!